The Sims 2
On its surface The Sims 2 is a game with few changes. The graphics are bigger, more detailed, and more emotive. The audio has more variety. But the gameplay is still all Sims, controlling the lives of a collection of digital people as they make their way through mostly mundane lives. As you dig into the game however you quickly find that this is a much more robust, mature and complex game than the original, leaving you with the impression that this is Will Wrights dream finally realized.
Just about everything that drives The Sims 2 is different. The biggest difference is in the Sims themselves. Sure you can still boss them around, leading them to great heights or horrible despair, but now you don't have to. These Sims seem to think for themselves in many ways as they have been given limited memories, desires and fears. They also now have true family connections and the ability to age from birth to death at an old age. As they age and their family grows your Sims change.
It's amazing to behold.
One of the biggest gameplay changes to The Sims 2 is the aspiration system which is built around a Sims fears and hopes. If you fulfill a Sims desires they don't age and you gain aspiration points which can be used to purchase items. If enough of their fears come true they go temporarily insane, in a disturbingly realistic manner.
The look of the game has also changed pretty drastically. You can now zoom in to watch the 3D Sims interact with each other and the world around them. This new world is swarming with fun little details, like clocks that actually show the time or televisions that have real shows.
The design features for the Sims homes and towns have also been enhanced. Now you can fine tune the look of each Sim, creating virtual reproductions of friends and family and if you marry two people in the game you can have the computer automatically produce a child using genetics.
The homes now have a lot more options for architecture and interior design and The Sims 2 even allows you to create your own towns. You can even import cities from Sims City 4 to live in.
The audio has been upgraded as well, though not nearly as much as the rest of the game. The soundtrack isn't much different from the music of the original Sims, but the Sims language, Simlish, has received some polishing.
The Sims 2 is a fantastic answer to the original game, delivering just the right amount of tuning to perfect Will Wright's vision without messing too much with the original formula. This game will make Sims fans ecstatic and may even attract some new ones with its improved look and sound and easier to maintain population.
Download The Sims 2
The life simulator returns, with slightly less potty micromanagement and slightly more direct control of your sim via amusing minigames. But the loading times on PSP are too frequent and delay the already slow-paced action.
If you grew tired of The Sims long ago, this won't renew your enthusiasm for obsessive home furnishing.