Reviewed on PC

The Sims 2

Reviewed By: Chris Beaven

Computer Platform: PC
Produced by: Maxis
Price Range: $45-50
Learning curve time: 31-60 min.
Age level: Teens
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
System Requirements: Windows 98/2000/ME/XP, 800 MHz processor or equivalent, 256 MB RAM, 32 MB VRAM 3500 MB hard drive space.

Overall Rating:
Genre: Strategy
Christian Rating: 3 of 5
   (some objectionable elements)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 3 of 5
Adult Content: 2 of 5

Sims 2.  Illustration copyrighted.
What do you do after you create a top selling game with a new sub-genre never attempted before? Create a sequel!

The Sims 2 puts you in control of a family of “sims” who, for the most part, will obey you as long as you keep them happy. The first step in the game is actually to create a family. You can tweak every last detail - right down to eye-shadow colour and cheekbone height! Next, drop this family in an existing empty lot - or go through the process of building their entire house. Make sure they have all the essential's like a fridge, toilet, shower. Purchase decorations, plants, fun toys, appliances, and so on. Re-decorate whenever you like. Now, send your sims to work, get them building friendships with neighboring families, start building their skills and get them producing new family members of their own!

Most of the interface and ideas come straight from The Sims original (and it's many expansions) but this is not a bad thing. A new 3D environment, quality textures and models, and a new level of interaction with sims.

For people who aren't used to a complex interface, the new 3D controls can take a bit to get used to but with some practice you have a whole lot more control over what you see.

Another change from the origional Sims is that your sims grow old (and eventually die). This is countered by the availibility to bring new sims into their virtual world, either by adoption or the more conventional method, “woohoo” (as the developers have called it).

You'll never see a naked sim (thanks to tv-like privacy pixelation) and “woohoo” is handled tactfully always under the covers or behind closed doors showing sparks flying and fireworks.

One of the most interesting new additions to the sims is that on top of their “needs” (Social, Hunger, Bladder, etc.), you can now help achieve (or avoid) the wants and fears of each sim. These wants/fears are a mixture of things that happen during this sims life and the major drive (that you choose) for that sim such as romance, knowledge, family, etc.

The game is very focused around these wants. Your sims have no Christian moral code and don't mind sleeping around with their best friends or same sex friends if you want them to, but you can easily discourage these activities by how you guide them.

Each sim is given a star sign, based upon the attributes you define for them. Although it may sit uneasily for some, it doesn't really change the game and isn't worth getting hung up over.

For those who are worried about it, here are some more potentially objectional situations that are possible:

  • The possibility of being visited by aliens
  • Multiple love interests
  • Ghosts appearing near death
  • Romance sims with desires for simultaneous multiple loves

This is one of those games that can be played for a long, long time. In fact, probably the most dangerous part of The Sims 2 is that you will get too addicted! Try to keep your life in balance. But from a gamers perspective, this game is very cheap for both the amount of enjoyment and game time that you will get out of it.

Just one more negative for the financially minded is that you just know this is going to cost you more than the initial purchase. The Sims franchise is known for expansions - I believe 9 were released for the original, and the first expansion (College) is in the works already for The Sims 2. Don't get me wrong though, the Sims 2 is a complete game on it's own that will keep you enthralled for a long time to come.

I recommend this game to anyone who can look past the potentially negative points and is mature enough to deal with the possible “interesting” situations. My review has not covered half of what is possible inside of the sims universe. One, you can go and read more reviews elsewhere and two, I know I haven't found it all! :)

Year of Release—2004

Negative—I am quite amased that you can give this Game a 4 1/5 star rating with a 2 out of 5 sexual content rating. ALL the SIMs games are rated for Teens (except two), yet my granddaughter who is 10 has been playing it since she was 8 and I am sure she's not the only one. The notion that these games are neutreal and will only do what the players make them do is at best very naive. These games make children experience situations, attitudes and problems they are not yet ready to face because of their young age. Parents seem to be unaware of the power of these games. Obviously the makers of these games have built in responses that is congruent with their secular world view. All the SIM games have labels that include a variety of warnings such as Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Suggestive Scenes, Violence, Mature Sexual Themes. If this (training) is what we want our children to be exposed to it is no wonder we have challenges in raising them in the fear of the Lord. Here is an example of a secular worldview coming My Ratings: [2 / 4]
   —Roy Ingbre, age 59

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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