| Who hasn't played Simcity yet? Who doesn't know Will Wright? Everyone knows Will Wright, the creator of the wildly popular Simcity series (And if you don't know Will Wright, I will send you a copy of the first Simcity edition... on one Floppydisk!) and how we are able to build our own private cities. We have already built houses, roads, schools, hospitals, and even parks, for those people we never actually saw and the only life sign we ever had from them was the traffic and the Roseball Stadium... Now the goal is different. Let's take control of these people's life! Let's do everything we wish to do about our life and were to afraid to ask! Let's play The Sims! |
This game is totally different from anything we have ever seen in a computer game. We can control people's lives... virtual people anyway, but the idea is the same and it's very well applied in the game. If I told you that this game is based on real life, from getting up to going to work, to eating, taking baths, sleeping or even that certain thing that guarantees the growing of our species... What would you say? "Ah, well that seems neat." Neat? Not exciting, boring you might mean... You may think that before playing this game, but afterwards, you'll find yourself, each time you turn the computer on, clicking on the The Sims icon and controlling, once more, a Sims life. Why it is so attractive and fun controlling lives? That can be explained with, perhaps, the fact that we never really have control over our own lives, and probably never will.
What stands out in this game is the human side of it... I will explain: humans aren't perfect, that's why we always say "We are only human!", and the game explores that fact: relationships between people, having a family, getting up early to go to work, the kind of stuff all of us do every single day. At a certain time within the game, playing it becomes a real routine... just like ordinary life, And just like in the real world the only thing you can do to break that routine is those little small things that makes you and the ones you love happy, and that's the reason for living.
The secret to keep your Sim happy all the time (somehow a little difficult to do), is to break that routine (real and virtual) by putting some salt in your Sim's living. This game is also a way to let out your wishes and intimate thoughts, because you can transfer it to the Sim you created and now control, everything you wanted your life to be, the dreams you had about how your future life would be. This game, let's you control the Sim's life and failings and at the same time, gives wings to your own dreams.
After seeing the really cool intro, the first thing you must do is go through the Tutorial, where you will familiarize yourself with the games' controls and basics, how to educate your Sim correctly (or else instead of the bathroom he will use your living room floor to satisfy his needs!) and how to keep him happy. Just with this you get a really cool impression of the game. When the Tutorial is done, the next thing to do is creating a family and placing it in a house. You may have up to eight people living in the same house and you can choose the characters, choose what they look like and dress them. Your family is done; it can be a couple with two kids, a couple, a guy, a girl, two girls(?!), two guys(?!?!) well, whatever. Choose a name: let's call it the Addams family :), and let's rock!
After creating your characters, buying a house and placing your family there, you'll have to decorate the house (when you do this you're in the Buy Mode). From furniture to a VR (Virtual Reality) set, from a trash bucket to the most powerful PC, you can choose just about anything to your house. Then you switch to Live Mode and the game truly begins: control your Sim so that he has a prosperous life, a nice job, wife and kids, or... do exactly the opposite!, become a thief and terrorize the entire neighborhood! Make your choice and enjoy!
Talking about the game interface, Will Wright managed to make ourselves at home. The game has a pretty friendly interface, easy going and simple, and the even the font is Comic Sans! .The only place you may need a little more time to familiarize with is in Build Mode, where you can build your house or expand the one you have, but it's not much of a problem. You have nice sound effects and good graphics and animations, running with no problem in a Pentium II MMX at 266MHz with a S3 Savage3D 8MB. You have also curious sound effects when your Sims are kissing, or when they are having sex (!!).
Just a note: we're sad because when the Sims go to bed and go for the real thing, all we see is a peculiar pixel grid that covers the intimate moment (but, we have the sound effect, as mentioned); the same happens when they take a bath or go to the ladder. But, if you notice, and rotate the camera, there is a moment where you are able to see the Lady Sim's breasts when she's finishing the bath, cool... :)
If you have already read the previews of Black&White, you'll find some similarities with The Sims. If Peter Molyneux wanted us to reflect our personality in his game using those huge, imagined and fantastic creatures, by educating them, feeding them, etc, Will Wright managed to do that same thing using ordinary life as background. You may want to check our B&W preview to understand exactly what we mean. There is no doubt about something: B&W and The Sims are two of the most innovative titles the Game Industry as ever developed.One thing is certain: the day that will bring us the game that will simulate real life in all her domains is still to come... that's for sure.
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