E3 2002The Sims impressions

Electronic Arts is showing a playable version of The Sims for the PS2 in Los Angeles.

Electronic Arts is showing a playable PlayStation 2 version of the PC smash hit The Sims at E3. While the PC version of the game utilized a point-and-click interface that left you with a more hands-off feel, the PlayStation 2 version goes for a closer, more active view of the world. The game still uses a point-and-click-like control scheme, but it's been adapted to the PS2 controller to deliver an easier way to play to game.

In addition to The Sims' standard open-ended style of life-simulation gameplay, the PlayStation 2 version has level-based challenges. In the level-driven mode, you'll start out in a house with next to nothing. As you meet the challenges of a level, you'll rise in power and influence in your neighborhood, eventually earning bigger and better homes. Completing these tasks also unlocks new objects and items for use in your sims' home. The object set contains items used throughout the PC version of The Sims and its many expansion packs, but there are also some new items that are exclusive to the PS2 version.

Rather than go the expansion pack route, this version of The Sims instead gives you a higher level of control over how all your items and characters look. You can change the upholstery on your furniture, change the piping on a metal chair from chrome to gold, and outfit your sims in tons of different articles of clothing. The EA representative on hand said that the number of different clothing combinations was up around half a million.

The Sims will also have a two-player split-screen mode. In this mode, you can challenge your friends using sims saved to a memory card. The game gives you both certain goals to reach, and the object is to reach your goals faster than your opponent.

The PlayStation 2 version of The Sims is being developed by a team at Edge of Reality, and it is scheduled to ship this fall.

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Jeff

Jeff Gerstmann

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.
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