Product Type: Electronic Arts PC games
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'The Sims' goes all RPG and 'Indiana Jones' on us!
The Sims 3: World Adventures - Expansion Pack (PC)
Member Name: thereddragon
The Sims 3: World Adventures - Expansion Pack (PC)
Advantages: New objects, skills, traits, hair, clothes, the holidays are fun the first few times
Disadvantages: Still doesn't add a whole lot to the gameplay, but every little bit helps
I do think it is. As well as the going-on-holiday bit, it also adds new objects, skills and various other bits and pieces, which do make it worth having. You get quite a few new clothing items and a few more hairstyles, both of which were sorely needed. The new skills of photography, martial arts, and nectar (wine) making, give your sims a few more things to do, which was very lacking in the base game. Your sim gets to take photos with a handheld camera, practise their martial arts skills on a dummy and a block-breaking stand before trying them out on other sims, and learn to brew and age 'nectar' with their own home grape-stomping barrel and nectar machine. There are also new character Traits to go along with these new skills.
You also get a new supernatural, a Mummy. Though I still want Vampires, Aliens, Zombies and Werewolves as in The Sims 2, darn it! Bring back the alien abductions, I say!
There are new decorative objects and a new vehicle, a scooter. Another good thing about some of the new objects is their mod-ability: I've wanted a motorcycle in the game, and hopefully it won't be long now before we see the scooter cloned by modders and some motorcycles created. The best new object, for me, is the cash registers - these are coded to generate a sim to stand behind them and sell items such as food, books and nectar (one type of item per cash register). They were made for the stores and cafes in the holiday destinations, but you can get mods that enable you to unlock these and use them yourself back in your home town in the creation of your own community lots. This way, you can create your own restaurants, pubs and so on where you can actually watch your simmies eat, drink and be merry like in The Sims 2, rather than having them disappear into one of the rabbit-hole lots that came with the Sims 3 base game.
Also with this expansion pack, and also with one of the recent update patches to the base game for those who don't have World Adventures, you acquire a new Basement Tool that allows you to create true basements for the first time.
So, on to the holiday side of things. Your sims have a choice of three new holiday destinations: Sim-world versions of France, China and Egypt. These are actually nicely-done - the scenery and the layouts of the three locations are very pretty and they capture the flavour of each country well, albeit in a cliched way. Background music also changes to a style of music associated with each country as well. In your travels, as well as meeting the locals you also meet other tourists, dressed in traditional 'explorer'-type gear such as safari-style suits and hats so they're easily identifiable from the locals. You can befriend fellow explorers and locals as well, and even marry them if you so choose.
When you arrive at your holiday destination, you will start off at a Base Camp, which will either consist of camping out in tents or staying in a hostel. From here, you can go out and explore the sights, and at some point you will get an 'Opportunity' pop-up from one of the locals asking you to carry out a task for them. You can either agree, or cancel. In any case, at all three locations you will find that most assignments are to do with exploring a tomb of one sort or another. (Hence why the new Basement Tool that was added in the expansion pack!) This is where the RPG elements referred to in the title of this review kick in.
Before going tomb-raiding, be sure to go to the local store and stock up on items such as tents, food and Shower-In-A-Can and put them in your Inventory, because you will need them. You will be descending one or more levels underground and your task may take more then one day; also, sometimes it can be hard to get out again and you don't want your simmie to die of hunger or to keep whining about needing to sleep or bathe. Progress through the tombs will be by solving puzzles that open big heavy ancient doors, or by diving into wells and surfacing in another area of the tomb, so be prepared for a long haul. Your goal will be along the lines of finding precious gems and other valuables, and discovering some ancient secrets.
The gameplay of all this is quite fun, a lot of it is rather cute, and it's nice for your simmies to have some activities they can do after how bare-bones (and really somewhat boring) the base game is. The problem is that it is all very repetitive - the tomb-raiding is very similar in each country, and once one of your sim families explore and plunder a tomb, it doesn't reset - if you send another family there, they will find it already plundered. I believe there are mods that fix this non-resetting problem, although I have not tried them myself as once I've been to one tomb I haven't sent anyone else to the same one. But be warned, players have found this disappointing.
Needless to say, with the addition of the Mummy as a new supernatural character, if your sim is unlucky (or lucky, depending on how you think of it), they may encounter a mummy when opening a tomb and be cursed. Sims can also sleep in a Cursed Sarcophagus and become mummies themselves! (This can be reversed by sleeping in a Blessed Sarcophagus.)
Each country has activities specific to it: China is where you'll learn martial arts skills, and you can also buy (and set off) fireworks, and eat Chinese food. In France you'll learn nectar-making, be able to buy bottles of nectar to take home with you and wineracks to put your bottles in, and if you're ambitious, buy a nectar machine to take home with you as well, and in Egypt you can learn snake-charming and buy your own snake and basket to keep.
All things considered, despite not being what players wanted in a first expansion pack and not adding a huge amount to the basic gameplay, it is worth getting. The holidays are quite fun, although the novelty wears off fairly quickly, and the new objects, skills and traits are a worthwhile addition. (As a modder and custom content creator myself, I also like how the new objects and animations make it possible to create more of a range of custom content for the game using some of the new features - the more the merrier!) Your sims can collect all sorts of neat stuff to take home with them, including maybe even a new husband or wife!
Recommended, as a way to add a bit more to what was a pretty lacklustre and disappointing base game. Now I'm looking forward to the next expansion pack, 'Ambitions' - anything that has both robots (yayy robots) and tattoos hopefully can't be all bad!
Also on Helium.com as Esmeralda Draic and Ciao as thereddragon
Summary: At least adds a bit more to a very sparse base game.
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