14 December, 2011

Rollin' in the Deep - The Sims 3 Review



I should admit this right now: I am a Sims addict. This is all very embarrassing because I feel like I should admit I own every single expansion pack and every version of The Sims in existence, all located somewhere in the CD/DVD jungle that is my closet (with digital downloads so easy, the need for physical media is almost obsolete).

This is the first review for my The Sims 3 series so follow along as I review each expansion and stuff pack. Below you will unearth my findings as I trek through the fantastical forest that is The Sims 3, and wade though the never-ending ocean that is the absolute vastness of possibilities waiting for you. Yes you.

After you go through the montage of the Sims intro (less Rocky music, more Sims) you now have many options. You can explore the town (full of pre-made houses, shops, and community lots) or create your own. The Sims 3 boasts many new features that allow your Simsverse to become that much more realistic, and have grown heaps and bounds over the Sims predecessors.

If The Sims 3 was a robot, it would be the Terminator saying Hasta La Vista, Baby” to The Sims 2, who would be the Brave Little Toaster or something. The first main difference right away (besides the multiple neighborhoods) is the Create-A-Sim. Now users can actually create a Sim based on more than just picking computer generated faces and body parts – much like how you created a Barbie from the leftover heads your brother popped off in order to fill is plastic dump truck with. Maybe that was just me.


Unibrow: Now included!


Customization is the name of the game in this reinvention: everything from the space between your Sim’s eyes, to how much of a beard or 5 O’clock shadow you want – the total freedom to design faces and bodies is there with The Sims 3.


Now, with more Dalmatian than ever before!

  
The next big change is the trait and lifetime wish aspect of your Sims. Much like real life, certain personality traits can rock or ruin your experience in the game – choosing negative traits makes it harder to achieve goals, for those who want a challenge, or design their Sim after an Ex. Traits such as neat, funny, and nice can affect how your Sim interacts with the surrounding neighborhood, neighbors, and accomplishes goals. For example Sims who are funny have more luck impressing people with their jokes, and it’s easier to build relationships with others. Sims who have a lazy trait tend to sit on their behind and play video games or watch TV. Sound familiar?

To go with this, you’re able to pick a lifetime wish for your Sim based on the personality traits you picked – something your Sims will work the rest of their life trying to achieve. Examples include becoming an astronaut, family oriented, master thief, and even a gold digger (yeah she's a triflin' friend indeed).  Picking your Sims voice tone is an added perk, that makes your gameplay experience much more personal then in previous games.

Careers in the Sims are definitely more vamped up, giving you the option to view multiple jobs from the newspaper, browse through the computer and new in The Sims 3, you can visit the corresponding community building to apply right there.

Scene not included: “All positions have been filled.”

  
In previous games, The Sims could become pregnant but in The Sims 3, the parents physical and personality traits are combined to engineer a baby resembling the their likeliness. This means if your parents both have green eyes, your child will as well, and if one parent is lazy, the chances of your child having that trait is higher.  Your Sim will look physically pregnant depending on the trimester (each trimester is one day in length), and will experience morning sickness, frequent trips to the bathroom, and even food cravings.

The last main feature I wanted to bring up is age. Long gone are the days of a happy family living forever – Enter age limits. This means your Sim’s days are numbered – literally. Each age group has a specific number of “Sim-days” that your Sim can live before it moves on to the next stage in his or her life cycle. For children this means growing to a young adult, young adult to adult, and adult to elder. This introduces an eerie new concept of natural death, you know, not caused by fire or you for that matter.

The Sims 3 is heavily populated with better mathematics, AI, gameplay features, and new ways to make your experience more personal. Now, excuse me while I make the cast of The Goonies on my Create-A-Sim. Truffle Shuffle!

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