The Sims 2: Seasons
|The Sims 2: Seasons|
Box artwork for The Sims 2: Seasons
|Publisher(s)||EA Games (PC)
Mac OS X
|Genre(s)||Life simulation game|
The Sims 2: Seasons is the fifth expansion pack for The Sims 2. It was developed by Maxis, released on March 1, 2007 in North America, and was followed by the European release on March 2, 2007. Aspyr released a Mac OS X port of the game in June 2007.
The Sims 2: Seasons enhances gameplay by adding seasons and weather mechanics. Each season lasts around five sim days and brings with it new challenges and gameplay options. A new type of sim known as a plant-sim is also added. They operate using different mechanics to normal sims. The expansion pack introduced a new neighbourhood called Riverblossom Hills. Like previous games, it has a storyline but no linear gameplay.
The Sims 2 Seasons expansion pack introduces two new game play concepts to The Sims 2 series: weather and seasons. Each season lasts for approximately five Sim days and players have the option to alter their order of progression.
Sims are able to build snowmen during the Winter, rake fallen leaves in Autumn, jump in puddles during Spring and occasionally experience heat stroke in Summer. Besides being a visually interactive addition, each season enhances Sim's attributes in certain ways.
Weather and temperature
There is weather within each season, including rain, hail, lightning storms, and snow (there is another type of weather called the rain of fire due to the malfunction of the new aspiration reward object, which is a weather control machine). Although weather was originally planned for release in the original Sims 2 base game, a 3D rendering error prevented this from being possible: rain would fall into enclosed housing areas, and other graphical rendering problems would occur. Weather may also adversely affect Sims. New to The Sims 2 is a thermometer that shows how hot or cold a Sim is. The thermometer goes red when a Sim is too hot or has sunburn and goes cold when a Sim has been playing in the snow for too long. However, this does present disadvantages. An example is a Sim getting a cold or getting too hot after too many showers. For example, heat in summer may cause a Sim to experience heatstroke or receive a sunburn. Sims who are outside during the winter may feel cold, though they can be warmed in various ways. Sims can die due to heatstroke and they can also freeze to death. Other Sims have the option of a "thaw" interaction, provided their relationship is high enough. Children who are allowed to get too cold or too hot do not die, but are instead taken away by social services. Rarely, Sims who go outside during a rainstorm can be struck by lightning, but this more commonly happens to trees or other objects. A Sim who survives gets blackened hair and skin that do not come off until the Sim's next shower or bath. Also, if a Sim stays out in a hailstorm for too long they will die.
Plant Sims are the new creatures that comes with The Sims 2: Seasons. Plant Sims have green skin with vine-like tattoos, special leaf or flower made hair and yellow eyes, and will obtain a gold gardening badge when they become a plant sim, if they didn't already have one. In order to become a Plant Sim, a Sim must spray their orchard trees or plants in excess. However, baby through college age sims do not use excess pesticides. The plant Sim condition can be cured by calling a garden club member or gypsy and buying a potion.
Plant Sims only age within three life stages: toddler, adult and elder. Besides aging differences, they have three needs: sunlight, water and love. Plant Sims also gain a prank interaction (pollen cloud), the ability to release spores of happiness, and the ability to reproduce. Spawned offspring begin life as toddlers and have a gold gardening badge and the same skills and personality as their parent. However, their facial genes are a combination of the parent and a hidden NPC named Ideal Plantsim.
With a high enough gardening skill Sims can talk to plants and turn a hum-drum orange tree, vegetable or fruit plant grow to vibrant status thereby increasing the harvest yield. There is a new object, the "Juicer" which will allow Sims to create custom juices from their own harvest.
Included existing features
Features from the existing expansion packs such as the influence system, turn ons/turn offs, lifetime wants, pranks, fury, Mrs. Crumplebottom and talent badges are available. Although the talent badges included in Open For Business are not available in the Seasons expansion pack, talent badges can be earned for activities such as fishing and gardening without Open for Business installed.
The Sims 2: Seasons was officially announced in an EA press release on December 12, 2006. In it, Rod Humble, Vice President and Studio Head of The Sims division said "The Sims 2 Seasons really delivers what the players have been asking for—a unique gaming experience offering new seasonal, outdoor activities that players can engage in. And because each season unfolds differently, winter, spring, summer and fall will look different from the year before, guaranteeing a fresh experience each season," Although the official announcement occurred on December 12, the expansion had been announced on the website six days before, and flyers found in The Sims 2: Pets had also advertised it.
Weather was originally planned to be an element in The Sims 2. The Sims 2 preview at E3 2003 demonstrated rain and lightning effects. However, it suffered from technical glitches. Rain would fall inside sim's homes and Maxis was unable to remove it. Hacks did exist to make rain possible in the game but these too were glitchy and were not supported by Maxis.
On December 1, 2006, several major fansites were invited to Redwood Shores to take a look at the game. The build shown at the event was still in a pre-alpha stage. Final decisions regarding content and gameplay had not been made.
The expansion pack received several new graphical features. The snow effects were created using a technique called procedural generation. The developers also went to great lengths to ensure that snow would appear on custom-created objects. Pools were also updated with effects such as reflective-water and real-time shadows. The flooring and walls of pools were also made customisable.
For this expansion pack, Simlish versions of songs from popular artists were recorded:
- "Zoom" - Tata Young
- "Smile" - Lily Allen
- "Mr. High And Mighty" - Gov't Mule
- "Blue Jeans Pizza" - Moe
- "N" - The Breadbox Band
- "The Next One" - The Chris McCarty Band
- "Close Your Eyes" - The String Cheese Incident
- "When It All Falls Apart" - The Veronicas
The Sims Seasons received generally favorable reviews.
- EA Announces The Sims 2 Seasons from The Sims 2 website
- "Mac OS X system requirements". Aspyr Media. Retrieved June 5, 2007.
- Hit Songs Are Always In Season For The Sims from The Sims 2 website