Being the sequel to the PC's best-selling game of all time, Sims 2 had a lot to live up to. Not being the ones to disappoint, EA has rekindled the magic of the predecessor and produced a game that will keep the millions of fans glued to their PC screens, or in this case, consoles.

Sims 2 sees you take control of little people (Sims), controlling every aspect of their lives. You must feed them, wash them, boost their morale via activities and generally help them to become successful. The challenge comes in the form of balancing out their basic needs. Too much television may have a detrimental effect on your Sims hygiene which in turn may cause him to lose friends (An important lesson for us all). Similarly, one must learn new skills if they hope to get that promotion at work and keep moral high if they aim to keep their Sim in a job.

Better jobs will lead to more money which in turn can be spent on luxuries (new beds, appliances, electronics and of course… a Jacuzzi!). These in turn will help to improve your Sim's quality of life.

Appearance wise, your Sim can take almost whatever look you fancy. The superb 'Create a Sim' mode gives you access to over 10,000 fashion styles and facial features can be edited in great detail. The Sim's personalities may also be edited. Will you make your Sim friendly so it can interact easier and possibly find a partner sooner, or active so improving your fitness is a pleasure rather than a chore?

Graphically, Sims 2 is very sleek. Character appearances are presented handsomely and their movements are recreated smoothly. Facial expressions of your Sims are easily recognisable when interacting in conversations and as an added bonus; the menus have a sexy Windows XP look to them. The silky aesthetics of the game have come at a cost though, with extremely long loading times plaguing ones enjoyment.

Sims 2 also comes with an improved multi-player mode in which you and a friend can work co-operatively or against each other. Game-play wise, it is very similar to the single player mode as you aim to complete tasks and improve your Sims life. Multi-player mode though, despite being a welcome addition when your Sister is bugging you for a go, is never as engaging as the single player mode.

Sims 2 is unlikely to disappoint. It offers everything that made its predecessor so special with a huge variety of things to do. The game though may lack further imagination for those who began to find the previous versions repetitive. However, for those new to the Sims or the millions of fans who never got enough of it, Sims 2 will serve to ruin your social life for many more months to come.

Robert Wyse Jackson

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