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The Sims 2 review

Stop telling us it's really just an automated dollhouse; the ultimate "real life" simulation is back...and now it has DNA

Pros

  • Constant flow of unique rewards
  • Sim-ulated language and music
  • Career advancement and exploration

Cons

  • Simulates mundane life too well
  • Sims don't interact well
  • Limited save slots

As successful as the Sims 2 juggernaut has been on the PC, the designers of this newly minted console remix probably could've offered a straight port of the same content. After all, if PC players can't avoid an unhealthy obsession with cooking, cleaning, working, dealing with relationships, and decorating the Bed, Bath and Beyond out of their little virtual people's homes, console players would probably develop the same affliction. However, that isn't what happened. While the signature idiosyncratic gameplay remains similar, there's a whole mess of stuff unique to each version.

It's clear from the volume of that exclusive content that this experience was planned with the compulsive collector in mind. Sure, you can customize the skin tone and jaw line of your new protagonist, along with his or her hopes and dreams. But it is the sheer variety of experience available in the settings and objects that grants this game such obsessive playability. Every unlockable toy, every discoverable recipe, yields endearing new animations and reactions from your Sims as you play around with the attached options.

If you're not the sort of person that collects every secret in a game, you should probably give The Sims 2 a rental first. As rich as the object possibilities are, the social networking isn't nearly as compelling. Whether a Sim reacts positively or negatively to your Sim's overtures seems random at best, resulting in plastic figures with no individual personalities beyond their immediate objectives. The inventive visuals sustain interest, but the human drama is sorely lacking.

More Info

GenreOther Games/Compilations
DescriptionIf you don't mind that it never quite congeals into a coherent whole, you'll have a blast.
PlatformPS2, PSP, Xbox, PC, DS, GameCube, GBA
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor rating12+
Release date24 October 2005 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)