21 January 2006 | clydestuff
Sims 2 World expands the Sims Universe, along with the computer glitches
You are undoubtedly aware of the tremendous success Maxis/EA Games had with their original Sims games and the long parade of expansion packs that came later. The problem with the original Sims game was that although there were always new items and more interactions for the Sims there was an element missing that would have made the game complete. Teens stayed teens, children stayed children, and adult Sims never grew old.
The Sims2 has changed that. You can now follow your Sims as they progress through the stages of life, from infancy to eldership and eventually and hopefully dying a peaceful death in their old age. That is of course unless some other accident befalls them along the way. And as if that isn't enough, in The Sims 2 they Sims pass on their genetic physical and character traits to their offspring. There is even a family tree where you can keep track of your Sims heritage from generation to generation.
Needless to say there is also a great improvement in the graphics. You can now zoom down into your home and watch your 3D Sims close up and personal. You can make Sim videos or take pictures which you can edit into a story to be uploaded to the Sims2 exchange. All of this extra power does come at a price however. Many computers that were able to run the original Sims game will not have the capabilities to run Sims 2. The recommendations on the package are the bare minimum you can play with, and using those will require you to run the game at it's minimal graphics settings so you might want to go beyond those.
They have also added what is called an Aspiration. These are goals and wants your Sims want to achieve as they go through life, and it is your duty as their master to see that they get them so that when they do pass they can at least depart in a good mood.
As in the original Sims game, the original Sims2 game pack is being followed with a long line of expansions. So far we have had two expansion packs, University and Nightlife, and another one due out soon called Open for Business. And like before each expansion opens up new worlds for your Sims, new interactions, and new capabilities to make the game more interesting. With University you can now send your Sims to college for four years, complete with dorms, sororities, campus housing, and a host of other things you might find on any college campus. And while it can be a struggle to get your Sims through college, the payoff comes in more job opportunities for your Sims, and that they can interact with a whole host of other college goers that you can graduate also simply by moving them into your Greek house. And the young adults in College are far more interesting in every aspect than the annoying townies that come with the original game.
Nightlife is basically the Sims 2 equivalent of Hot Date only better. There are of course, restaurants, but there are shopping centers, night clubs, karaoke bars, bowling alleys, and places to play Texas Hold-em. For the first time you can have cemeteries where you can ship your dead Sims if their ghosts become too annoying floating around in your back yard. And with Nightlife, your Sims are given cars to get from place to place instead of a taxi, but waiting for your Sim to get where they are going no matter what the means of transportation can try your patience. The loading times are awful, and though they encourage you to download other people's creations into the game, doing so only magnifies the problems.
Maxis also seems intent on throwing in a bit of the strange stuff. So far we have aliens, alien babies, zombies, and vampires. Soon it will be robots.
All in all you'll find the game extremely addicting, way more so than the original. But that is not to say all is perfect in the Sims World. Sims games have become well known for their glitches and The Sims 2 is no exception. It took three months from the release of the original game for a patch to fix some of these glitches. It was worse with University. The glitches in that Expansion pack were not only extremely numerous, but extremely annoying to the point that they interfered tremendously with game play. A patch for University wasn't released until six months later when Nightlife was released. Granted a patch for Nightlife was released very quickly, but that particular patch for that expansion pack has still left a lot of errors. So if you are going to play the game, be aware that this is the price you'll have to pay for being part of The Sims 2 World.
There are also a host of minor quibbles, simple things that don't make any sense. Why can't Sims sit and hold their child instead of standing with them all the time? Why is the Sim who is the object of somebody else's flirt catch the heat from his partner instead of just the Sim who did the flirting? As for the official Sims 2 site, it also leaves much to be desired, but that's another story. All in all though, if you like this kind of fantasy world you'll certainly enjoy the game glitches and all. Overall, I'd give the game a B+ instead of an A. They'll get the A when they get their act together on the game glitches and begin releasing patches in a more timely fashion.