The Sims 2: Nightlife
The Sims is without question the biggest-selling computer game series of all time. If you’re unfamiliar, what it does is allow you to take control of individuals within a community and try to help them get more out of their lives. From fulfilling dreams to getting a job, buying a house to starting a family – the power offered to you is essentially absolute.
Half the appeal of The Sims lies in the expansion packs that appear at semi-regular intervals. Following on from The Sims 2: University comes The Sims 2: Nightlife, adding a new downtown area to whichever community you’ve chosen to develop.
To get to the downtown area, you’ll need to buy your Sims a car. This can be anything from a clapped-out banger to a top-end sports car depending upon the money available to your Sims. Your Sims now have the ability to maintain a personal inventory; ideal if you wish to move your Sims from one residence to another in a van and to transfer their personal possessions. Once you get your Sims downtown, they’ll be spoilt for choice. There are casinos, restaurants, clubs, and much more. Give your Sims the new ‘Pleasure Seeker’ life aspiration and they’ll look for all the enjoyable things in life, including great dates, partying, and the easy life.
A number of new Sims characters are available for interaction, including a waiter and a vampire. If you track down the head vampire you’ll give your own Sim the vampire attributes – pale complexion, red eyes and pointy teeth – and they’ll always be happy all night. If you’ve yet to buy them a coffin, though, in the morning they’ll find themselves crumbling into a pile of dust.
What we found disappointing about Nightlife was the lack of a challenge. When your Sims get set up on a date a mini-game appears and you’ll essentially have to guide your Sims through the perfect date. However, it’s really not that difficult to give your Sims the perfect date, then watch them get happily ensconced within a perfect, trouble-free relationship.
The Sims 2: Nightlife has the same tongue-in-cheek humour we’ve come to expect from the series. While it has a number of new features that we like a lot (cars, personal possessions and vampires) these are the only attributes of the game that stood out. This is one best suited to devotees of The Sims series: if you’ve yet to fully work through the original,finish that before buying the expansions.