Review by Snoop54

Reviewed: 07/15/04

Definitely a great game from Maxis!

The first Maxis game that I personally have ever played was Simcity. If you’re not familiar, you had to build a city, and manage it well, so that I could prosper, and your main mission was to make it as best as possible without failing. In describing it, the game was both strategic and simulation-like. After making several games of this type, Maxis decided to make The Sims, which similarly to Simcity is about simulation, but this time you have to control humans, and their life, instead of a bustling city. Even though the general approach is somewhat similar, they’re two totally different games. While I adored Simcity, The Sims is rather awkward as a game, but not necessarily awful.

Graphics: 8

Considering that this game is practically the first real 3D game (Simcity and others were basically 2D, or semi 3D), the game’s graphics are pretty good. All the objects in the game are nicely detailed, and the Sims also look nicely structured. However, this game is not spectacular in visual terms, it’s nowhere near more intensive texture-like games, with more details, such as games which are out now (Splinter Cell, UT2004), but considering the time it was released, the graphics are better than average.

Sound: 7-9 (Depends)

The sound effects in the game are nothing too great, very basic and simple, so you can get the idea of what’s just happened. The talking voices of the Sims is also pretty much the same, I mean, they talk some sort of weird rubbish Simolean language, which is totally incomprehensible. It would have been nice if they had actually incorporated human voices when they talked, it would have added a lot to this area of the game, and made the game more interesting. Meanwhile, the other part of this category, the music, I have a totally different opinion. The music is very well made and orchestrated, I love the music that plays when you’re buying/building objects, because it’s very calm and relaxing. The normal music that plays in other situations is quite appropriate, and it never becomes too tiring or irritating.

Gameplay: 9

The potential of this game is amazing because the mere idea of making a game which simulates real life can have infinite possibilities. You can do quite a lot with this game, and considering the expansion packs you could probably do even more, from building your very own house, to getting jobs, learning how to do various skills, such as repairing, cooking and so forth. At first, you start with very little, but as time progresses, and if you manage your Sims in an appropriate manner, you should be able to expand your possessions and even your house. Another aspect of this game which is very amusing is the simple interaction between your Sims. You can have the members of your house interact within themselves, or even with other people who live in the same, or near, neighborhoods. The best part about this is that you can create lots of friendships, and even make some of them fall in love, or you can make sworn enemies, by doing awful things such as stealing their fiances, or trying to hug and kiss them when they don’t want you to. The job aspect is an important one, since it’s the major source of all your income. In order to get raises, so that you can consequentially gain and buy more and more, you have to learn certain skills and make friendships. These skills can range anywhere from Charisma, which you can get by talking in front of a mirror, to Cooking/Mechanics, from reading books. There are also many others. Some of these can also come in very handy, since you have to cook your own food, and if you have better cooking skills, you can cook quicker and eat better. Another very important feature so that you can progress through the game is trying to keep your creatures always as happy as possible. You can do this by looking after their attributes, and trying to keep them always high, for example, if they’re hungry you order them to cook and eat, if they have low bladder, you order them to go to the bathroom, and so on. If you fail to do most of these, your character(s) will eventually die.

Lasting Appeal/Replayability: N/A

Since you can’t really beat this game, because you’re managing the lives of people, you can go on and on forever, making more and more people, and creating lots of lively neighborhoods. Therefore, you can’t really start over, well, unless you reset the whole game and start from scratch. Basically, you might get bored with this game one day or another, but otherwise, it could last forever.

Overall: 8.5 --> 9

If I could give this game a grade with decimals, I would give it 8.5, simply because even though it’s great to play and very enjoyable, you will get tired of it at one point or another, and switch to another game. However, between Buy or Rent, although I don’t think you can rent PC games, I would definitely suggest Buying it, because it’ll be a worthy addition to all the games you have, and furthermore, it definitely is worth playing for a while, and maybe even returning to it, after you stop playing it for a bit of time.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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