Sims 2 Review
The Sims has evolved. The interface of Sims Bustin' Out has been upgraded to mark the arrival of Sims 2 on PS2. With Sims 2 being released on PC it was only a matter of time before we found in the PS2 section. EA games have now adopted the third person view of your sim and you are in direct control. You walk around with the camera situated just behind and above your character and you can interact with different objects by walking right up to them.
Those familiar with the first Sim's will have already realised that this is quite a big step forward and is much better than moving the screen to find the object compared to moving your actual sim. The fans of the Sim series will be in their element with tons of customisation options when creating your 'perfect' sim. Many fashion styles and personality options let you change and control just about anything you can think of. You also choose an aspiration in your sim's life and then have to complete different goals to fulfil this aspiration, whether it is wealth, romance or another.
The Sim system is intricate and decisions you choose to make in your early life stages affect the Sim's outcome in the future. Depending on what mood your sim is in their facial expressions and actions differ. If the sim is in a good mood they are more likely to interact better with other Sims and build friendships.
A great feature to the game is the 2 player mode. You can now share the reality experience with a friend and once you have both created your sim you can work together to fulfil goals or earn money within your household. In story mode you enter a house with a handful of roommates. Within that house you have to complete your goals/wants which lead to the unlocking of a bigger and better home to explore and enjoy.
A meter at the left of the screen shows how well your sim is fulfilling their wants. If you succeed in a goal the meter fills, if your sim does something they fear then the meter will decrease. If a sim's aspiration is wealth then their goals may be earn 500 simoleons (Sim currency). Their fears may be getting fired from their job or another which may lead to the failure of their wealth aspiration. You also have the option to switch to another Sim during the game and try and fulfil some of their wants. Sometimes you have to choose a certain character and complete their goals for the next house to be unlocked.
The graphics in the game have improved from the first Sims game but still are pretty average and load times can be slow due to the vastness of the game. Building your dream home in the game has all the previous satisfying factors and includes even more furnishings and objects for customisation. A fair few of the objects have to be unlocked by earning aspiration points (points which help to fulfil your desire in life). Each object improves different sim needs e.g. toilet fills 'bladder bar'. Some objects help to increase your sims' attributes e.g. fitness, creativity, cooking skills and others provide food for the house like the fish tank.
Some of the faults in the game are that sometimes the game freezes and you find the door of the car going at normal speed when closing but your sim left with a door half way through them! Also the meters showing the sims' needs decrease rapidly and I found myself running about just to try and keep all the bars at least half full. This is time consuming and decreases the enjoy ability of the game, although this was a factor which occurred in the first Sim's.
On the other hand the job system is good and once you've chosen your career path your aim is to be promoted and earn as much money as possible. Some of the paths to choose from are an artist, army cadet, thief and many more.
One of the most popular features in Sims' games is relationships. There are many different actions you can take that will affect your relationship with a fellow sim, some negatively and others positively. You may start by talking but it can develop into a heated relationship and obtain the 'lover' status or maybe take the other route and turn into an arch enemy. The choice is up to you.
The Sims 2 brings a lot more to the already thriving reality game. There are some great objects for purchase and a list of recipes for you to learn to cook. EA have managed to develop the already complex sim system where now seemingly everything is there for you to sculpt the sim how you wish. The way decisions affect their future is great. However there is only so much enjoyment you can squeeze from the game. For all the gamers who have already completed the first Sims the new additions in Sims 2 may not be enough to get your attention for the second time even though they are impressive improvements.
First time Sim players are likely to be impressed with this game as it is definitely the best reality game available. Sim fanatics who couldn't get enough of the first Sims won't be disappointed but if you were starting to tire of the original Sims I would recommend that you rent the game before considering the purchase as it may not be enough to grasp your attention.
7.5 out of 10