The Sims 2 The Sims 2 at E3


The Sims 2 made its initial debut to the world outside of the Maxis studios at E3 in Los Angeles.  The game was demonstrated behind closed doors to prevent it from being mobbed by throngs of The Sims fans at the show, but the folks at Maxis were kind enough to let me in to the private demo room for a close-up look at the game.

I know that at this point you must have plenty of questions about the game, but Iím pretty sure that I can guess the question at the top of your list.  Iím sorry to have to break it to you, but the answer is ďno, you canít import your sims or their homes into The Sims 2.Ē  It is probably pretty disappointing for you to hear this as you may be one of the many people who have put a lot of time into building your sim's homes and molding your sim-families.  Before you start mourning the loss of your sims, though, let me tell you that the sims in The Sims 2 are so sophisticated and life-like that they will make your old sims look like paper dolls in comparison.  The old sims and their objects are quite simply far too primitive to work with The Sims 2.

Screenshots
A multigenerational family relaxes at home.

For one thing, your old sims do not have any DNA.  Sim DNA describes all of the characteristics of your sim and is also passed down to future generations (you read that right, future generations, but more on that later).  Sim DNA is generated when you first create your sim using The Sims 2ís powerful character creator.  You begin by selecting from the numerous heads available in the game, and you can stop right there if you want.  If youíd rather customize your simís look, you can mix and match different hairstyles, add facial hair from stubble all the way through a full beard, and set hair and eye color.  The game does not stop there, though.  You can use a set of sliders to adjust the broad facial characteristics of your sim and give him or her a unique look.  If thatís not enough for you, you can go even further by selecting regions of your simís face such as the eyes, nose, and cheekbones.  At this level of detail you are given a whole range of sliders to finely tune your simís face by moving the eyes closer together, making the jawline weaker, or any of a myriad of other adjustments.  The tools provided with The Sims 2 are quite powerful, and you can use them to create celebrities, friends and family, or even to add your own face to the game. 

Once you are happy with your new sim, your sim is given his or her DNA.  If your sim has children, this DNA will combine with that of his/her mate and be passed on to the next generation.  Sim children won't simply be clones of their parents; just as in real-life DNA from two parents can combine in many ways to create children that are unique, but that share traits from both parents.  Things don't end there, though.  In The Sims 2 sims will age and sim children will grow up, grow old, and eventually die.  If they have their own children, then the DNA will be passed down to a new generation.  At E3 Maxis demonstrated sim DNA in action by taking two sims and then generating many of their possible sim children.  Each child looked unique, but was obviously the offspring of his or her parents.  When the sim children were aged they all became unique sim adults.  In The Sims there were a finite number of heads available for your sims, but in The Sims 2 each and every sim will be unique.