The Sims Unleashed


posted 12/3/2002 by Charlie Sinhaseni
other articles by Charlie Sinhaseni
Platforms: PC
Much of the gaming world has been disdainful towards Maxis’ The Sims as of late but I feel those feelings are unfounded. With each new expansion pack comes entirely new gameplay that really extends the life of the game. It’s almost as if Maxis has reinvented their game each and every time, making it an entirely new experience. Just when I think that I can finally lay the game to rest they unleashed House Party, a few months later, they released Livin’ Large and then the excellent Hot Date. Now, after I’ve finally managed to put the game down for a few months comes Unleashed, perhaps the most dynamic expansion to date.

Like the other expansion packs, Unleashed adds the usual assortment of new furniture and decorum. The neighborhood has been expanded quite a bit and you’ll now be able to grow your own garden. However, the main attraction of this pack (as the title would curtail) is the addition of pets. That means you’ll now be able to raise dogs, cats, fish and birds. Most of the new furniture is composed of items to compliment the animals such as collars, toys and bathing equipment. Unleashed takes the inclusion of the pet one step further by actually making it a member of the family that has moods and such that you’ll have to cater to.

Not all of the animals can be kept on a leash, so to speak. Many of them are complimentary to the animals that you can own, such as raccoons that will wreak havoc upon you if you don’t own a dog. If you don’t own a pet you’ll actually be awakened and irritated by them, to the point where you’ll have to call animal services. This pack is an absolutely blast as it adds a whole entire dimension to this game.

I still feel that some of the issues that have plagued the title still remain. For one the Sims seem to get tired far too quickly still, leaving you with little time to actually accomplish anything. I wish that something would have been done to slow down the tiring process so that you could actually take your sims out and let them enjoy themselves every once in awhile. The performance problems are still prevalent as the game seems to run far too slow, no matter which system you run it on. What makes it worse is that it seems load times are dependant on how may packs you have installed, it took me quite awhile to boot up the game with all of the packs installed.

Other than the nice inclusions, the core game remains virtually unchanged. The same problems and nuances that bothered you before still remain but if you’re a dedicated fan, you’ll no doubt want to brave through them. Unleashed is a fun little expansion pack that really makes this game worth playing and if you ask me, this is the best one to date. With each seceding expansion pack Maxis manages to do something that few companies have managed to do, make their product feel fresh and worth playing again.

An excellent addition that adds some much needed life into Maxis’ people simulator. The new pets are a blast and the new features are a pleasant welcome as well.

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