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The Sims 2 officially announced

The Sims

That’s right, not an add-on, a proper sequel. We couldn’t quite believe it, but it’s absolutely true. With all the E3 rumours flying around, we welcomed the official announcement today on EA’s website.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., May 5, 2003 – Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS) today announced that The Sims™ 2, the next generation of the #1 PC game of all time, is in development at the company’s Walnut Creek-based Maxis™ studio. For the first time, players control their Sims over an entire lifetime. Every choice that is made has a relevant and dramatic effect on the life of a Sim. More life-like Sims, all-new gameplay, and the ground-breaking addition of genetics, with the DNA of Sims passed down through generations gives players a more vivid, realistic, and in-depth Sims experience. All of this takes place in a new amazingly life-like 3-D world. The Sims 2 will be unveiled to industry insiders on May 13th at the Electronic Entertainment Exposition in Los Angeles and is scheduled to ship in early 2004.

“The Sims, themselves, always have been the most interesting part of the game experience for me. Giving them DNA makes them even more life-like and increases the personal connection between players and their Sims,” said Will Wright, Chief Game Designer at EA’s Maxis Studio, “The strategy of playing Sims across a lifetime and experiencing their emergent traits and behaviors will give players a deeper and more realistic experience.”

Guiding your Sims through “Life’s Big Moments” takes on new importance, as players now get a “Life Score” to measure how well they are playing each individual Sim. The decisions that players make throughout the lifetime of their Sims now have an impact on their long-term success or failure. A choice made as a toddler has a direct effect on the teen and adult Sim they become. Will players be able to successfully lead their Sims through such important events as a first step, first crush, or marriage proposal, all while the clock is ticking?

The Sims in The Sims 2 are more aware and responsive to both other Sims and their surroundings. Sims truly come to life expressing moods and feelings through more realistic body animations and for the first time facial animations. They form complex relationships and are able to distinguish between family and friends, platonic friendships and romantic love. Sims in The Sims 2 now have DNA. Passing along physical characteristics and traits to their offspring, Sims both resemble and behave like their ancestors. As in real life, the appearance of the Sims now changes over time. In addition to getting older, a Sim that spends too much time on the couch will develop a paunch and a Sim that works out will enjoy rock solid abs.

An entirely new 3-D engine makes the world of The Sims 2 more life-like and dynamic. The Sims 2 will also introduce an all-new “Create-A-Sim” feature. This allows you to customize the facial features of your Sim with a few simple clicks, to a level of detail never realized before. In The Sims 2, players are now able to build dwellings over two stories and have the ability to coordinate and customize the homes of their Sims to a new degree of design with all-new furniture, lighting and objects.

Which all sounds very exciting. No more jokes about the the number of expansion packs from us (well, maybe not as many). We reckon it’ll be a Spring 2004 release on PC and next-gen consoles. and we’ll be there at E3 for the first screens if they appear.

The author of this fine article

is the Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in November 2000. Get in touch on Twitter @PhilipMorton.

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