The Sims 2: New neighborhoods and new features!

donderdag, juli 15, 2004 - 23:30

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The Sims 2

New neighborhoods and new features!

by Steve Butts

EA's Hot Summer Night afforded us another chance to check in with The Sims 2. Due out September 17, the game is looking better and better every time we see it and this particular viewing was no exception. Better still, we found out a few things that the developers weren't ready to reveal at E3 this year.

To begin with, the game will ship with three neighborhoods. The first neighborhood, Pleasantview, is fairly traditional and even includes some of the existing characters from the first game. But since it's now 25 years later, expect some changes. Mortimer Goth, now in his 50's, is very wealthy. Dana, who has the wealth aspiration, is looking to marry rich. These types of pre-loaded contexts are perfect for players who are more intimidated by the blank slate approach.

The second neighborhood is Veronaville and it features a pair of teenage lovers, one from the Capp family, one from the Montys. Can you guess where this one is headed?

Strangeland, the third neighborhood, sounds like the most interesting of all. Set in a sort of desert environment, it comes with a UFO crash site and some mysterious standing stones. The houses here are fairly unique as well with lots of interesting and unusual architecture.

Of course, you can make your own neighborhoods if you like and even move families from one neighborhood to another. That's a fairly drastic move though; the family members maintain their own internal relationships but sever all ties with people from the previous neighborhood.

We also had a chance to see the movie-maker in action again. This time around, we followed the Grunts family's suspicions of their next door neighbors, the Smiths. General Grunt is particularly worried about who, in addition to having the unlikely name of Pollination Technician 9, also has green skin and large black eyes. General Grunt spends his nights watching the skies through his telescope and his days forcing his kids to run through a large obstacle course. One son, Tank, really likes doing this; the other, Buzz, can't seem to stand it at all.

The Smith's son, Johnny, doesn't really get along with Tank. He'd rather spend his time flirting with Ophelia. Since Johnny's aspiration is for popularity, he's into winning games, flirting with girls, and irritating Tank. Since Johnny's body skill is pretty high, Tank needs to work out a bit before it comes to a fight.

As Johnny succeeds in his aspiration (the motivating force behind the Sims' actions) he gains points to spend on reward objects. Johnny might buy some cool shades that help him make friends easier or he might purchase a money tree that he can harvest for some quick cash. He can also gain access to a love tub so he and Ophelia can really start to get to know each other.

If Johnny is really good at his aspiration track, he can reach a new platinum status. This is the game's equivalent of being ecstatically satisfied with life, so much so that normal problems don't tend to worry you too much. Now, I'm not entirely sure what this is supposed to feel like in real life, but I'm sure it must beat the hell out of how I usually feel. Sims in this platinum mindset won't have as much trouble managing the everyday aspects of their lives.

We'll be back tomorrow with plenty of game footage and an interview with the game's executive producer Lucy Bradshaw.




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