The Sims

Why I will always love The Sims 2.

First of, pardon me if I type in awkward English as it isn't my native language. This is a sort of love letter to The Sims 2 and why I always come back to it after years of playing.

TLDR; Each and every social feature The Sims 2 has supports and weaves beautifully with one another and will always ensure you end up with completely different and unique sims. You don't make the sims do something to squeeze for a story, you make a story based on their wants and fears, memories, social interactions and reactions to other sims, objects, and the world around them.

Personality Points System: There's so much depth that it is easier to just read The Sims 2 Wiki and be impressed. The way your sims interact with others, the rate of their skill gain, the speed in which their needs decay, and the way they interact with objects around them is based on how much and how little you put in each trait. You can have a sim that can't handle a normal conversation (2 points in Outgoing) and can only communicate in a joking manner (8 points in Playfulness). Shy sims dance awkward whereas Outgoing sims dance with confidence. Outgoing sims mixed with Grouchy flirt like playboys. Outgoing sims mixed with Nice are gentlemanly when they flirt. Outgoing sims always wants to start conversations but Shy sims will do their best to avoid social interaction until the one pursuing the interaction gives up.

Interests System: There's a total of 18 different interests your sims can have and they are randomized and have varying degrees. It is impossible to max out all the interests. You can affect your interests by reading magazines or through the "Share Interest" social interaction. The icons that pop up on the speech bubbles when you talk to another sim are affected by the interests your sims have. If your sim had 2 points in Fashion and the sim she is conversing with has 9 points in Fashion, they are going to conflict and lose relationship points.

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Aspiration System: The aspirations in The Sims 2 is more than what designates a sim's ultimate life goal, it also ties in with what they value doing the most in life and dictates what kinds of sims they want to share their lives with, effectively melding nicely with the memories and relationships/attraction system. Wants and Fears are also governed by aspiration. Fulfilling your "Wants" out of life contributes to your lifetime happiness and if you neglect them for too long (lifetime happiness bar at full red), your sim becomes depressed and loses the will to function, summoning the shrink to give a bit of happiness just enough to set them back to the right track.

Wants and Fears System: People either ignore this feature altogether or base their whole game around it. Your sim's wants and fears are based on their interests, hobbies, aspiration, skills, needs, relationships, and the objects around them. JM Pescado's Greater LTW Variety and Sanity mod further improves this. It is a great feature for storytelling because it gives life, soul, and sentience to your sims. Your Romance aspiration sim is cheating on his girlfriend and has the fear of getting caught cheating. Your sim has high interest at Work and rolls for a want to get promoted. Your sim that has interest in Arts and Crafts will roll a want to get a Flower Arranging Machine. This is basically your sim wanting to do something that fulfills their life and makes them happy and also what they want to avoid happening.

Memories System: It provides another storytelling aspect to the game and affects the speech bubble when your sim has a conversation with another sim about a certain memory. Each memory can be positive and negative depending on a sim's aspiration. If the memory is about another sim, it will depend on how high or low their relationship is. A divorce is a positive memory if the sim has a low relationship score with their spouse. Getting engaged is a negative memory if the sim has the Romance aspiration because they hate being in a committed relationship. Being left at the altar causes family members to be furious with the one who rejected the marriage.

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Relationship/Chemistry/Turn-Ons & Turn-Offs System: No two sims are always in the same page when it comes to romantic relationships. You can basically have a one-sided romance. Chemistry is based on a sim's appearance, skills, aspiration, life-form, and personality. Having a low chemistry with another sim makes it harder to pursue them romantically as they might have conflicting personalities or values(aspirations).

Hobby System: There are 10 different hobbies available for your sim and based on your sim's personality and interests, they are going to have one favorite hobby that they will gain faster enthusiasm in. An example of this is if a sim is Neat and Lazy and has strong interest in Food, their favorite hobby is going to be in Cuisine. Sims with high enthusiasm in a certain hobby also get a special idle animation and social interaction that shows this off. A sim with high enthusiasm in Music and Dance will hum, whistle or clap autonomously.

Reaching the final level of a hobby causes your sim to "Be in the Zone". Your sim will gain skill points at an accelerated rate, they will finish crafting faster upon using an object that correlates with the hobby that puts them in the zone, and their needs will decrease slower. If your sim has maxed out the Music and Dance hobby, playing musical instruments makes them change into a formal outfit and have an invisible audience clap as well as have a spotlight special effect.

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Reputation System: Doing good and friendly social interactions on community lots makes your sim have a good reputation, giving them social benefits as well as providing a boost in their career. Other sims are friendlier towards a sim with a good reputation. Having a bad reputation is the total opposite.

I just love The Sims 2 and had nothing to do while getting my computer repaired, hence all this gushing.

P.S. There is currently a WIP open beta mod that makes The Sims 2 have Story Progression by Lazy Duchess. I feel like not many people are hyping it enough and I'd like to bring awareness. Modders are awesome and do a terrific job of breathing new life to an old game.


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