Reviewed: March 24, 2007
Released: March 1, 2007
The fifth title to join the array of expansions available to Sims 2 players, The Sims 2: Seasons is a delightful add-on sure to please fans of the Sims series. Seasons delivers a surprisingly satisfying number of new elements, even when compared to previous Sims 2 expansion packs. Besides the obvious addition of changing weather conditions and seasons, Seasons adds a slew of new activities, careers, and objects for your Sims to enjoy year-round.
While the last expansion for the Sims 2, Pets, introduced cute furry friends into the lives of your Sims, it ultimately didn’t add very much to the overall Sims 2 game experience. The Sims 2: Seasons, however, more than makes up for what Pets lacked when it comes to enhanced gameplay.
As you’d expect from the title, Seasons’ main attraction is the addition of changing weather patterns and seasonal influences to your Sims’ lives. Weather and temperature are now important conditions to consider when you organize your Sims’ virtual daily lives, and your Sim’s clothing choice can make a difference in his or her health. (My Sim certainly wasn’t too happy going out into the snow in his boxers!) Conveniently, the new Outerwear category of clothing has been added to make winter outings less unpleasant for your Sims, and Sims ordinarily seem to automatically put on warmer clothing when stepping out into chilly weather. Also be careful, though, that your Sim doesn’t overheat while exercising on a hot day.
Besides dramatic weather effects like rain, hail, thunder, and snow, the shifting seasons also make for other changes in your Sims’ lives. Autumn, for instance, is great for quickly building skills and climbing the career ladder, while summer and winter are good seasons for building relationships with other Sims, and spring seems to be the season for romance. Additionally, your Sims can enjoy a number of new seasonal activities, like playing Marco Polo in the pool and catching fireflies during the summer, raking up and jumping into fallen leaves during the autumn, building snowmen and ice skating in the winter, and playing catch and having water balloon fights in spring.
Additionally, the changing of the seasons is completely customizable for each neighborhood, and you can change the settings at will. You can choose to include all or even just one season in your neighborhood’s four-phase cycle, as well as what order they occur in, depending on the type of climate you want to create.
Also added are new talent badges in gardening and fishing, both of which allow your Sims to gather their own food to stock their larders, so that outdoorsy Sim of yours will never have to call for another grocery delivery again. Gardening, especially, can be somewhat complicated and involves a great deal of attention on your Sims’ parts, but a thriving garden can earn your Sim a rewarding membership in the exclusive Garden Club—and homegrown veggies and fruits, besides making for more satisfying meals, can be blended into various useful potions and juices. Too much time with plants, though, may give your Sim more than just a green thumb—but not to worry. If you get tired of your green Sim and his newfound gardening superpowers, there’s always a cure.
On top of all that I’ve mentioned so far, the Seasons expansion also includes a number of other new miscellaneous goodies. For instance, there are six new career tracks—music, law, journalism, education, adventure, and (surprise!) professional gamer—each with it’s own career reward. There are also many new objects and new building tools for players who like designing Sim abodes, including some country-style furnishings, new options for your Sims’ swimming pools, and the ability to build greenhouses and split-level homes. And, your Sim can now set a different hairdo for every outfit category and add seasonal clothing to their wardrobes.
Overall, the graphics are really just more of the same of what Sims 2 players have come to expect from the series. The visual weather effects—the bright flashes of lightning, falling rain, snow flurries, and iced-over ponds in winter, among others—are nicely done, and the subtle lighting changes throughout the changing of the seasons add a lot of atmosphere and sense of passing time to the game.
There’s not much new with the sound, either. Just as with the graphics, Seasons adds appropriate sound effects to go with the various types of weather, and there are a few new pieces of background music to go along with the expansion. Everything new is more of what you’d expect from a Sims 2 add-on.
At a retail price of $29.99, The Sims 2: Seasons goes for the typical price for a game expansion, and Seasons introduces so many new features that it’ll take many hours to just try them all. This expansion isn’t likely to convert anyone who’s not already a Sims 2 fan, but the new possibilities offered through the seasonal elements, new objects, building tools, and other new additions should be enough to keep Sims 2 players busy and entertained for quite some time.
Maxis developers didn’t disappoint when they announced that The Sims 2: Seasons would be their biggest and best expansion pack for The Sims 2 so far. If you enjoy The Sims 2, by all means, pick up Seasons and give it a shot. If nothing else, the changing of the seasons and their impact on your quirky Sims add even more variety and life to an already amusing people simulator.