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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Simulation

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Maxis

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

October 17, 2006

 

 

- Not the most original, but definitely the most addicting expansion for The Sims 2 to date
- Amazingly lifelike reactions by all pets in the game

 

 

- Doesn’t expand the franchise into entirely new territory
- Yeah, you’re the one who has to clean up those virtual “messes” left in and around the house

 

 

Review: Sims 2: University (PC)

Review: Sims 2: Open for Business (PC)

Review: Sims 2: Nightlife (PC)

 

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The Sims 2: Pets

Score: 9.0 / 10

 

The fur is finally flying for the Sims in The Sims 2 Pets, the latest expansion for The Sims 2 franchise. Surprisingly, it took four expansions for Maxis to instill furry and feathered friends into the Sims’ household. There was a similar expansion for the original Sims franchise in The Sims Unleashed, and The Sims 2 Pets follows much of the same formula as that expansion did in bringing felines, canines, birds and a Womrat into Sims’ households. Many may be asking what a Womrat is: it’s a completely fictitious hybrid, described as a genetically engineered rodent-like creature. It’s basically a guinea pig-looking furball of fun.

 

the sims 2 pets          the sims 2 pets


There are even wandering lycanthropes (that’s werewolves to the common folk) roaming around the game, who’ll make a visit from time to time (they’re the menacingly large, black-coated wolf-like creatures with the eerily incandescent green eyes (although they’re friendly as can be once you shower them with a little attention). Through download, even actress/singer (or is that singer/actress?) Hillary Duff can be a playable character, complete with her pet Chihuahua Lola.

Unlike Open for Business and University, two earlier The Sims 2 expansions, The Sims 2 Pets doesn’t bring what may be considered much “new” gameplay to The Sims 2 universe. Although The Sims Unleashed already had introduced pets into the lives of the Sims, The Sims 2 Pets expands on the concept, with remarkably lifelike qualities to the pets’ behavior and interaction with their owner Sims. 

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Animal-loving The Sims 2 gamers will be overjoyed to finally have their very own virtual pets on their PC.

To get your new pets, you can either design or adopt one. As when making Sims, you can design and create some rather bizarre pets with many unique features, such as weirdly colored coats and furs in shades never before seen (or 

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probably never to be seen) in the animal universe. And you can of course, simply adopt pets from the pet adoption service with a simple phone call. If you have more than one pet of a particular species, as long as you have a male and a female you can actually breed them yourself (with a little WooHoo in the pet house) to create unique lineages.

And PETA shouldn’t worry, because if you have a litter of kittens or puppies and just can’t handle caring for too many pets at once, you can give them up for adoption, thus eliminating the possibility of animal neglect (and the inevitable PETA protest outside your Sims’ residence).

Once you actually get your pet, you’ll need to interact with them to teach them learned behaviors such as to be playful, to get housebroken, stay clean or stay off furniture. There are also the typical pet commands to instruct, like rolling over, speaking and shaking for dogs. This also helps build your relationship with each pet, but that’s not quite as important as giving them love. Stroke their head, feed them treats and praise them. It all goes a long way to building a devoted following from your pets.

However, there are times you’re going to have to scold them, because they aren’t always on their best behavior. They may leave behind “messes” in the wrong places (that you’ll have to clean up) or tear up your furniture. A good admonishment will help them learn to stop those “bad” offenses. And if you don’t have the time to teach them yourself, an Obedience Trainer, for a price, will gladly train your pets the proper way of behaving.

Of course, training and interaction with your pets doesn’t always go as planned, because your pets do have a mind of their own. They’re not simply furry automations. They will react on their own, based on their disposition and personalities. Genius pets will act differently than the doofus, as will the independent kitty compared to the friendly feline. There are five factors involved in each pet’s personality, and each of the five affects how your pet will behave.

 

the sims 2 pets          the sims 2 pets


What’s amazing is how lifelike the pets are, both in the way the react toward Sims and the amazing detail that goes into their animated reactions and behaviors as far as any interactions with other Sims or pets. It’ s really incredible how true-to-life the pets act, and that’s one of the primary reasons that this is such an enjoyable and addictive expansion to The Sims 2.

Don’t think that your pets won’t earn their keep, either. They can earn some serious Simoleons for you, too. Yes, there are jobs that will employ your pets, from security positions to showbiz, with a steady paycheck for the household.

While there’s not too many new items added in The Sims 2 Pets for your Sims to use, there are plenty of pet pieces added to your inventory, from food bowls to animal housing. One gameplay feature added is the ability to not only invite Sims over to your Sims home one at a time, but to actually invite entire Sims families to come over and visit.

No, it doesn’t tread new territory that hasn’t been explored in a previous expansion, but nonetheless The Sims 2 Pets turns out to surprisingly be the most engaging and addictive expansion yet for The Sims 2. How engaging and addictive? This reviewer needed to buy a second copy of the game so that all The Sims 2 Pets players in the family could get equal opportunity playing the game on one of our two PCs. Spending time bonding with Sims pets was that popular in my domicile. For those that love the domesticated animal kingdom, The Sims 2 Pets expansion brings the new dimension of delightful animal interactivity into the lives of Sims 2 gamers.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(November 28, 2006)

 

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