Entertaining but much of the same
The Sims is like the abusive uncle of the gaming world, it tells you it loves you but then horribly takes advantage of your trust. As I am myself a fan of the series, I find myself constantly falling for the promises of the next installment, I let my inner adolescent girl flourish and I dream, I dream of creating a perfect home, marrying Mr Right and generally Siming it up, that is until I get bored and start burning things.
So where to start with the Sims 3? In a nutshell this game offers everything you were given in previous installations, however now, you can move around the world freely, trespassing as you please and stealing food. Since starting this game I have literally never cooked or paid for a meal, preferring to wake up around noon, cycle down to the park and then proceed to gate crash picnics and barbecue’s, sort of like a virtual Yogi bear.
The mooching however does not just end with stealing pic-a-nic baskets, my goodness no, if you wish your Sims house can be nothing more than a corrugated hut with a bed and toilet, discovering pretty early on that the gym has baths and showers much more aesthetically pleasing than my own I jumped ship, spending most of my time in the place like a well groomed tramp, no one seemed to mind my presence either, I was getting away with it, this is when I started stealing and begging.
Just like in real life, if you want things the legal way, you need a job, being a sort of free spirit, an untamed stallion if you will, myself and my Sim had no time for a job, getting fired after the third absence I decided the life of a Test Subject wasn’t for me, fortunately however, I had gotten pretty serious with a musician, we started playing together and before I knew it I was some what competent on guitar, I strutted down to the park like a young Noel Gallagher, I played for hours and they loved me, dancing away and chatting with my gentle ambiance filling the air, pretty soon I started demanding money, making hundreds of simoleons a day, with next to no furniture or up keep for my house, the money started to mount up. That is until I knocked up several Sims and things went a little Kramer Vs Kramer.
Nothing more than the Sims 2 with a few new bells and whistles
Generally speaking, nobody will play The Sims 3 like a marauding Hobo as I have, I am however, impressed by the choice that EA has given you, the new elements of freedom in The Sims 3 make the game free in every sense of the word and strictly speaking EA have succeeded in every way by presenting it.
The Sims 3 is highly entertaining but there isn’t much to recommend to a player of any previous Sims titles, in essence you are playing The Sims 2 but with a few new features and graphical enhancements, at times it feels like instead of playing a fully fledged Sims sequel you are playing The Sims 2: Lets go a Roaming expansion, for a game that has been in development for the past six years this is really a failure on EA’s part, The Sims 3 should offer an experience as intuitive and fresh as the original Sims game but it doesn’t in the slightest.
Throughout the game you cannot shake the feeling of under development and cashing in, with no content from expansions from the previous game, It feels like a product around fifty percent finished with the rest to come in small installments designed to take even more cash from you. The content you are given seems less than was given in The Sims 2 or for that matter The Sims. There seems to be an obvious lack of furniture, character customization options, clothes, hairstyles, jobs and neighborhoods. I didn’t understand why until I found a small piece of paper telling me I was entitled to ten euros worth of additional content gotten from the EA store. So basically, when purchasing the Sims 3 you are getting a core game, to experience this game as it should be you will have to pay an unset amount until you feel you have enough content to play around with. This is a major negative to the experience of The Sims 3 and the player can only feel ripped off.
Arguing with EA’s marketing strategy is like complaining that the sun is bright or that Take That are talent less hacks, people will still buy this game in its millions and prove the EA Store to be successful. It is simply one of those things. It seems over the six years of development EA seems to have come up with more ways to squeeze money out of the consumer, a development cycle not wasted then?
So what has changed? Well not too much but improvements to the overall Mood system are greatly appreciated, occasions such as parties and social gatherings now don’t have to be punctuated with urination and starvation, It makes these events actually worthwhile and fun. An engagement party by the beach is no longer a life of death situation, one in which a conversation too long can result in a stinky Sim and a third degree burns.
The Wants and Fears system also has had a revamp, cleverly re branded to the Wishes system, A Sim can queue up six wishes and the player can complete these gathering a reward of points which then can be spent on various perks to your Sim, for instance the Iron Bladder will give the Sim a slower diminishing Toilet mood bar. With hundreds of perks to be had, the Wishes system is a great addition.
The aging system has been slightly changed too, with the Adult age span being separated into Young Adult and Adult, players are given a little more immersion with their Sims, however, since the introduction of this system in the previous game, I have had the complaint that a life span is too short, The Sims 3 being no different, my Sim changing into an elder with around ten hours of gameplay.
Finally the last system to receive an improvement is the Skills. In games of yore being reduced to umbrella terms such as Logic, Creativity and Body, The Sims 3 now gives your Sim skills for being good at thing he is doing, playing guitar will become its own skill, as will painting. All of this is somewhat of a refreshing change but not too dissimilar from what has gone before.
Overall The Sims 3 is an enjoyable experience but the game does not warrant the thirty pounds and countless additional content price. The game is nothing more than the Sims 2 with a few new bells and whistles, with many improvements being nothing more than re brands and the only major addition being the ability to travel seamlessly through out the world. There is nothing much to recommend to a player familiar with The Sims. This being said however, anyone playing this game will still experience that initial grace period with The Sims 3, having countless hours stolen away by the games initial charms.
The Bad: * Not at all that different; * Seems like a glorified expansion pack; * No previous expansion content