The Sims 2: Seasons Review (PC)

So, you've come here because you want to learn about the Sims 2: Seasons expansion pack eh. Well, be aware that this information is not for the faint of heart, nor for the unseasoned Sims player. In fact, if you don't play Sims, you probably won't know what I'm talking about, which means you probably don't want to read this anyway.

Yay! Smash the snowman and make the kids cry!
Ahhh... It will make you yearn for a more simple time...

For those of you who do really want to be here, I can say this. The Sims 2 Expansion pack 'Seasons' is, to be quite honest, the best thing since Sims started expanding. Brought to you with all the awesome powers of the elements themselves, 'Seasons' will push you just that little bit closer to an all consuming obsession so intense that you never leave your computer generated happy place again. You have been warned.

But what's up here? Whats new? Is it not all pretty self explanatory according to the title? Well yes and no. Sims2: Seasons means not just changing light levels, it also adds the miracle of weather, and weather related moods, activities, and clothing. Your Sims become attuned to the seasons, behaving a little more lethargically in winter, and ramping up when the spring comes. Romances started in Spring are likely to be more successful than those attempted in Winter, which is a good time to work on deepening already established bonds. Autumn is a good time to work on your career, while Summer and Winter are good times to just enjoy friends.

(In case you were wondering, yes, I felt like an astrologer writing that last part. You will also marry a talk dark stranger and have three children, yay for you.)

Back to 'Seasons', this expansion means that you can create and control various climates, so experience summer all year around, or plunge your little people into their own never ending winter of discontent. Playing God means that you don't always have to play nice after all, punish them with hail and rain if you've had a bad day at the office, there's no Sims: 'Amnesty International' as yet. The parameters are simple. You must always have four seasons, however you can mess them about at will.

If you splash her just right, that top may malfunction...
A green thumb will ALWAYS come in handy...

Keep in mind that your Sims are, like real people, moody little things at the best of times, and too much rain can lead to a depressed population. Too much sun can lead to irresponsible partying, so desert dwellers beware. I'm not sure what too much Autumn does, but too much Spring can swell the population, wink wink, nudge nudge.

Weather and seasons also mean that your Sims can get even better at gardening, even being able to grow their own food and stock their larders full of organic goodness. Don't think this is going to be an easy task however, growing plants in the sim world is just as hard as in the real world. Also, too much gardening turns your sims into weird plant people, which to be honest, is all a bit much, I mean that's not real is it? In real life if you spend too much time amongst the herbs you might think that you're seeing green people, but you don't start to actually look green yourself. Additionally, some crops produce potions and juices to give your sims a little bit of an extra boost.

Sims 2: Seasons also brings some non weather related career options, such as law, music, education, journalism, and professional gamer. ( For those of you who just wet yourselves, take it outside.) There are also plenty of new leisure activities to take advantage of, such as swimming, snowball fights, marco polo, skiing, and building snowmen, just to name a few.

Of course, more options means more complexity, don't let your little guy go out without his coat on, and make sure he drinks plenty of fluids when it gets hot, dehydration is a real risk. You can also get your little fellows sun burnt, so stock up on sunscreen, and if you don't pay attention to how the little ones are dressed, social services will come and take them away, which I guess is preferable to them freezing to death in the frosty embrace of their snow angels.

Limitations wise, there are no new areas per se, if you don't count a fifth dimension to gameplay as a new area, though there are several new elements and objects that come along with the seasonal theme, such as ice rinks, swimming pools, and things of that nature. There are also additional items that can be downloaded form the official website, so definitely pay them a visit if you like to get the most bang for your buck.

However, lets not forget the effects on you, the player. You matter too you know. While you're spending days indoors playing on the computer, you may have lost appreciation for the effects of the seasons. Indoors, you need not worry about things like whether it is hot or cold, day or night, summer, or winter. Sure the occasional typhoon might put a dent in your holiday trailer home, but other than that, who cares? Playing Sims2 Seasons may be the only way to engender a respect for the forces of nature and a true fear of the effects of global warming.

Of course, it's all fun and games until someone fractures an ankle...
It's Autumn! Time to catch ridiculously large fish while your kids yell around!

All in all, it would not be unfair to say that Sims 2: Seasons revolutionizes the game. Sure it looks the same, sounds the same, and plays about the same, but it's a whole new world out there, a world where nature reigns supreme and your sims must bow to its forces or suffer the consequences.

Top Game Moment:
Realizing that the green people WERE in fact, supposed to be green. That's one hell of a relief, if you know what I mean.