Product Type: Electronic Arts PC games
Newest Review: ... around them, creating new interesting characters within the world and developing their own story whilst you are playing. This, in my opin... more
Bigger and better than ever!
The Sims 3 (PC)
Member Name: Gemma_C
The Sims 3 (PC)
Advantages: Still very addicting, and a great seamless neighbourhood. Goodbye loading screens!
Disadvantages: Still quite 'basic' whilst we wait for all those inevitable expansion packs.
== So what is "The Sims?" ==
If you haven't even heard of The Sims before then, well, where have you been?! The Sims took off years ago and is now a huge, best selling popular PC game, along with its never ending expansion packs. First there was The Sims, then came along The Sims 2 and now this year has come The Sims 3, bigger and better than ever before.
The Sims is anything you want it to be. You can create a Sim that resembles you, someone famous or just a completely made up character. You can make them get married, have children and live in a comfortable home, or you could be rich and single, there is so much choice to what you can have your Sims do, it's basically your own soap opera set in your very own neighbourhood, jam packed with other Sims and places waiting to be explored.
== What's New in The Sims 3? ==
The main difference between The Sims 2 and The Sims 3 is here is now a seamless neighbourhood. The problem with The Sims 2 was if you wanted to take your Sim say, grocery shopping downtown, you would sit staring at a loading screen with a picture of a taxi on it for a good 5 minutes! By the time you waited for this to load, take your Sim shopping, then get them back home again you began to wonder if it's worth it having them leave the house at all. This problem has gone in The Sims 3, now your Sim simply walks (or jogs, drive or even cycle!) out the front door, and into the town centre, and you can follow them doing this, without any loading screens. At any point when you're playing you can simply zoom in at any point of the town and see what's going on, it's such an improvement and has greatly improved game play. You may now find yourself sending your Sims out to town more often than ever, taking them to the cinema or a concert, or simply for a game of chess in the park, a BBQ on the beach, the choice is wonderful. Unfortunately so many of the buildings are rabbit holes, meaning if you take your Sim say, to the cinema, you can view the building outside but not inside, and you'll never see what's inside even when your Sim is in there watching a movie. There are certain places where you can go into the buildings, the Gym, Library, Swimming Pools, Parks and Beaches but the majority of places are buildings. This is probably due to it being seamless and cutting out the download times, but can be a bit disappointing. However you can now see the buildings where your Sim goes to work or school, you just can't see them at work. The restaurants, spa, book shop, grocery store, stadium, cinema and more are simply rabbit holes. Maybe with the inevitable expansions packs some places may open up, but I'd rather have a fast running game then the dreaded loading screens!
=== Story Mode ===
There is now also Story mode, turn this one and your neighbour will age around you in time. Much better than the Sims 2 where that friendly neighbour you were best friends with at school, is still AT school when you are old and grey! There is the option to turn this off, however I much prefer it this way. There was some trouble when The Sims 3 first came out with the fact that people couldn't turn Story mode off, or families they made suddenly having children, switching jobs and moving away. There has now been a game update for this, you can now turn Story mode off, and any Sims you have made become 'protected' and so won't start doing their own thing if you choose a different 'active household.' A good thing if you are a bit of a control freak with your Sims!
Your Sim grows old along with their friends, at each stage of their life of which there are 7. The 7 stages are:
- Young Adult
Each stage has a set number of years until the Elder years, and then of course, the days are numbered and the Grim Reaper (oh yes there's one in The Sims!) can appear at any time. There's the option to make the years of each stage last longer in game, or shorten them if you wish, however I prefer to just leave this on default.
When a female Sim to pregnant and about to give birth, there is now the option to 'take them to the hospital,' rather than having the baby appear in her arms from nowhere!
=== Create-A-Sim ===
The creators of The Sims 3 were very proud of the new Create-A-Sim tool, giving you more options than ever to customise your own Sim, from adjusting someone's nose width to choosing which pattern to put on a certain dress. Unfortunately the first downside to me is when you take your Sim into the game, they simply don't look as good in game as they do on the Create-A-Sim screen and in fact seem more cartoon like! There have been quite a few comments in the Sims community about this, and whilst it's not overly bad, it has irked quite a few fans as in the Sims 2 there wasn't this problem.
=== Careers ===
Moving your Sims up the career ladder is more challenging to do now, it's not a case of having x number of friend and building up skills anymore! You may still need to build up skills, but you now have a number of job related things to build up. For example being on good terms with your boss and colleagues, if you're in the law enforcement career you may need to write reports on people in the neighbourhood, or reviews of a movie if you're a journalist. There are certain things you can do to increase your job performance (or decrease it!) and it makes it much more realistic now, than simply turning up to work with 10 friends and excellent skills as was the case with the older Sims games.
=== New Content ===
There is now a new Sims store, where you can buy new objects for the game with Sim points. You do receive some token Sim points for registering your game, but after using these you will then have to buy the Sim points. This has annoyed me slightly, EA are making us pay MORE money for content that could have been in the game in the first place! However that being said, there can be a wide range of new objects for your game you can pick, choose, download and buy at any point. With The Sims 2 they would often release new 'stuff' pack games, a sort of expansion pack with new furniture and clothes for your Sims. At least this way you can buy things you actually want from the store, possibly saving money buying a whole game which may have objects in you'll never want to use.
=== Summary ===
It's safe to say I've enjoyed playing The Sims 3 just as much as the games before it. As there's currently only the base game available, you may feel it lacking slightly in comparison to The Sims 2 when there was tons of expansion packs. Fear not as the first expansion is already in the pipeline and is due out in November; the first of the many expansion packs that end up being released for The Sims. I can spend hours playing this game, and just as you may start to tire of it, you can guarantee a new expansion pack is coming out and drawing you back into the game all over again. I love how there's so many options for how you want your Sim's life to play out, it's totally up to you, you're playing God in this game. From choosing their hobbies and jobs, to love interests and friends, there's something for everyone in this game.
Summary: The Sims 3, just as good as the ones before it. It can only go upwards from here.