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The Sims 2 offers the perpetual gamer a dream come true. A game to live and grow in, customisable to max, you can play this world just how you want to. Here is place to see your own stories unfold and feel like this game was made just for you. Generations and history play out at your whim, giving the strongest sense of endless gaming I've ever experienced.
To do this game justice you need 5 people sat around a table adding their own unique experience to the review. There is simply so much to do in this game from in depth character creation to developing the continuing generations or your game family linage. The Sims 2 truly shapes itself around the player; or it does a very good job of pretending to.
Another intriguing aspect is how you end up feeling responsible, and connected to your Sims. This is not really surprising after meticulously shaping your character's personality, building their home to meet their every need and even sorting out their love life for them.
I really got into the idea of a home as well kitted out as my own in real life. This involved all manner of decisions, not least one that took me a good ten minutes - choosing just the right doormat. We have a custom washable turtle mat that I really love so I had to find just the right doormat in the game too.
But then you realise your sim will one day die and you suddenly have an urge to carry on their line through their children. This is really showing the perpetual gamer in me; so rather than simply flitting to another family or another household I yearn to carry on my original creation through their children and grandchildren.
From one day to the next The Sims 2 games will vary hugely.
So what does this game have for you? It all depends what you want:
You can be a budding architect and build a plethora of wonderful buildings to upload to the massive Sims community. The tools available for designing and building are intuitive and extensive. You could spend all your time here simply making house after house while the soothing music plays.
You can shape the town and community just as you wish using the plethora of highly rated add-on packs.
Or you can just play the game; meet your sim's aspirations and desires to see them become successful in love, career or socialising.
You can spend your time creating new and interesting families to inject into the pre-built houses -of which there are many to use or replace. Thus creating a world occupied only by your own creations.
Every day is full of stories made by you and owned by you.
Or, like me, you can invest in one or two Sims and multiply them into many -Adam and Eve style. Then sit back and admire the family tree with all its stories of woe and wonderment.
From one day to the next The Sims 2 games will vary hugely. Bringing heartache (kids being taken away by social services) and joy (seeing the first snowfall in The Sims 2 Seasons), every day is full of stories made by you and owned by you.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: