The Sims

Chris discovers the limitless potential of the Sims in their first console outing.

What could be more fun than controlling a person to kiss and indeed sleep with their own mother? I can’t think of anything other than making them piss on the floor (you’re sick – Ed). Unfortunately you would probably be locked up if you were to do it for real but Maxis’ The Sims allows you to do just that. After the phenomenal success of this game for some years now on the PC, Maxis have finally pulled their fingers out and produced the PS2 version. Loaded with original extra furniture and design styles as well as a very interesting two-player mode and one player mission mode could this game possibly beat the original?

The original premise of the game was to just keep your Sims happy. This entailed you making sure they were well fed, clean, got enough sleep, had substantial social interaction, had fun and were qualified enough to obtain promotion in their chosen job field. You could decide everything from their names and the look of the character to the shape and colour of the house. It was an immense game with almost limitless potential. The PS2 version has given it a drive which is a unique twist on an already highly innovative game. You have the basic freeplay mode where you can do whatever you like in your neighbourhood as in the PC version but you can also play a mission based game called ‘get a life’, which is somewhat ironic as after you start playing this you probably won’t have one! You have to work your Sim through several stages of life, starting with leaving home, getting a job, moving in with really annoying people up to buying your first mansion and we all know how much hassle that can be. In each of the levels you will have specific tasks to fulfil as well as all the usual trial and tribulations of your Sim. As you progress through this mode you unlock new options in the buy mode such as a vanity table where you can change, in game, the appearance of your Sim. You also unlock some intriguing two player modes.

This is another impressive addition to the original where you can play with a friend. The tasks are fairly mundane, such as seeing who can make the most friends in a set time. The winner gets to have a Jacuzzi with all their new friends whilst the loser watches and cries! Another one of these games is one where you have to charm money out of the other people in the room and the one who gets the most doesn’t get caught by the police! They basically run along the same theme and don’t seem to have much of a shelf life, mainly due to the main game being so incredibly addictive.

To compare this game with any other is not possible, it has definitely cornered the market as the ultimate of simulation games. Nothing comes near to it and with the addition of the two impressive new modes one can’t help thinking it is only furthering the distance from its rivals.

Graphically, although it is similar to the PC title, it has been touched up and improved from an already good standard. Its just a shame that in the two-player mode a lot of the graphic level has been tempered to allow smooth gameplay and this can often lead to you not being sure where or who you are.

The sound has remained similar if not possibly exactly the same from the PC version but why mess with something that ain’t broke. This game definitely ain’t broke. They have titivated with the controls a little and at times they are a little cumbersome, but this is often the case with games that are transported from PC to console as they are often designed with a whole keyboard’s worth of buttons. That works to its advantage as well as you cannot simply assume that you can just pick up this game and complete it in a whiz if you have been good at the PC version.

This is and always a classic PC title. It is obvious too that a lot of work has gone into the PS2 version, to such an extent that it not just a remake of a PC great but a new game in its own right. The graphics have been considerably updated, the play modes have been constructed with console players in mind and the original concept has been tweaked and honed to perfection. It does falter a little on the controls front which can take time to master but once starting this game the early hours will pale in comparison to the overall marathon you are bound to get out of this game.

I only suggest, however, that if you want to keep your life don’t buy this game.

E3 Trailer