Product Type: Electronic Arts PC games
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New Sims delivers on promises, but falls short of expectations
The Sims 3 (PC)
Member Name: esseilte
The Sims 3 (PC)
Advantages: Will play on lower-end PCs, improved AI
Disadvantages: Game speed verges on unplayable, lack of community-made custom content
The latest installment of the popular Sims franchise was eagerly awaited by fans - but it may leave some of them wanting more.
The game delivers on a lot of its promises. The personalities of your Sims are more detailed than ever before, so that each Sim truly seems to have a mind of it's own. Careers no longer depend on only accumulating friends, a bugbear of Sims fans since Sims 1. The neighbourhood is open to your Sims - no more waiting for those 'taxi' screens while a new neighbourhood loads in just because your Sim wanted to go shopping for new clothes.
There is a huge improvement too in creating your Sim, with the ability to customise your Sim's clothing and hair without the need to resort to hundreds of game-slowing downloads.
The problem is that all this comes at a price - and the price, for many gamers, is a loss of graphics quality and speed. Don't get me wrong - the stated system requirements are honest. You WILL be able to play the game. You will probably be able to play on much lower system requirements than those stated. The problem is that with so much of the processing devoted to keeping your neighbourhood dynamic and 'alive', the graphics can look pixellated and out of date on any but the most high-end PCs.
In addition, the game speeds are enough to drive you crazy. Get used to waiting for your Sim to come home from work, because the top speed of the game takes around a minute for each Sim hour to pass. Frustrating if you just want to zip them through the work day, or if you're tired of watching your Sim sleep.
Overall it's a worthwhile installment, but it may be worth waiting until a game update is available to fix the speed issues.
Summary: You will eventually want to buy this game, but maybe it shouldn't be just yet.