What's this about?
When Maxis annouced they were releasing The Sims De Luxe Edition
(TSDLE) which followed only a year behind The Sims: Collectors Edition
(TSCE), a lot of the people in the community considered this to be a rip-off and a way for Maxis to milk some more money from the community. I was one of those
sceptics. After all, there were only a couple of preview pictures that we’d all seen before and a few pictures of the skins creator it contained. I do not profess to be able to tell you whether it is or not, although I will give my judgement at the end.
How did it install?
There are two disks, one that installs after the other. If you have an existing installation of “The Sims”, you don’t need to uninstall it. Unlike TSCE, it does not install both the original game and the expansion separately but as a seamless installation, which is what TSCE should have been.
Loading time appears to be a bit shorter and unless you are up to the “Unleashed” expansion, you will now need to run the game from the first disk from the set.
So what is in it?
TSDLE contains the original game, the first expansion pack (“Living Large / Livin’ It Up”), some additional content not previously seen and an editor called “The Sims Creator”. It says it is aimed at the new player but is also says there is enough in it for experienced players.
What is the additional content?
There are two themes (Roman & Sci-Fi) that are covered with skins, walls, floors & objects (“buy” & “build” mode). There are also a lot of new outfits including kimonos, togas, football strips and skins that are suitable for teens instead of having to dress up in clothes that only seem to be suitable for their parents or grandparents.
You can even dress in a kilt or be Napoleon.
How does it play?
You have the multiple neighborhoods that were made available from the first expansion. Also, some of the vacant possessions in the opening neighborhood have had some minor changes.
Objects are now subcategorised to help in finding that bed you are looking for among all of the seating objects. Also, the display is somewhat clearer and everything is automatically anti-aliased. You can now have a flat roof, although my dream of gable-ends has not come true yet.
It also includes a lot of the Simday objects that were after the release of LL/LIU to save you some time in visiting the official site and downloading them.
Also, the wardrobe has been improved to the type that first made its appearance in “Hot Date”.
What about the well-hyped Sims Creator?
For those people who are into designing their own skins quickly, this is a very useful tool. However, be warned. The more skins that you have installed, the slower it takes to load up. With this tool, you can create your own bodies from an existing template and if you have photos, you can create your own heads if you have a front facial photograph.
Also, although there are plenty of textures, the different clothing options available are limited. As of the time of writing, I have not found any tutorials on how to add any. I suppose I had better create my own.
Despite its limitations, I like it. However, despite its size, I think this could have instead been a download on the official site instead of coming as an extra on something that should not appeal to the existing gamer.
Should I buy it if I have “The Sims” but not EP1?
Yes. This is well worth it, even assuming you already have “The Sims”. If you have neither and your funds permit, what are you waiting for? Buy it.
Should I buy it if I already have the first expansion?
Unless you are really keen on creating your own skins with the minimum of fuss or are a collector of everything that comes from Maxis, don’t bother. Apart from The Sims Creator, there is nothing really new in it and the new objects and skins are nothing really special.
So what is your conclusion, Andy?
I originally owned TS and all of the EPs. I bought TSDLE in order to review it. It's good but it is just replicating what I already have and can already do.
Sorry, Maxis, but personally I feel that TSDLE is a rip-off.
Written at 00:30 on Tuesday 7 January 2003 by