The Sims Online Charter Edition

Review

posted 1/13/2003 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
One Page Platforms: PC
Be somebody else. It’s that simple, start anew, forget everything that has ever happened to you in the past and forge your own future. Fate? What fate? You control your own fate and write your own future. It’s a prospect that many of us have dreamed and until now, were only able to live it with other computer controlled AI beings, that’s all about to change.

Enter The Sims Online.

Be somebody else. That’s right; you tailor every single aspect of your online persona to your liking. Want to get rid of those love handles? Make your Sim a handsome muscle head with bulging biceps. Wish that you could get rid of that bowl haircut that your mom forces you to sport? Then go ahead and make a mohawked Sim. Want to erase that potty accident that you had in 3rd grade from your past? Then go right ahead, your persona is truly what you make of it and that, my friends, is the beauty of the Sims Online.

I’ll admit that I came into The Sims Online with the perception that it would just come off as a glorified chatroom. In fact, my notions were reinforced when upon installation of the game I was given the option of using my AIM screen name as my Sims Online log-in. Thankfully those preconceived notions didn’t last for much longer, and while TSO is a graphical chat interface of some sorts, there’s much more than meets the eye.

The core game plays much like the original Sims but instead of interacting with AI controlled Sims you’ll interact with player controlled Sims. Not one character on the screen (with the exception of the ice-cream vender) is computer controlled. What does this mean exactly? It means that every action you perform, every word you speak, and everything you do is committed to the memory of a real-life individual, just like in real life. Are you being a jerk and disobeying the residents of a home? You can expect to receive a permanent ban from their property. While there’s a lot of fun involved, mutual respect is required in order to maintain a peaceful and entertaining community.


AIM for TSO


But does it all work? It all depends on the player. If you enjoyed the ability to control every single aspect of the game, with the power to build and tear down houses at will, then you’ll be sorely disappointed. In fact you can’t start out with a family, just a male or female Sim that is tailored to your liking. The marriage system is still intact but children are nowhere to be found. So in essence the game works if you simply enjoyed the interaction of the offline game but if you were a control freak, then this may not appeal to you.
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