The Sims 2 Review


Here’s the short version of this review for those of you who just want the bottom line: if you liked The Sims you’ll love The Sims 2. Conversely, if you didn’t like The Sims or just didn’t understand its appeal, then The Sims 2 probably won’t change your mind on the concept. The Sims 2 provides many improvements over the original game, taking into account The Sims players’ wish lists of enhancements, including some innovative enhancements, and moving the game into a fully 3D world. The result is a game even more fascinating than its predecessor and one that is really in a class and genre of PC gaming all of its own.

First, for those of you new to the series and the concept The Sims 2 can best be described as a life simulator. You control a simulated person, or sim, and your job is to keep your sim feeling happy and fulfilled. The trick is that you do not have total control over your sim, or sims, as you might expect. Sims have their own personalities, wants, and desires and if you order them to do something that they don’t want to or if they’d really rather do something else, they’ll either flatly refuse to do what they’re told or become depressed and miserable. Believe me, depressed and mopey sims can be quite difficult to work with so you don’t want to go there.

Screenshots
This sim could use a workout.

A sim’s happiness is based on several factors the first of which is known as motives. Motives represent the basic needs that drive a sim’s actions such as hunger, hygiene, and energy. If a sim doesn’t eat, sleep, or even go to the bathroom, he or she will become weak, miserable, and could even collapse on the spot. Left on their own sims will do a pretty decent job of taking care of their basic needs but you’ll need to be careful not to overwhelm them with tasks that don’t leave them with the time to take care of the basics.

So how do you take care of a sim’s motives? Through the use of interactive objects in the sim’s home. Place a toilet in the house and then with your sim selected click on the toilet and select the “use” command and your sim will take care of business. If you played The Sims you’ll be instantly familiar with the command interface and if not then you’ll catch on to it quickly. Click on an object and you’ll see a pop-up list of possible actions that can be performed with it. Select an action and it will be queued up on your sim’s order list. Part of the fun of the game is trying out all of the various objects available and seeing what types of interactions are available. The Sims players will be happily surprised to see that a lot of the common objects available in the original game have been given a lot more interactions in their Sims 2 versions. For example, instead of there only being a “Make Dinner” interaction with a stove, sims will now be able to select what type of dish they want to make – and the higher their cooking skill the more menu options they’ll have. You can now choose between fancy or simple, or even heavy or healthy which can have an effect on your sim’s waistline (more on that later). Stereos have more music styles to listen to and multiple tracks in each one, and now you can even work out to the music. Every The Sims veteran will go from one “that’s so cool that they added that” moment to another while revisiting some familiar favorite objects for the first time in The Sims 2.