The Sims™ 3
The Sims 3 review
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The Sims 3, a third entry in the Sims series, was a huge commercial success when released in 2009. It’s is a single-player video game in the life simulation genre: you create a Sim and control his life activities and relationships. There is no defined goal, the game is open-ended. It’s highly addictive - be prepared to dive in for hours and hours, building Sims’ career and developing their skills.
There are several significant changes concerning graphics and gameplay, which exceedingly enhance the gaming experience.
11 expansion packs, 9 stuff packs and 11 worlds and cities add-ons are available for The Sims 3.
The graphics of Sims 3, executed in 3D, are on point, especially if your PC allows you to play with the highest graphics settings. However, they are only a bit better than in the preceding Sims 2 - the cost of the more seamless world, as the game now renders the whole town on a single map. The details of characters’ appearances are more polished, while the detailing of objects and furniture is simpler.
Unlike the Sims 2, where the change of day and night happened abruptly every 12 gaming hours, in the Sims 3 they shift smoothly. There are dawns and twilights, the moon and the sun move as well as clouds and stars. The plants sway, creating an effect of wind.
The Sims 3 has the same concept as other Sims games. There is no defined storyline, the game only stops when the last Sim on the managed household dies. Then you get to choose another family.
Your family of Sims can consist of up to 8 members. The age varies from a toddler to a baby to an elder. There are more options of your Sims customization now - you can choose body shapes, face features, give them freckles, beauty marks, and tattoos, skin tone options are expanded.
You customize character’s personality, choosing 5 traits among 63 available. This trait system replaced the Zodiac signs from previous versions. Some traits are mutually exclusive: Family Oriented and Dislikes Children, or Flirty and Unflirty. The traits influence Sim’s behavior and his life aspiration.
There are now Wishes, replacing the Wants and Fears Sims 2 system. They can be small, like “take a hot shower”, and huge like “get married”, “have a baby”. You get reward points fulfilling those wishes and can use them to get additional traits or rewarding objects.
Creating a Sim, you choose a Lifetime Wish. It’s a goal Sim will aspire to all his life. Lifetime Wishes are tied to a particular career path mostly - become a Master Thief, an Astronaut, a Superstar Athlete. Some of them concern relationships - Heartbreaker, Super Popular, Surrounded by Family, or wealth - Living in the Lap of Luxury, Swimming in Cash. You gain lifetime happiness points fulfilling them. There are some changes career-wise too. You can choose how hard your Sim works, fulfill tasks for promotions and the Sims get paid hourly.
Make a long story short, main goals of the game are to maintain Sim’s needs, to find a source of income, to enhance his skills and to develop relationships.
A few words about expansion packs:
- World Adventures adds new vacation worlds to explore and complete various adventures.
- Ambitions brings in new careers and a possibility to remain control over your Sim within work, new world Twinbrook.
- Late Night has lots of new objects, jobs and locations like bars or night clubs, vampire life state and a new world Bridgeport.
- Generations includes new traits, professions, interactions and mid-life crisis, children now have an Imaginary Friend.
- Pets is my favourite extension pack. You get cats, dogs and horses as playable characters, can make friends with a unicorn. There is a new world Appaloosa Plains.
- Showtime contains new stage performance careers like a singer or a magician, new world Starlight Shores.
- Supernatural implements supernatural life states - vampires, witches, werewolves, zombies and fairies. Includes new world Moonlight Falls.
- Seasons has four seasons, changing weather, holidays and festivals.
- University Life adds new university world Sims University with a whole bunch of new activities, careers and social interactions.
- Island Paradise has new world Isla Paradiso to explore and new professions to pursue.
- Into the Future implements traveling to the future and new world Oasis Landing.
Nothing changed in the way you control your Sim - it’s still good old mouse clicking and choosing the available options.
Though there are hotkeys too, they’ll help you to manage the game quicker. To switch between gameplay modes press F1 (Live Mode), F2 (Buy Mode), F3 (Build Mode), F5 (Options Mode). Z and X zoom the camera in and out, pressing Shift + arrows makes the camera move faster. Space is for switching to the next sim in the household, pressing Enter centers on the active sim.
All in all, there is an extensive amount of hotkeys to manage gameplay modes. Complete guides are available online.
Replay Value 5/5
The gameplay is never-ending, so you can’t actually "replay" the game. But we guarantee you will return to your Sims family again and again for weeks. It gets boring at some point, but then you just create a new family with new traits, new lifetime goals and wishes - an exciting start-over.
There is such an impressive amount of content - careers to pursue, collectibles to gather and investigate, goals to achieve, worlds and towns to explore, that you can constantly play the game and still new things will await for you to delve into. Extensive variations of the trait combinations add to the replay value as well.
The gameplay is highly addictive, so be careful, as it’s possible to lose track of time completely when playing.
The base Sims 3 game costs $20 and all the expansion packs and stuff packs do too. In the Sims Store you can get various sets, objects, venues, worlds and other content and you need a virtual currency SimPoints to purchase in the store. You can buy SimPoints packs worth from $10 for 1000 SimPoints to $160 for 24360 SimPoints. To download the second town for free and get extra 1000 SimPoints, register your game with the EA's Sims Store.
The bottom line
The Sims 3 is a solid life simulator. The game’s scopes are just huge, especially with all the available expansion packs. If you hated all the previous games of Sims, where is no way you’d like this one - the third franchise entry is still a Sims game, regardless of all the improvements.
For Sims fans, this game is a must-have. It’s highly addictive, engaging and enjoyable.
The Sims 3 is an awesome engaging life simulation game with huge gaming world and lots of extra content.
Pros : Improved appearances, more character customization options;
Extensive customization options;
Seamless worlds - you move among the lots freely without loading screens;
World beyond your Sims family doesn’t freeze.
Cons : Lags when playing on the large lots.
Replay Value 5
Average : 4.8
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