The Sims 2

Review

posted 9/30/2004 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PC
Making the sequel to the best-selling PC game of all-time is a tricky task. On the one hand, you have a proven formula that you know will sell you plenty of games while pleasing your audience. On the other hand you know that if you go to the well too much you might over saturate your audience and disenfranchise them. After releasing seven expansion packs for the original Sims Will Wright and Maxis finally decided that it was time to put their heads together for work on a true sequel. It was a tougher job than it seemed though because if handled improperly they would have a Roller Coaster Tycoon 2-like situation on their hands. Luckily, Will Wright is an ambitious man and the sequel to the best-selling game of all-time not only improves upon the original formula, but builds upon it in nearly every conceivable way. What you have here is one of the greatest games ever created and a frontrunner for Game of the Year.

There’s so much to see and do in the world of Sims 2 that it’s ridiculous. On my first day with the game I played it for six hours straight, barely scratching the surface of the game. Maxis added so many new gameplay elements and features that even the more minute additions will astound you. For starters the game is now in full 3D with a player-controlled camera. It’s similar to the one found in the console variations except players have more options pertaining to zoom. By using the wheel players can zoom all the way out and view the whole lot or zoom all the way in and see what the Sims are making for dinner. Making the camera 3D also gives the game more life and personality, adding more dimension and depth to the whole package. The rest of the interface remains virtually unchanged from what we’ve already seen. Click on the object that you want to interact with and choose the action that you’d like to perform. In order to make things more convenient certain commands can be branched off and pair together. So if you’re in bed you can choose to relax or read; if you’re on the couch you can choose to lounge, or cuddle up with a partner. They don’t change the complexion of the game but they definitely give you more things to do.

Kind of reminds me of college.

More of the focus has been placed on the life of the Sim as opposed to the lifestyle of the Sim. By that I mean that there is more attention paid to the motivations and desires of the Sims, making this game an even more in-depth look at social interaction. A new feature adds wants and fears to your Sims. When the Wants are fulfilled the Sims are happier and are more apt to perform better in life and at work. They also receive points that can be used to purchase special items that aren’t available through the in-game catalog. Wants depend on the aspiration that you selected during the character creation process. If you choose the Romance motivation than one of your Sims wants might be to get a kiss or to be serenaded. Money motivated Sims might want to make $1,000 or be promoted. Fears prey upon the weaknesses of the human mind, involving situations that we’ve all faced. Most of them deal with death of close friends or family members and feelings of rejection.
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