I have been a fan of the Sims since Sims 1 all of those moons ago. This addition to the series however is the best one. So far. EA pump out more Sims titles than I have hot dinners, so I say ‘so far’ because you just know they’ll soon release another one *cough cough* Sims Medieval *cough cough*.
I say it’s the best one, but what I mean by that is, it is the best one in terms of gameplay. It is definitely not the best one when it comes to objects and building materials. The game feels empty. It’s as though they released it in this empty state on purpose so that they could put what was missing inside millions and zillions of expansion packs. To me, that makes EA a bunch of money robbing scoundrels. But it also tells me that I myself am stupid enough to go and buy them. I must confess to only having one expansion pack for this game so far, but I will review those separately. For now, let’s just concentrate on The Sims 3, on its own, in its entire naked form.
Despite feeling empty, the game is good. The animations and the graphics are superb, and they really look a cut above the rest of the Sims games. The graphics of the people have more of a cartoon look about them, and their body movements feel a lot sharper in comparison to the Sims 2.
If you’re new to the Sims series, then this is what happens. You create a family and you move them into a house that has already been pre-made for you, or you build your own. You get a job, you go to work, you get a promotion, you come home, you eat and you sleep. But can’t I just do that in real life you say? Well yeah…of course…but if you do it on the Sims…right…you don’t have to actually move do you…right?
So how is the Sims 3 different from the Sims 2? Well, you can now walk up the street and visit other sims’ houses, which is something you have never been able to do before in any Sims game. The whole town is open to you. You can take your sim for a stroll in the park, do a bit of grocery shopping, or for a sunbathe on the beach. I do feel a bit let down though about the fact that you can’t see the interior of a cafe or grocery store. When your sim goes shopping, you can’t really see them and a little menu pops up that asks you what you want to buy. Once you choose what you want, your sim pops out and you are in control again. I don’t understand why they don’t allow you to see inside the shops when it was something you could do on the Sims 2. A feature that I do quite like, is that you can often find rare objects on the ground. These are usually unknown seeds or materials. You can sell them to scientists for cash (simoleons). You can also catch butterflies, and go fishing in the nearby lake or sea. You can either take the fish home and cook it, or keep it as a pet. My sims’ pet fish is called Horrace.
The ageing process is still present in this game, but that’s just the way I like it. If my sims stayed the same forever, I think I would have got bored with them and drowned them in the swimming pool or something by now. There is a family tree, so you can keep track of the history of your sims’ family, and this is always good if you haven’t played the game for ages, as you are bound to forget things. Each sim you create has what is known as a lifetime ambition it wishes to fulfill. It will most probably take you the whole of the sims life to get that ambition fulfilled.
All sims have needs. These are often simple things like ‘bake pancakes’ for instance. If you complete these needs, you will gain lifetime points that you can spend on certain things that will make the game easier for your sim. For instance, you could spend your points on the ‘no more bills to pay’ option for example. For me, this is a nice addition, but takes away the challenge.
The graphics look very nice indeed, and I especially like the water as it contains lots of ripples and pretty waves. The objects are very smooth and crisp, and everything just looks very colourful and fresh.
If you want to buy extra furniture or clothes for example, you can visit the Sims 3 website http://www.thesims3.com/ which allows you to download things straight into your game. Of course, you have to pay for these things with real money, which is a slight bummer, but it’s still nice to have that option. I guess. But yet again…why aren’t they already in the game?
The Sims has always been an addictive game, and this addition to the series is no different. Just don’t forget that you have a life of your own to live too…