The Sims 2, commonly referred to as TS2, is the sequel to The Sims. Released in September 2004, it heralded sweeping changes from the original: most notably, the isometric view of the original had given way to full 3D. Also, Sims now have life stages (Baby, Toddler, Child, Teen, Adult and Elder) which had them age from birth to death, and their genetics would be passed on to their children. Unlike the original Sims, where the player could spend forever raising their skills, the aging system in The Sims 2 imposes a time limit on this before your Sims die.
The main aim of the game is to lead a Sim from the start of life to death. Sims will need to build up skills and relationships with other Sims, so that they can be successful in their career. A player will also need to make sure a Sim is happy and well by fulfilling wants (including lifetime wants, avoiding fears, and fulfilling motives).
The Sims 2 shipped with 3 premade neighborhoods. Pleasantview is a continuation of the original Sims storyline 25 years later. The new neighborhoods are Strangetown, a desert landscape with paranormal occurrences, and Veronaville, which is based on several plays by William Shakespeare.
Although The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories are now superseded by The Sims 3 and The Sims Medieval, EA still supports the game on Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP2 and Windows 7. As of 2011, The Sims 2 and The Sims Stories are priced at $19.99.
The Sims 2 adds several new gameplay options that help expand the creation of Sims and the building of a neighborhood! These include:
- More Create-A-Sim options
- The Sims 2 Body Shop
- Wants & Fears
- Career Rewards
- Aspiration Rewards
- New social interactions
- New items
- Movie Maker/Game Recorder
Players can take a tutorial that is a residential lot separate from gameplay. There are also in-game tutorials present in each of the pre-made lots to help players learn certain aspects of gameplay. This will help players become pros at this game faster, and give them a chance to know what to do when a certain problem or event comes up. However, families in the family bin tend not to have any teaching objective.
- Goth: Marriage/Left at the altar/Aspiration Failure/Ghosts
- Dreamer: Painting Options/Paying Bills
- Caliente: Burglar/Engagement/Moving In/Moving Out/Affairs
- Lothario: Affairs/Breaking up/Complications
- Pleasant: Affairs/Enemies/Breaking up
- Broke: Raising Toddlers/Aspiration Failure/Keeping up with school/Normal Pregnancy
- Oldie: N/A
- Burb: N/A
- Smith: Birthday/Moving Out
- Grunt: Teen Jobs
- Curious: Alien Abduction/Alien Pregnancy/Birth
- Beaker: Getting Promoted/Cockroach/Sickness
- Specter: Retirement/Death/Move out
- Singles: Households
- Loner: N/A
- Capp: Going Steady/First Kiss
- Monty: Inviting Friends Over
- Summerdream: Party/First Kiss/Marriage
Personalities are not only based on the astrological sign of the Sim but also on the aspiration of the Sim. Aspirations along with the astrological sign of the Sim creates a variety of wants and fears.
The neighborhood screen is actually a save slot in which you can access your saved family. There are different kinds of lot for your Sims to visit:
- Residential lot: Sims can only live in this kind of lot.
- Community lot: Sims can visit these lots to hang out or purchase items.
Sims 2 :University
- Dormitory: Young adults who are attending university will live on these lots, unless they can afford to rent one of the campus houses. Access to Build mode is limited unless a cheat is used. Access to Buy Mode is also limited unless the dorm is being played.
- Campus house: Houses on campus that Sims can rent. As with houses in the main neighborhood, the player has full access to Buy and Build modes.
- Greek house: A Sim can use the phone and turn a campus house into a Greek house. Once a Greek house is established, Sims cannot move into it unless they are members of the Greek house.
- Secret society lot: Only Sims who have membership can visit this lot. Secret society lots are located in premade Universities, but hidden. They contain lots of special stuff.
Sims 2 Bon Voyage
- Hotel lot: A lot that a Sim can stay on during a vacation stay. These lots can also be placed in the main neighborhood.
- Vacation home: A house that a Sim owns in a vacation neighborhood that they can visit during vacations.
- Secret vacation lot: Each premade Vacation Destination has a secret lot where special NPC lives. Each of them has different purpose.
Sims 2 Freetime
- Secret hobby lot: Secret lots that are hidden in the hobby sub neighborhood. The only way a Sim can visit these lots is to gain membership to the hobby lot or go with a Sim that does have membership.
Sims 2 Apartment Life
- Apartment lot: These are apartment lots than can hold up to 4 Sim families. Vacant apartment slots will be occupied by Social Group Townies.
- Secret witch lot: Palace of Neverending Light and Fortress of Eternal Darkness are the only secret witch lots, which are exclusively witch-only (though witches can invite other Sims to visit there).
The Sims 2 shipped with 3 premade neighborhoods. Seasons, Freetime, and Apartment Life are expansion packs that provide new neighborhoods. Sub-neighborhoods are provided in University, Nightlife, Open for Business, and Bon Voyage. Each neighborhood and sub-neighborhood comes with new premade Sims, though the ones in Downtown are all ghosts.
- A lot has happened in 25 years, but some new faces in town are stirring up rivalries and creating tension for the once happy families. Can anything be done to get the neighborhood feeling good again?
- Truth-seekers move to Strangetown hoping to discover the secrets the town holds. Do aliens live among us? Do missing Sims mysteriously appear here? In this town nothing is what it seems.
- The Capps and Montys have been feuding for years, but that hasn't stopped the younger generation from crossing boundaries and falling in love. Will their actions lead to ruin or bring the families together?
- Riverblossoms Hills
- Many Sims have relocated to the quiet, comfortable countryside, in the hopes that life and family can firmly plant their roots in the middle of nowhere. Fresh crops aren’t the only thing growing in the farming community of Riverblossom Hills – love is in the air and many a relationship is on the verge of blossoming. Unfortunately, problems are bound to sprout in a town this small. Things are looking up, but hearts can always turn cold with the onset of winter.
- Desiderata Valley
- Serenely nestled in the hills, Desiderata Valley is a place of dreams, hopes and aspirations. Many have found the quiet hills a wonderful place to relax and pursue their favorite pastimes. Who knows what destiny has in store for the Sims of Desiderata Valley?
- Belladonna Cove
- From far and wide, Sims have been drawn to beautiful Belladonna Cove! Some are looking for a quiet place to settle down, others to tango with the hustle and bustle of the more exciting districts and a distinct few who have been drawn by rumors of mystical energies. Will they all be able to get along?
- Cassandra is ready to start a family of her own, but can she tame the town Cassanova? And can Mortimer bounce back after the disappearance of his wife Bella?
- John, Jennifer and young Lucy have decided to trade the fast-paced city life for some fresh air, and hope to make a nice home here in Pleasantview.
- On the surface, Daniel and Mary-Sue Pleasant seem to have the perfect life, but is their love a flimsy façade? And can Angela and Lilith make the right choices when it comes to love?
The main aim of the game is to lead a Sim from the start of life to death. A Sim will be born when a female Sim and a male Sim try for a baby. The mother will spend 3 days pregnant before giving birth to a baby (though cheats can be used to speed up pregnancy). Players can name the new Sim. The baby will change into a toddler in 3 days, and 4 more days for the toddler to change into a child. After 8 days, the child morphs into a teenager, and will live 15 days before changing into an adult. After 29 days, the Sim will become an elder and will die, the length of the final stage depending on the aspiration bar when they age.
Babies, toddlers, children, teens, and adults can be advanced to their next life stage at any time during the 24 Sim hours before they will grow up automatically. For babies, this requires using the birthday cake. Toddlers, children, teens, and adults can use the "Grow Up" self-interaction. If the University expansion pack is installed, teens have the option to go to college, where they will be young adults for approximately 24 days.
Players will need to build up talent badgesTemplate:VgversionTemplate:VgversionTemplate:Vgversion, skills and relationship with other people, so that he can be successful in their career. A player will also need to make sure a Sim is happy and well by fulfilling wants (including lifetime wants, avoiding fears, and fulfilling motives).
Types of Sims
There are 3 kind of Sims in the game:
- Household Members: Sims directly controlled by the user. More can be added by:
- Townies: These Sims may visit homes, be found on community lots, and be customers of businesses. Playable Sims can always marry them or ask them to move in. These Sims do not age unless they are made part of a household, but can die.
- Service Sims: These are the Sims who show up when Sims call a service. They occasionally appear on community lots or as customers in businesses. Like Townies, they can move in with or marry household members. (Maid, Repairman, etc.)
- Unplayable Characters: These Sims have special functions and can never be controlled by the user without hacks or cheats. Also referred to as NPCs.
Several new types of Sims are introduced in order to enhance gameplay for the user. The new Sims that are introduced give the player more gameplay options and assists with the creation of player storylines.
- Age Groups
- Pregnancy, toddlers, teens and elders are new stages of life. Young adult is a unique age added with the University expansion. Teen Sims will become young adults once they are moved to a University, and will be adults once they leave campus, regardless of the reason.
- During Pregnancy, the belly does not expand gradually. Instead, every day, it "pops" to a bigger size.
- Sims that have unusual characteristics. These Sims include:
- Aliens (Base Game)
- Zombies (University, FreeTime and Apartment Life)
- Vampires (Nightlife)
- Servo (Open for Business)
- Werewolf (Pets)
- PlantSim (Seasons)
- Bigfoot (Bon Voyage)
- Witches (Apartment Life)
There are several activities for Sims to engage in that will help them fulfill their wants and needs. There are also objects and interactions in the game to assist Sims with performing these activities.
There are several new social interactions introduced in The Sims 2. These new social interactions can create memories and can be related to certain age groups. Social interactions can come up in the Wants and Fears panel and can be dependent on the Sim's personality and aspiration. Sims with certain personalities may not want to complete certain social interactions.
Influencing social interactions are introduced in the University expansion pack. A Sim is able to influence another Sim to complete a social interaction or a chore. Sims gain influence points by completing Wants and can lose influence points by completing Fears. The size of the influence bar depends on the number of friends that the Sim has. It also can grow in size with business perks from the Open for Business expansion pack.
The Nightlife expansion pack introduces Turn-Ons and Turn-Offs. Teenagers and older are able to choose their turn-ons and turn-offs. These determine the chemistry that one Sims has with another in the form of lightning bolts. Sims can have up to 3 lightning bolts with another Sim. The higher the chemistry is that a Sim has with another Sim, the greater the chance for social interactions to be accepted. New turn-ons and turn-offs are introduced with the Bon Voyage expansion pack.
Fury is introduced in the Nightlife expansion pack and occurs when one Sim gets angry at another. During this time relationships with the Sim who is furious are harder to build. Also, the Sim who is furious may pick a fight or vandalize the home lot of the Sim they are furious with.
Reputation is introduced in the Apartment Life expansion pack. A Sim gains reputation by interacting with other Sims on community lots. Sims with higher reputations are more likely to gain perks such as free objects and job promotions.
There are several careers that come with the game that require skills and a certain number of friends in order for promotion. Success in these careers unlocks career rewards and higher salaries plus bonuses. Sims also will receive chance cards. Correct answers to these chance cards will create rewards for Sims while incorrect answers could cause a Sim to lose its job. Nightlife and Apartment Life allow Sims to gain promotions through social interactions with other Sims. For a complete list of careers see Career Tracks
There are several skills that Sims can build in order to fulfill their wants and needs. Some skills are hidden while some create talent badges. Skills are added in the FreeTime, Apartment Life, Open for Business, Seasons and University expansion packs.
- Basic Skills
- Toddler Skills
- Hidden Skills
- Tai ChiTemplate:Vgversion
- Life Skills
- Fire PreventionTemplate:Vgversion
- Anger ManagementTemplate:Vgversion
- Lifelong HappinessTemplate:Vgversion
- Couple CounselingTemplate:Vgversion
- Talent Badges
- Flower ArrangingTemplate:Vgversion
- Toy MakingTemplate:Vgversion
- Other Skills
Hobbies are introduced in The Sims 2 FreeTime. Sims can choose any hobby they want to pursue but they will have one hobby that they will be better at. Each hobby is associated with a certain skill and having high skill points in that skill can help the Sim reach hobby levels quicker. When a Sim reaches the highest hobby level, they can get "In the Zone." This allows Sims to complete the hobby without needs dropping quickly. The ten hobbies are:
- Arts and Crafts
- Film and Literature
- Music and Dance
There are several timed scenarios in the game that players must complete in order to fill wants and needs.
- Base Game
- Wedding Party
- House Party
- Family Reunion Party
- Golden Anniversary Party
- Greek House Membership
- Sports Party
- Toga Party
Eight expansion packs (EPs) were released. Expansion packs add new gameplay options as well as objects.
Ten stuff packs were released. Stuff packs add items to the game and usually don't add any new interactions. Holiday Party Pack and Mansion and Garden Stuff were the only two packs to add new interactions.