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Be In Control (1)
Some fans of the Sims mainly use the build and buy mode to design houses. But most fans probably also like to be in control of their Sims. And with the Sims 2, that will be a better experience than ever. Just like with the options for building, buying and creating Sims, the live mode has many additions and improvements.

The well-known gem... It's real!
Probably the biggest addition is the lifetime of the Sims. Sims will finally grow old and die, but their spirits will live on in their children, who eventually also grow up and die again. It's a continuous circle that will never end - unless you decide to make it end. You can simply kill the family by burning them, drowning them, locking them up and all that, like in The Sims 1. You can also make sure your Sims don't get any babies, so eventually the family will be gone for good. In fact, you won't really have to take care of the kids, as killing their parents is enough to let the social worker take their children away. But killing all your Sims also kills the gameplay, as you won't have anything to do. Unless of course, you let new Sims see the daylight. In this article I will be focusing on Sims that are alive, as dead Sims won't be as interesting. There just isn't much to control about a gravestone or urn (just like in TS1), except moving it around.

One of the major needs to keep your Sims alive is food. But as I noticed while playing the game, Sims can now make several different meals. No longer are they stuck with the same few things of food they'll eat all the time, but Sims can make a variety of meals. If it depends on the cooking skill which meals can be prepared by a Sim - I don't know. Also, family will be important to a Sim. You'll see toddlers crawling after their parents all the time, following them wherever they go. Children will be happy when geezer Grandpa enters the room.

As you know, Sims do grow up now. However, it won't go too smoothly, but there is a transition moment. During that moment, you'll see a lot of sparkles, and quite suddenly your Sim has grown older. Sims will be able to do other things as they grow up. A toddler won't be able to cook, but he will be able to play with the dollhouse. It is still undefined how long each stage takes at the moment, but it's quite definite that a Sim will spend most of their time in SimCity as teen or adult. A Sim won't be a baby for about 2-3 days, which is about as long as the pregnancy of a Sim takes. For those who don't like the idea of Sims growing up and dying, there will be the possibility to stop time and make the world be as in The Sims 1.
Do you remember your Sims?
Another big addition are life's big moments. Each Sim has their own, like the first kiss, marriage, getting a baby and more. All these moments will be stored in the Sims' memories. As God you can look in their minds with one click, so you get an easy overview of your Sims' memories. But besides just remembering things, some memories will be 'used' in the game as well. For instance if a Sim got a child, and she tells others, they will remember that. And as you know, Sims like to gossip, and the news will spread. At some point, if you're in a community area for instance, you'll see that Sims will come to the new mother, and congratulate her.

Just like memories, the personality of a Sim plays a big role. It's the personality that will get two Sims attracted to each other. If you've seen the first kiss movie, where the twins battle for the first kiss of the boy next door (also available at TheSims2.com), you'll see that two shy Sims are more likely to be attracted to each other than an outgoing and a shy Sim. The personality will also define if a Sim likes the house they live in or not. A sloppy Sim won't like living in a neat house, but he won't mind any mess. Getting two totally different Sims living together in one house should create a nice effect.

Personalities will also change a bit as time passes. Every time a Sims grows to the next stage, a calculation will be made to see how the personality of your Sim has changed. If they had a neat personality, and you made them make a lot of mess, then you'll notice that when your Sims grows up their neat trait won't be as filled as before anymore.
Cough Cough
Besides being able to kill your Sims in the traditional ways, Sims can now also die of sickness. Although there are no specific diseases, you will have to give your Sims some time off when they're ill. This time however, the guinea pig has nothing to do with it, and Sims can get sick at any time. If you don't take good care, they might eventually die. And if you like violent video games, then The Sims 2 perhaps isn't made for you: Sims will not be able to kill each other.

There's a lot more to discuss about the Sims 2 gameplay. Too much to cover on just one page, hence a second part will follow later. What's all going to be in that? You'll see. Soon.
Written at 22:50 on Tuesday 18 November 2003 by ChEeTaH.

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