The Sims 2

Other than briefly dipping my toes in the demo of SimGolf, I'll freely admit that The Sims phenomenon had, until recently, largely passed me by. Sure, I know it's the best-selling PC game of all time, with open-ended gameplay and a thriving fan base, but didn't realise exactly why until I was given the sequel to review.

The Sims 2

While it follows the same lines as its predecessor (so I'm told) and revolves around the creation, control and development of simulated people with individual needs and personalities, The Sims 2 brings with it some new developments that should keep the experience fresh to existing players, as well as attracting new ones. The first of these is a brand new 3D engine, which replaces the sprite-based graphics of its predecessor. This renders each of your little computer people (a brief nod to the very first sim game, there) and their environments in glorious detail - scroll in close enough and you'll see the brand name on the new VCR your sim just bought. You can also exert far more creative control over their surroundings, even going as far as building a home from the ground up, if you've got the inclination.

Alternatively, you can just dive right in, like I did, and start playing with the pre-configured sims that come with the game. Keep them happy by fulfilling their needs - which can be as simple as buying them a new chair, or as difficult as getting a job promotion - and they'll live longer. Let them fall prey to their fears and you could find that they lose their marbles (which is pretty entertaining), or even keel over and die (which isn't). Your sims can also get out more, with communal areas like the park or mall at their disposal, and they build memories, which can affect how they act/respond in later life. Should your sims be lucky enough to find their soul mate (or unlucky enough to be kidnapped by aliens), they pass their genetic heritage to their offspring, and you can watch families develop and branch out from even the simplest beginnings.

The game isn't perfect, and you can find yourself cursing your sims for their apparent inability to step around each other, not to mention the sometimes awkward navigation when building or redesigning home interiors, but these aren't enough to stop you coming back for more, or being unable to take a break for fear you'll miss something.

Score Card

Visuals: Comprehensive attention to detail that may be a little hard to swallow for under-specced machines

Audio: Entertaining for the main part, but can become a little grating after extended play

Gameplay:Totally immersive and often extremely frustrating

Developer: Maxis

Publisher: EA Games

URL: http://thesims2.ea.com/

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Laurence Grayson

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?