Review by Ofisil

"Time is precious. This game kills a lot of it."

The Sims 2 is a Life Sim developed by Maxis. The Sims 2 is supposed to be the best selling PC Videogame of all time. Soooooo? I don't care about how good a game sells if it ain't good as a GAME! So is it? Weeell… it is quite addictive and its basic concept is quite an interesting one… until you see how boring it can become after a while. So do I like it or not??? Hard to answer… sometimes I get obsessed with it, creating families and playing with my Sims like crazy… and after a while the addiction wares off and I realize that The Sims 2 is not a game but a fancy toy that sells like crazy… because it was made to sell like crazy and not to be played like so…

Gameplay: 7/10
Replay Value: 5/10

The Sims 2… how can a game be so entertaining and at the same time so damn boring, without any objectives on your hands, without any strategy needed? Like I've said in the introduction, The Sims 2 isn't a game, but a toy! You play with it, it's fun, that's it! So if you are looking for a GAME where SKILL is needed look elsewhere. Now despite the numerous flaws of the game Sims 2 has one good thing… its extremely addicting! Its main concept is what drives people, (especially girls), crazy with this game, almost forcing them to spent their precious Mulah in this game and it's numerous –pay for nothing suckers- expansions.

Live, work, die:
What you do in the Sims 2 is create Sims, group them in families, build their houses and then… live! Controlling your Sims is extremely easy. Click where you want and then select an action from a pop-out menu. The same goes for the camera, since now the game is fully 3D… easy too use and not problematic at all. Now, you've made your families, put them in their homes and created a nice neighborhood. From now on you can select a certain family and play with it, controlling the life of your Sims from birth till death and you are able to do almost everything in between! You will interact with people, make friends, fall in love, work, go to school, have children and many, many more. All Sims have some basic needs, they need to eat, rest, be clean and go to the toilet, have fun, socialize and live in a nice environment. The better a need is filled the better the overall mood of your Sim is, something that affects his performance in many things from your work to other daily stuff. Many times you will find yourself trying to fill these needs and nothing else and these needs go down very easily sometimes making the game more like a chore instead of a fun experience.

New stuff:
Now what's new in here? We have the Aspirations and the new DNA system. Lets talk about the DNA first. By DNA we mean that the characteristics of the parents of a child get mixed up and determine its appearance, which is quite an interesting feature. A small, (or sometimes big), problem is that sometimes the resulting DNA cocktail is a bit problematic. You can mix up the best looking Sims and have an UGLY baby, something that occurs mainly with the Sims you create and not the simple ready ones. Aspirations are the main deal in The Sims 2. Each Sim has an Aspiration type and when playing some Wants and Fears are created, that change in the course of the game and pretty much are the things that you must do\avoid in order for your Sim to be happy. So a Sim with a Romance Aspiration needs a lot of love! You must meet a lot of Sims, flirt with them, have sex with them and avoid marriage or turn downs while a Family Sim wants to marry and have a lot of children and see them grow up well, Popularity Sims like parties and interacting with other Sims, Knowledge Sims want to gain skills and finally a Fortune Sim needs a lot of money and expensive stuff to be happy!

Aspiration problems:
One thing that I don't like is how unbalanced the Aspirations are and how sometimes they can be more annoying than fun. For example a Family Sim likes having babies, right? Well, having a baby means a measly 8000 points of aspiration and after having the baby a lot of days of hard work are needed to raise it, while a Romance Sim can flirt around, kiss, have Sex with multiple Sims and gain 10000-20000 points PER DAY! A Fortune Sim needs a lot of money to be happy and making money isn't so easy! First of all you have to gain some skills in order to get a promotion, something that needs a lot of effort and doesn't give you much points while a Knowledge Sim gains more points just by gaining skills without the need of gaining money at all.

Is it worth the trouble?
I'll say it again… Sims 2 is quite addictive the first days you play it. It's indescribable how fun it is creating Sims, making families, having children and on and on… but soon it becomes a tedious task, a boring, repetitive chore without any meaning. After hours of just filling the basic Needs and Wants you get bored and start loosing up. You let your Sims hungry just for the heck of it, destroy your family, let people die in many, (MANY), fancy ways and many more… but these too won't keep you here for long. Sims 2 is interesting as a concept but the execution kills the fun…

Graphics: 8.5/10
Design: 7/10

To say the truth Sims 2 is just the original Sims with a more good-looking wrapping. The biggest change is that everything is now 3D and I must admit that generally the game looks quite good. You can design very nice houses paint their surfaces and place inside various usable or decorative objects inside. The lighting and other special effects are great, the interface looks good and generally we have a great looking game. Of course the main deal in the graphics section is how good your Sims look. You can create various kinds of Sims by altering their facial characteristics, choose their clothing and makeup. Their animation and facial expressions are very good and depends a lot in their personalities, for example when a social Sim wants to flirt walks to the other Sim in a confident way, or a serious Sim when going to watch TV walks as if he is bored. It is quite fun watching your Sims interact with each other, kissing, playing, arguing and even having Sex, called Woohoo! in the game and of course you can't actually see your Sims having sex, instead they will go under the sheets and start “playing” with each other. Finally your Sims pass through SIX age types, from baby to toddler, from toddler to a child, teenager and finally adult and old.

There are only 2 problems with the Sims in my opinion. The first has to do with the DNA system that I mentioned in the gameplay section. You can create absolutely beautiful Sims but when you get them to give birth to a baby many times a monster is born out of the mixed characteristics of your Sims. The second problem which is the biggest one concerning the graphics, is the fact that the Sims look a bit too Anime\Cartoonish and that because of one single thing… Skintones. The available skintones look too simple and unrealistic and yes I know, I wasn't exactly looking realism in The Sims but I wanted something a bit better. In the end after some time I ended up using the wonderful mods around the net in order to use better skintones, clothes, (the ones available are a bit too boring), makeup, hair and many more. Needless to say that with the use of Mods your Sims look astonishing.

Sound: 8/10
Music: 8.5/10

One of the best aspects of the Sims is its overall sound quality. First of all we have that strange gibberish your Sims talk called Simlish I think. Although its not a real language its quite understandable if you know what I mean and that because of the way it is used making it sound quite good and realistic. Secondly the music is absolutely fantastic. There are a couple of radio stations you can listen to in your stereo and all sound great and all use the Simlish I mentioned before. So we have Soul\R&B, Hip Hop, Pop\Rock, Techno and even a Heavy\Thrash\Black\Death Metal Radio Station that is my favorite and sometimes quite funny, (as if Black Metal wasn't hard to understand already).

[+]:
-Great graphics. Nice looking characters
-A DNA system that handles the appearance of newborns
-You can create Sims with different needs
-Control your Sims from birth to death and do everything in between
-Great music

[-]:
-Your Sims are too simple without the use of Mods
-Soon gets quite repetitive, thus very boring!
-The Aspirations are quite unbalanced
-Sometimes because of the DNA system very ugly Sims are born
-A lot of weird bugs\crashes

Also Play:
The Sims (PC)
The Sims 3 (PC)
Any of the countless The Sims 2 expansion packs (if you are a sucker)

Overall: 7.3/10

In the end it all goes down to your personal taste. Contrary to other games The Sims 2 isn't just a game that some like and some don't… it is a bit more complex than that. I don't exactly like it, but I've spent a lot of hours on it and once in a while I spent a couple more… until I get bored again! So I recommend trying it out for a couple of days before buying.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 11/30/09

Game Release: The Sims 2 (EU, 09/17/04)


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