In addition to the standard play mode and the "get a life" mode, The Sims has two different multiplayer modes that let players play cooperatively and competitively. The competitive multiplayer is pretty simplistic and not terribly entertaining--it plays out on a split screen and challenges opposing players to do things like pick up trash faster than each other or cook faster than each other. The cooperative multiplayer is more interesting, since it lets two players play a standard game of The Sims together. It's possible that serious fans of The Sims might try to play a co-op game and skillfully and efficiently split jobs and housework between them. However, it's much easier to visualize the game's co-op mode as a compromise for real-life couples who have argued about spending time together as opposed to spending time playing video games.
The Sims for the PS2 looks pretty good, all things considered. The original PC game's graphics were a bit simplistic, but they were colorful, and the same can be said of the new PS2 game's graphics, particularly with respect to the houses and furniture. However, The Sims gives you plenty of options to create customized sims--different hairstyles, hair and eye colors, torsos, pants, shoes, and accessories. Though you can zoom and rotate your camera freely, you can't zoom in too closely on your sims. Fortunately, the game gives you more than enough options to make sure your sims are visually distinctive, even from a distance.
Ultimately, the PS2 game does a good job of revisiting The Sims--but The Sims isn't getting any newer.
And The Sims also sounds good on the PS2--it has great music, funny sound effects for various furniture items, and the clever and expressive gibberish language of "simlish" that originally appeared in the original PC games. Unfortunately, that's because most of the PS2 game's sound effects, voice samples, and music are taken straight from the PC version of The Sims (as well as from the 2002 PC game SimGolf). If you've never heard of The Sims before (which seems unlikely, given the series' huge success), you'll probably find The Sims' sound quirky and humorous--just as so many PC fans did three years ago. If you happen to already be a fan of The Sims, you might find it hard to not be disappointed by the PS2 game's recycled audio.
The PlayStation 2 version of The Sims does a great job of revisiting the original premise and gameplay of one of the most successful games ever. The PS2 game has several new features that add a good amount of extra play value to an already replayable game, as well as a robust 3D engine that may look somewhat plain but works well. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately, The Sims for PS2 is otherwise extremely faithful to the gameplay of the original game, shortcomings and all. The Sims is certainly still an unusual game, but at this point in time, it's difficult for the PS2 game to have the same sort of impact as the original PC game did three years ago, especially since three years' worth of new games have since been released for both the PC and the PS2 in the meantime. That said, the PS2 version's new additions and enhancements, along with its faithful reproduction of The Sims' gameplay, make for a game that is as solid as The Sims has ever been. So if you've never had a chance to try The Sims but the idea intrigues you, you should give it a try. And if you're already a fan of The Sims, you may wish to try out the PS2 game for the "get a life" mode and the cooperative multiplayer--but don't be surprised to find yourself in an otherwise familiar neighborhood.