Product Type: Electronic Arts PC games
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Capture ghosts, travel through time & slide down firemen's poles!
The Sims 3: Ambitions - Expansion Pack (PC/DVD)
Member Name: thereddragon
The Sims 3: Ambitions - Expansion Pack (PC/DVD)
Date: 17/07/10, updated on 17/07/10 (75 review reads)
Advantages: Finally, many new things for your simmies to do!
Disadvantages: None really, except that they didn't do it sooner
The first expansion pack, 'World Adventures' was a disappointment - basically all it delivered was the ability to send your sims on holiday, and while that added a small amount of interest, it soon became repetitive and the pack just didn't add enough to the gameplay or the content to be very worthwhile. As I mentioned in my review of it here, it was worth getting just for at least SOMEthing more for your sims to do, but a far cry from what gamers wanted.
But now, with Ambitions, the developers have finally got back on track and given players some substantial content, both in gameplay and in new objects. I was not expecting much from this pack, as everything else released for The Sims 3 so far had been very disappointing, but was really pleasantly surprised when I installed this pack last weekend and for the first time since I bought The Sims 3, I've actually been playing the game and enjoying it! Prior to that, I mainly just created custom content (to upload on the Mod The Sims website) in order to try to alleviate my own boredom and that of other players by creating quirky content to try to make the game a bit more fun, but I didn't play much. But, finally, now there are things for your sims to actually DO, and most of the time you can now watch them do them as well, rather than disappearing into rabbit holes.
This pack adds some good new content:
Your sim can now follow a 'profession' as opposed to just to having a job. There are some good ones to choose from - my self-sim is just starting out as an Inventor, and has to go to a new community site, the Junkyard, to rummage through piles of scrap to find useful raw materials. So far, she's made a rather Steampunk-looking decorative object called a 'Rotational Pull', and eventually she'll be able to make funky-looking robots called 'Simbots', useful items such as a 'Hygenator' which makes things instantly clean, and even a Time Machine in which you can travel through time. You can also blow stuff up. I'm looking forward to progressing in this career.
Meanwhile, my sim-hubby has embarked upon being a Sculptor, and spends many happy hours working from home sculpting out of clay, wood, and even ice, and has just been recognised for his work and commissioned to create seven sculptures for a local organisation. And in the next best profession after Inventor, our sim-lodger has joined the Ghosthunter career. He gets to go out to haunted houses and scoop up pesky spirits with a sort of spirit vacuum cleaner, to the accompaniment of spooky music. This is quite fun to watch.
And that's one of the great features about the new 'profession' addition to the game - you get to watch your sims carry out their jobs, rather than disappear into a rabbit hole. I think this really adds a lot to what was a very 'empty' game. The other professions aside from the three described above are:
Stylist (do makeovers of other sims)
I'm looking forward to trying all of these out!
-NEW COMMUNITY LOTS
You get five new non-rabbit-hole community lots (referred to as 'Hangout Spots') which your sim can visit and interact with both the objects on the lot and other sims. These consist of:
Consignment Store - sell your unwanted objects and inventions here, and buy second hand stuff.
Fire Department - Your firefighter sim goes to work there, and you even get to see him/her slide down the pole.
Laundromat - Yes, your sims can do laundry now, aren't you excited? You can also buy your own washing machine, dryer and/or clothesline, and laundry hamper, to use at home.
Junkyard - Go here to buy scrap if you're an Inventor sim, or just want to have a go at fixing things up such as broken sofas and household appliances. My sim-self spends many happy hours here.
Salon - You can go here for a complete makeover by a Stylist, or a tattoo by a Tattooist. My sim-self got a nice fish tattoo on her arm here, and our sim-lodger now sports a big purple 'WooHoo' symbol on his belly.
-NEW NEIGHBOURHOOD, and ability to add new lots
A new town, Twinbrook, comes with the pack. It's designed to be a 'Louisiana bayou' type of idea and looks really nifty, with houses ranging from old Southern mansions for the richer sims, grungy old shacks surrounded by swamp and fog for the poorer ones, and nifty stuff in between such as houses on stilts along the river.
Twinbrook contains a pretty colourful and oddball mix of townies, including a large dysfunctional family, a family of survivalists who all dress and decorate their house in camo, an eccentric mother and daughter, three computer nerd roomies, a rock/blues star and a family of Cajun chefs. Most of the townies are really remarkably ugly, so much so that someone felt inspired to post a thread on Mod The Sims titled 'Twinbrook: Valley of the Hideous'?, a title that sums it up pretty well. Many of them are also covered in tattoos, and they seem to fight each other a lot when out on the town.
And, extremely usefully, the game has now also been modified to allow you to place more lots in towns, like you could do in The Sims 2, rather than be restricted to what little is already there. I've now been able to import my self-sim's lovely beach house that I was using in Sunset Valley and place it on a nice riverbank location in the rich part of town in Twinbrook, which would not have been possible otherwise. So kudos to EA for finally figuring that out.
Your sims finally have a few new toys to play with! There are objects relevant to the professions that you can buy to use at home and don't have to join the profession to be able to use. As well as the sculpting wheel and the inventor's bench that I've already spent many fun hours with, you can buy an architect's drafting table, a makeover station, a choice of two tattoo chairs, or even a fireman's pole for your own home if you feel you must.
New toys include a trampoline your sims can bounce on (and fall off a lot), and a game called Gnubb in which they toss batons to knock wooden figurines over. And best of all as far as I'm concerned, a new chopper-style motorcycle called 'The Beast'!
There are new household objects such as the above-mentioned laundry appliances, new beds, kitchen counters, tables, chairs, sofas, a music box (which comes with a gnome!), décor, and lighting items. There are also a fair few new Build Mode decorative patterns, especially wood flooring, marble floor tiles, and decorative ceiling tiles.
Very useful are several new hairdos, always sorely needed as the base game came with so few, including a full-face motorcycle helmet as a 'Hat Hair', so if you ever wanted to make a sim of The Stig from 'Top Gear', now's your chance! The hairdos are mostly messy and/or funky, I guess in keeping with the funky new town, as well as including some much-needed short hairdos for men such as a sort-of Caesar cut - finally a few alternatives to all the bouffant or emo styles that came with the base game. No new clothes to speak of, though - just a few profession-related outfits.
All things considered, this is a worthwhile expansion pack and I recommend it, especially if you'd been as totally disillusioned and bored as I'd been with the base game and World Adventures. It's given the game a new lease of life and I'm actually enjoying playing with my little simmies for the first time since The Sims 2. Here's hoping that subsequent expansion packs will continue to deliver.
Also on Ciao as thereddragon and Helium as Esmeralda Draic
Summary: The Sims 3 finally gets less boring