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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Simulation

 

Publisher

EA Games

 

Developer

Maxis

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

September 2004

 

 

- Improves every aspect of the original game
- Genetics play a big role in the appearance of your family tree
- New improved graphics and animation so good, it’s like watching home movies
- Finally, a true 3-D interface for the PC version of the Sims
- More addictive as the original
- Has locations in town to visit without having to buy an expansion pack

 

 

- Still can’t drive vehicles or go to work
- Aging and eventual death of Sims designed in your likeness forces you to face your own mortality 

 

 

Review: The Sims (PC)

Review: The Sims Online (PC)

Review: The Sims Makin' Magic (PC)

Review: The Sims Bustin' Out (PS2)

Review: The Sims Bustin' Out (GBA)

 

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The Sims 2

Score: 9.5 / 10

There’s one number that will instantly speak volumes about how popular the Sims franchise PC is: one million. That’s the total copies sold of the Sims 2 during its first 10 sales days. And that sales total is completely justified, because the Sims 2 is a great sequel to the all-time biggest-selling PC title. As addictive and incredible as the original Sims was, the Sims 2 takes that formula of game-making and juices it up and then some with a large injection of increased gameplay that leaves no “god game” stone unturned, greatly enhanced graphics and animation that finally take the 3-D leap, and a healthy dose of genetics that is utterly stunning in its realism.

 

the sims 2 review          the sims 2 review

Although the gameplay stays faithful to the original premise of the Sims, which is controlling the everyday life of virtual beings, the developers have totally pushed the envelope of what living functions you control. You have total power over each and every aspect of your Sims’ lives, with much more choices than were available in the original Sims.

No matter what type of activity you want to make your Sims perform, it’s available in many more different variations. The game also keeps track of your fears and desires, giving players a better gauge of what is needed to keep their Simlish-speaking beings happy. What’s a big help is that the Sims will make better use of their free will capabilities, so you won’t be totally bogged down worrying about one Sim and its needs while you may want to be caring for another one of your Sims.

 

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A lot of the new gameplay variety goes in many ways hand-in-hand with the sweet new graphical and animated features of the Sims 2, which leave behind the 2-D isometric look of the original Sims and replaces it with a true 3-D world that Sims fans first got a taste of in the console versions of the Sims.

Now, you can zoom in and out of the game world at will at any angle, giving you an up-close-and-personal “big brother” look at the 

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Sims and their actions. The ability to watch as the Sims go about their business has an almost home movie flavor. With excellent graphics and life-like animations, you’ll find yourself simply watching the game instead of playing. There was one memorable moment I found myself just watching in amusement: a young toddler Sim, sitting on the floor, playing with her teddy bear.

She started playing nicely with the bear, but at times would grab him and hit him on the floor. It was totally amusing and there are plenty of these types of moments. One that definitely is funny and is a fine example of the sometimes naughty behavior that earned the Sims 2 a “T” rating. When your Sims are feeling amorous and want a good old horizontal mamba, they dive under the covers, and fireworks literally explode overhead the bedpost until they are done. All over, the game is astonishing in its use of marvelous in-game animation.

 

the sims 2 review           the sims 2 review


A significant addition to Sims 2 is the use of genetics to determine what Sims that are born in the game look like. As usual, you can create your own Sim to play in the game. As you play the game with either an already-created Sim spouse or if you are a single Sim that finds a significant other, when you decide to have kids, what you and your spousal Sim look like actually determine what your Sim child will look like. From skin tone to hair color, your Sim child’s appearance will be totally based on the genetic makeup of you and your spouse Sim. Another big facet of gameplay is the aging of Sims in the game. Children will become angsted teens, angsted teens will become young adults, young adults will become middle-agers, middle-agers become empty-nesters, empty-nesters become senior citizens, and senior citizens, well, they die.

Yes, although your Sims could die from mistreatment or the occasional fire in the original game, in the Sims 2, you age and die just as in real life. If you’re like me and create Sims in your and your family’s likeness, you’ll be eventually faced with your own mortality. Nothing has been left out of the Sims 2.

The building of Sims residence also doesn’t get shortchanged either. Sims players take great pride in building imaginative and regal structures for their Sims to live in. An almost endless supply of building materials and house furnishings are at your disposal. Also, while you still can’t drive vehicles or actually go to your place of employment, there are shops and town locales that you can visit without the need for an expansion pack purchase, as was necessary for the original game.

After playing the Sims 2, Sims fanatics will all agree: Sims 2 was all worth the wait. As much fun as the original game and its family of expansion packs were, Sims 2’s gameplay is an incredible leap forward that veteran Sims players and newcomers alike will thoroughly enjoy. If you love the Sims, you definitely will appreciate the enhancements that Will Wright and company have provided to create the ultimate Sims experience. Gamers who missed the whole first round of the Sims phenomenon, here’s the perfect excuse for jumping on the bandwagon now.

- Lee Cieniawa
lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(October 27, 2004)

 

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