The Sims series has received a massive amount of success and popularity over the past few years. On the back of this success there has been four expansion packs released and now a fifth, Sims Unleashed which adds some major features to the original Sims game including, household pets, gardening, new outdoor residential and community lots and new careers, plus loads of new objects and items you can decorate your house with. If you have ever enjoyed The Sims at all you will probably find Unleashed a worthwhile add-on.
The most noticeable addition in Unleashed is the household pets. You are able to adopt dogs, cats, parrots, turtles or lizards, you will be able to train them, feed them and even enter your pet into pet shows to win prizes based on how well you have trained them. The pets don't change the way you play the Sims but they are implemented very well. You will not have as much control over your pets as you do over your Sims, you can't control every aspect of their behaviour. On the other hand you don't have to worry about your pets as much as you might have thought. If your puppy is bored it will amuse itself by chasing its tail and if it is hungry it will sit up and beg to your Sims. When your dog does beg for food you can then get your Sims to fill up the dog bowl. Pets also offer a few new options when it comes to social interaction. For instance if you and your neighbours both like the same type of pets they can talk about them and become better friends. On the other hand though, if you don't like your Sim neighbours you can order your dog to attack them. Nice touch!
Sims Unleashed looks and sounds just like you would expect. The graphical engine is showing its age and your Sims look pretty blocky still, although the new animations are fairly amusing when your Sims play with their pets. The Sims themselves still speak the same gibberish and the new sounds effects for the pets and Sims all sound good.
Like previous expansions Unleashed doesn't fix the games core problems. The camera still scrolls extremely slowly and the pacing of the game is still a bit erratic. As usual you will find yourself speeding up and slowing the game down to make sure you can get your Sims to carry out everything you want them to do that fulfils all their needs. Obviously you can just sit back and watch your Sims mooch around the house but you will probably end up with some very unhappy and useless or even dead Sims. In order to keep you Sims happy you will have to pamper and "baby sit" them to make sure they are well fed and rested. This can be frustrating as none of the problems have been fixed, simply getting your Sims to move from point A to pointv B can be challenging and if your Sims get distracted things can get even more frustrating because jobs and tasks lined up can be forgotten by your Sims. Maybe the sixth expansion pack will fix these problems and improve the dated graphics, as these problems seem more annoying than ever. The worst thing though is that these problems stop you from doing all the interesting things you want to be doing in Unleashed, playing with or training your pets, building up your garden or even taking your family out for a trip into town.