The entire scope of the game has now increased--your characters age and give birth to children. Sims remain children only for a few weeks, before spending most of the game as adults and then eventually dying and the game carrying on with their children and grandchildren--if they have any. Another big new feature of the game is the introduction of specific "aspirations" for your sim, which can be anything from a specific career to marrying a particular person. Each sim also has their own "fears", which can be anything from living alone to losing their hair. Which of these situations end up coming true becomes the main influence on whether your sim is happy, the attainment of which is the only true goal in the game.
Apart from all these new features the graphics have been severely overhauled are now in full 3D and more in line with the recent console spin-offs. This is a must buy for anyone that's ever enjoyed the original titles, but the new features should also be enough to entice sceptics to the fold as well. --David Jenkins
Guiding your Sims through "Life's Big Moments" takes on new importance, as players now get a "Life Score" to measure how well they are playing each individual Sim. The decisions that players make throughout the lifetime of their Sims now have an impact on their long-term success or failure. A choice made as a toddler has a direct effect on the teen and adult Sim they become. Will players be able to successfully lead their Sims through such important events as a first step, first crush, or marriage proposal, all while the clock is ticking?
The Sims in The Sims 2 are more aware and responsive to both other Sims and their surroundings. Sims truly come to life expressing moods and feelings through more realistic body animations and for the first time facial animations. They form complex relationships and are able to distinguish between family and friends, platonic friendships and romantic love. Sims in The Sims 2 now have DNA. Passing along physical characteristics and traits to their offspring, Sims both resemble and behave like their ancestors. As in real life, the appearance of the Sims now changes over time. In addition to getting older, a Sim that spends too much time on the couch will develop a paunch and a Sim that works out will enjoy rock solid abs.
An entirely new 3-D engine makes the world of The Sims 2 more life-like and dynamic. The Sims 2 will also introduce an all-new "Create-a-Sim" feature. This allows you to customise the facial features of your Sim with a few simple clicks, to a level of detail never realised before. In The Sims 2, players are now able to build dwellings over two stories and have the ability to coordinate and customise the homes of their Sims to a new degree of design with all-new furniture, lighting and objects.
Many people criticise the game as being just the same as the original with better graphics but it contains so much more! For instance your sims now have fears, wants and goals in life so you actually have something to work towards unlike in the original where you created a sim and it didn't matter what happened! They also age for the first time. In the original the only aging your sims did was from baby to child. In this one however there are 6 life stages. Baby, Toddler, Child, Teen, Adult, Senior Citizen. The duration of each life stage depends on how high your sims aspiration counter is.
The aspiration counter is fed by how many wants and fears your sims accomplish. There are 3 stages on 'the good side' of the aspiration meter. There is green, gold and platinum. If your sims aspiration meter is platinum when they go through the aging process then they will live a longer life! However if your sims age while in 'the bad side' of the aspiration meter then their days on earth are sadly reduced! There is only 1 stage on 'the bad side' and that is bright red!Read more ›
There are loads of new build and buy options (is it just me, or are the American makers obbsessed with 'colonial' style furniture?!). You can also customise most objects - changing the colour of lamps, for instance. The Sims can also do so much more with thier objects - for example, the can sit, lounge, nap or bounce on thier sofas, or 'gussy up' in the mirror. They can also cook specific meals - and there's more choices available to them each time they gain a skill point. Adult and elder sims can now, to the delight of many, I'm sure, play in bed (or 'whoo hoo!) in any bed, as well as Make Out,and Kiss. Naturally, they can also try for a baby.
Back to building, one of the things I love is the ability to have basements and attics -although I have to admit building realistic and athestically pleasing attic conversions is quite difficult. You can also have many floors, and roof terrences!
The catalogue is better organised -floors and walls are separated into different catagories, e.g. papar, paint, brick, or carpet, stone, tile etc.
The downtown, vacation islands and studio towns are all gone (as are pets, come to that) but the community lots are still available.Read more ›
One WARNING that has come up before and needs mentioning again:
Check the system requirements!!!! The graphics are so much better than in The Sims 1 that you can't expect to get away with running it on a low spec PC. My machine is quite new (<1 yr old) and it needed the very latest graphics drivers for the game to run without hanging. If your machine is getting old, you may have problems, which would be a real pity, as the game is great.
Incidentally, the powerful building and landscaping tools may serve another use if you plan to remodel your house(!) and may even spark an entire generation of young architects! The ability to completely customise how your Sims look is inspired by player feedback from the original Sims and allows you to recreate - if you so wish - your friends & family, and transplant them into a virtual reality! Also, the compatibility with SimCity 4 allows you to easily customise new neighbourhoods, but the in-game neighbourhood tools are pretty good too.
Five stars does NOT do this masterpiece justice - lets just hope Maxis and EA don't let the quality slip when it comes to the expansion packs (Superstar and Makin' Magic spring to mind...)
BUY THIS GAME!!
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