The Sims 2

The Sims 2 Review for Xbox

On: XboxPCDSPS2PSPGBACube

Port of the massive selling PC game where you control the lives of a number of artifical people.

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7Out of 10
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Give it time and you'll become strangely addicted
Give it time and you'll become strangely addicted

Give it time and you'll become strangely addicted

The Sims is a behemoth in the PC gaming world. The series has sold copies by the truck load for years now, and The Sims 2 can now be experienced on consoles. I'll admit to being more than a little down on the game a few days ago, but after a brief conversation with an old colleague I felt I should give it one last chance. While I'm still not a worshipper of all things 'Sim' the oddly unintelligent people (in this console version anyway) did manage to make a rather better second impression.

Let me make something clear from the start. If you like the idea of running the lives of a group of artificial people and own a reasonable PC, pick up the PC version of The Sims 2. Its wealth of features and available expansion packs make it the best way to play the game. For non-PC owners (or those with a PC that can't play the latest games) Sims 2 on consoles does a more than adequate job of bringing the experience to your lounge.

The Sims 2 is all about doing things to make your Sims happy. Each Sim has a list of 'Wants' that you must try and achieve for them. These depend on the type of Sim in question, so a creative Sim will want to do arty things, such as painting, while a knowledgeable Sim will want to learn and will be interested in reading books and studying. Achieving these things, making sure their 'Fears' are never realised (events that a Sim never wants to happen), improving their basic skills and building pleasant living quarters are the basics of the game.

In The Sims 2 you can take direct control of the individual Sims and this is a more natural way to play a console game. It isn't without its problems though, with your Sims not being as easy to control as you'd like. The game has two main modes that offer slightly different experiences. Free play allows you to build your own home, create a new family and take them through their - often laborious - lives. The so called 'Story mode' is where you'll be spending most of your time, and here you'll start off in a small home and be tasked with moving the Sims up in the world, hopping from one Sim to another, achieving their goals and then heading off to a new location.

'At first it's like having a baby, except they go to work and you have no parental bond.'

At first it's like having a baby, except they go to work and you have no parental bond. The game seems to drag. You constantly have to see to each Sim's needs, be it a snack or a visit to the toilet. The opening stages of the game really don't do it any favours, but stick with it and things do get easier. Your Sims will increase their skills over time, meaning that you don't have to carry out mind numbing care work throughout the entire game. They'll eventually be able to manage a whole night's sleep without needing a toilet break, require fewer meals during each day, and generally won't be as high-maintenance. You can also fast-forward through time when nothing is happening.

The game lets you decide when to move on to a new location, so if you want to stick around in an area to try and get a better job or achieve some more of your goals, you can. Fulfilling a 'Want' will earn you new furniture and toys to play with, and assuming you have enough free time to use them, they can be a lot of fun. New objects are dished out fairly regularly so you've almost always got something new to do, and this keeps your interest high even if your Sims currently have pretty dull lives.

The Sims have various ways to enjoy themselves

The Sims have various ways to enjoy themselves

Life isn't all rosy though, with a number of small problems often causing more irritation than they should have. To cook meals you have to choose ingredients from which the Sim's dinner will be made. It might have sounded like a good idea to give you this level of choice, but it's just tedious and annoying. In fact, washing up after meals is equally annoying. You have to walk around the apartment and round up all the dirty dishes and then take them all over to the sink. It's just taking the whole 'life management' thing a little too far and is more of a chore than a fun game experience.

The whole interaction element isn't too great either. While a filter is applied to the screen to reflect how Sims feel about each other, they often can't get close enough to talk and end up trying to find an alternative path to get to each other. There's also a lack of 'family' in the game as the Sims don't age and they can't have children. Some people might appreciate the lack of depth here, but it feels lacking. Homes tend to look rather dull due to the fact that you can't build multiple floors or even raised platforms and you can't help but feeling that the Sims have a pretty meaningless existence.

Visually the game has plenty of character and your Sims express emotions very well. You don't get the sharpness or the texture detail of the PC version, but it's more than acceptable. Audio is good too, featuring the trademark Sim-speak and a solid selection of modern music. Some of the tunes are taken directly from the PC version of the game, but unless you've played that extensively this repetition won't be a problem. It's worth noting that the PlayStation 2 version does suffer from some rather severe slowdown at times, but the nature of the game means that it doesn't affect gameplay significantly.

The interaction is actually the weakest part of the game

The interaction is actually the weakest part of the game

One of the best aspects of the Sims 2 is that there's just so much to unlock; you'll want to keep on playing just to get the next toy. You'll find yourself wanting to play for that little bit longer, eager to increase your Sims' stats, for no other reason than personal satisfaction. A two-player mode even lets you play in the same world as a friend, and while it's not something that'll send you into a Sim loving frenzy, any crazed Sims fans in the same household will appreciate being able to play together.

The Sims 2 on consoles isn't for everyone. It does itself no favours with its incredibly dull first impression, but give it time and you'll start to see just why these virtual people have sold so many videogames. It's got its problems (which could have quite easily been ironed out before release), but if you can get past them you may well end up spending all of your free time trying to create some free time for virtual people. It's not sad. Honest.

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User Comments

h's Avatar
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h

k u can have a baby u just need to unlock the heart bed gosh people
Posted 17:00 on 31 January 2009
TheWarriors's Avatar

TheWarriors

The Sims 2 is a bit of a disappointment, and theres no real storyline to the game. . And i have no idea how to make the Sims have a baby. But ive only played it on PS2

I dont think you can ask them out, only get married to them?

i dont think you can have babies on the PS2 version, only on PC
Posted 01:52 on 16 January 2009
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Tootsieroller

If you can tell me!! I unlocked the heart bed and woohooed literally 30 times!!!!!
I heard it's a cheat, so please tell me!!!
Posted 23:31 on 05 January 2009
INFINITI's Avatar
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INFINITI

WHAT IS THE CHEAT FOR HAVING A BABY AND ASKING OUT
Posted 03:27 on 19 November 2008
kay..)..(..x's Avatar
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kay..)..(..x

i only brought this game cus i heard that it was great and yuu cud hve kids but is it really true that yuu cant cus i really wanna no if yuu can plz tell me..)..(..x
Posted 18:11 on 02 November 2008
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keighty baby!

I had a baby but then lost it!!! I cant belive it! How rude! Now cant nembaar how to get 1 agen! X x much love x X
Posted 14:57 on 13 October 2008
sims's Avatar
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sims

this game rocks!
Posted 21:30 on 21 September 2008
Vanessa's Avatar
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Vanessa

oh... i got this game cuz " you can have kids" thats what i thought so i really wanted kids 2 -.- $ 24 i paid for nothing.....
Posted 20:01 on 05 June 2008
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tj3117

i tried alot of different things but i still could not have a baby. but who really knows some people could not hav tried for a baby and just listened 2 other people. if anyone knows how you can have a baby tell me please!!!!!
Posted 23:46 on 04 June 2008
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lauren

i found out that to have a baby you need to unlock the love heart bed then do the you no wat and in about three days youll have a baby i dont no if its true but my mate done that and hers got pregnant.its not fair cause i really want to play this game but i cant because of mi epilepcy but anyway hope it works for you lot.
Posted 11:58 on 15 May 2008
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bilal gaffar

i like this web site
Posted 18:50 on 08 March 2008
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Stigmar

The PS2 version for this game is a joke; it's essentially a hacked up version of The Sims 2 for the PC, the latter of which is actually a very good game, not to mention that it opens you up to the many PC mods and updates (the biggest downfall to 2nd gen consoles) available out there.

Here's the short list:
--you can't have kids in the PS2 version, don't let anyone tell you differently
--the furniture selection is a joke, much less than the PC version, and a fraction of what you can get when you start in on the mod community
--bugs galore, and since this is a 2nd console game, no updates

The PC version is like $8 more now; don't make the mistake I did and just get that one. I'm glad I only paid $20 for this pos.
Posted 04:27 on 04 March 2008
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Hazel

You have to be able to have babies because in the opening credits it shows toddlers and teenagers, if we couldnt have babies then they wouldnt be allowed to show that because it would be like false advertising in a way. Plus thats basically the whole reason there is sims, everyone wants to have babies.
Posted 14:24 on 02 March 2008
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Saxoncom

Apparantly on the ps2 version U can have an alien baby if U make the girl look through the telescope every night U will eventually be abducted by aliens and U might come home pregnant with an alien baby-But I haven't tested this theory yet
Posted 12:51 on 02 March 2008
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sidney

i used some of the cheat codes
but i really wanna know if you
can have a baby in the story mode
or the free play;; please get back at me
MissLAdyLeGiT@aol.com
Posted 16:05 on 23 February 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
The Sims 2
7
Out of 10
The Sims 2
  • Becomes very addictive
  • Lots to unlock
  • Some strange AI
  • No sense of 'real life'
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Release Date: 04/11/2005
Platforms: Xbox , PC , DS , PS2 , PSP , GBA , Cube
Developer: Maxis
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: Simulation
No. Players: 1-2
Rating: PEGI 12+
Site Rank: 3,570 35
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