The Sims Unleashed

The Sims Unleashed

Written by Charlie Sinhaseni on 12/3/2002 for 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.

Rating: 8.2 Good

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.


About Author

Gaming has been a part of my life for as long as I could remember. I can still recall many a lost nights spent playing Gyromite with that stupid robot contraption for the old NES. While I'm not as old as the rest of the crew around these parts, I still have a solid understanding of the heritage and the history of the video gaming industry.

It's funny, when I see other people reference games like Doom as "old-school" I almost begin to cringe. I bet that half of these supposed "old-school" gamers don't even remember classic games like Rise of the Triad and Commander Keen. How about Halloween Harry? Does anyone even remember the term "shareware" anymore? If you want to know "old-school" just talk to John. He'll tell you all about his favorite Atari game, Custer's Revenge.

It's okay though, ignorance is bliss and what the kids don't know won't hurt them. I'll just simply smile and nod the next time someone tells me that the best entry in the Final Fantasy franchise was Final Fantasy VII.

When I'm not playing games I'm usually busy sleeping through classes at a boring college in Southern Oregon. My current hobbies are: writing songs for punk rock bands that never quite make it, and teasing Bart about... well just teasing Bart in general. I swear the material writes itself when you're around this guy. He gives new meaning to the term "moving punching bag."

As for games, I enjoy all types except those long-winded turn-based strategy games. I send those games to my good pal Tyler, I hear he has a thing for those games that none of us actually have the time to play.

When I'm not busy plowing through a massive pile of video games I spend all of my time trying to keep my cute little girl fed. She eats a ton but damn she's so hot. Does anyone understand the Asian girl weight principal? Like they'll clean out your fridge yet still weigh less than 110 pounds.

Currently I'm playing: THUG, True Crime, Prince of Persia, Project Gotham 2 and Beyond Good & Evil. View Profile

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