Workin' on our night moves.
Thus continues the digital adventures of Sven, the Nordic Adonis, as he embarks on a journey through the sexy new expansion to his world, The Sims 2: Nightlife. Focusing on the social interaction of your Sims, Nightlife fleshes out the wooing process from The Sims 2 by giving you new locations, new feelings, and of course, plenty of new objects. Unfortunately, with all the new activities, many a Sim family will be inadvertently broken apart when the adults get a taste of the sexy new scene. Won't somebody please think of the Sim children?
If your Sims are tired of the lack of social options within your town, Nightlife may be the perfect solution. Adding a bunch of community lots and social options, this expansion has a much greater impact on your Sims day-to-day life than the University expansion. Tired of cooking for yourself? Go to a restaurant and be waited on hand and foot. Awake in the middle of the night? Head to the club and party "til dawn with the rest of the nocturnal set. Looking for some family fun? Cruise down to the bowling lanes for some quality bonding time. With tons of activities to explore, your Sims may awaken interests you never knew they had.
Driving the activities is the new Attraction system. Now, your Sim can enter a room and scope it out for any available ladies (or men) giving you that "come hither" look. Lightning bolts indicate the level of basic attraction between you and another Sim. This helps a certain Scandinavian lothario know beforehand whether or not his charms will keep him warm for the night. The Attraction system also adds the ability to give your Sims turn-ons and turn-offs during character creation, further enhancing whether or not your Sim connects with a certain someone. Being that this is an expansion, there's even a "magic elixir" that lets you add these features to previously created Sims. What I wouldn't do to sprinkle that on me at age 15"
Taking advantage of the Attraction scheme is the new dating functionality. Going on a date is like playing a social mini-game within the Sims universe. You can start a date at any time, either on the phone or in-person, provided the Sim you ask says "yes." You can then take them to a location or activity of your choosing, at which point a timer starts to tick. Having a good date extends the time limit and ups the possibility of a second date. Depending on how the date goes, there are drastic swings in how much a Sim likes you, speeding up the entire relationship. If you're truly a Don Juan, the date may last all night. *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*
If you or your Sim are too chicken for the one-on-one thing, you can go out for a night on the town in a group. Head out to a bar with a group of buddies or go for a picnic with your family. Group events can be merely fun, untimed outings or can work similar to the dating system with rewards for a "good" activity.
And the rewards can indeed be great. Just the other day, Sven came home to discover that one of the women he dated the night before left him a bouquet of roses on his doorstep, while another lady (he is a gigolo, after all) left a waterfall structure worth a whopping five thousand simoleons. Guess which woman he went out with the next night? Neither" he's just that kind of guy.
Beware of whom you hang out with, however, because the world of the supernatural once again rears its fanged head. Vampires haunt the clubs after sunset, hunting for their next victim. If your Sim gets too chummy with a denizen of the night, he might just find the need to use SPF 5000 sun block when dawn breaks. Before you decide to go the bloodsucking route, be aware of what time your Sim has to go to work each day. Nosferatu never did make a good day manager.
Speaking of work, it's about time that the Sims stopped all this liberal, hippy carpooling crap and embraced the capitalism of car ownership. Since gas prices mercifully don't affect them, owning a car simply requires that a Sim have a garage to store it in. Now, your Sim can drive to work or treat that special someone to a night on the town without having to call a cab to pick them up. While having a car doesn't really give your Sim any new features or opportunities to explore, we all know that chicks dig cars.
Other new items include a DJ booth to spin your vinyl, a poker table to fleece your friend of their hard-earned simoleons, and a karaoke machine to torture those around you with your tone-deaf serenades. With over 100 new objects to interact with, your Sims have never had this much to do.
You, though, don't really do much. The Sims 2: Nightlife just doesn't seem as fundamental a change to the game as the University expansion. Whereas University added a new age group, new careers and the ability to influence others, Nightlife simply enhances the social interactions that were already there by fleshing out the Attraction system and making it more user-controlled. While unique features like becoming a vampire are funny, they don't really add much to the game. Mysteriously, the developers still haven't included some of the best features from the original series, such as pets, making you wonder just how many expansion packs there will be for The Sims 2.
While not a dream date, The Sims 2: Nightlife is an acceptable expansion that fans of Sim socializing will likely enjoy. Though the additions do little to impact the actual gameplay, there's enough flash here to warrant a nod. Just make sure to let your fake spouse down gently.