The Sims 2: Apartment Life Review
By Monica Bair |
With eight expansion packs, Electronic Arts certainly hasn't left fans of its Sims 2 series without content. The latest, Apartment Life, comes out in the twilight of The Sims 2's lifespan, as The Sims 3 is getting ready for release in February 2009. It's not that people won't play The Sims 2 after the third title's release, but it's reasonable to assume a large portion of the Sims fanbase will migrate over the newer, shinier product.
It's also worth mentioning that after so many expansions featuring so much content, Apartment Life, regardless of how good it is, isn't going to win over any new fans; if you didn't like The Sims 2 before, this content isn't going change your opinion. That being said, Apartment Life is very much a worthy addition to the sprawling realm of The Sims 2, and one longtime fans will likely enjoy and have probably already purchased at this point.
As you may or may not have inferred from the expansion's title, this one features apartments. Your Sims can now inhabit multi-unit rental properties, with multiple families per structure, pay rent every Monday, find roommates, and mingle with others in the neighborhood. So as soon as you pick a complex to move into, you can wander around and knock on neighbors' doors, introduce yourself and start to build up social networks. A newly added reputation meter helps govern how well you're received by the community. Assuming you're not the type of player that enjoys sending Sims into furious fits, it should make things easier for you.
Witches, and cauldrons, now included.With this expansion your Sims sacrifice some of their privacy, as your landlord will poke his or her head into the place to make sure everything's in order, and pop up to remind you about rent payments. Since you're renting, don't expect to be able to redecorate every bit of a spot you move into. While you can't adjust every aspect of your borrowed residence, you can decorate and view ceiling tiles, paint the walls, and plant shrubs. And, of course, there are a selection of new objects to place, including spiral staircases.
A roommate, a Sim you can't actually control, can be brought in to help out with payments, though you'll also be bringing whatever personality quirks they may have. So this feature adds a nice bit of unpredictability, as depending on who you've accepted or recruited, you could wind up with food left out on the floor or a pile of old newspapers.
Along with the social and housing additions is a fantastical element, something longtime players should be more than accustomed to with past additions of things like vampirism in the Nightlife expansion. This time you get Witchcraft with Apartment Life, an arcane art that can be practiced in varying shades of evil to good. It'll even allow you to, with the proper reagents, cast spells that summon lighting and insects. As a bonus, you'll also be able to ride brooms to community lots or castles in the magical world. Of course it's odd to be hanging around and have a dark witch suddenly swoop in outside a coffee shop, but that's how it is in the world of the Sims.