The Sims 3 Review
The Sims 3 improves on the franchise in fresh and interesting new ways, but intentional lack of content and some underdeveloped ideas keep it from reaching the heights of the original
The Sims 3 also contains quite impressive and new RPG elements. Some things from previous games are now actually described in detail. What I mean by that, is now your Sim has an inventory. In it, you can carry pretty much anything. Things like the book shelf and fridge are now inventory spaces. You must place various meats and vegetables into the fridge if you want them to remain fresh, and you can store many various books on your shelf. Thankfully, this inventory management is done without an actual interaction – your Sim doesn’t need to walk to the shelf to put the books away, you can just drag them from your inventory to the shelf.
To get food and books, you must visit the book store, and grocery store in town, respectively. Here, once again you aren’t actually able to see inside. Instead, an inventory appears which lets you browse the store’s selection and add items to your cart, which you then purchase and put into your inventory. This is all quite interesting stuff for a franchise that never went quite this deep. Another example is finishing, because now you actually catch fish, which goes into your inventory and can be prepared and eaten or sold. Small cool things will also happen in the game, such as the book store or grocery store announcing a sale on a certain item, such as 10% off all tomatoes.
Your Sim also has a Blackberry-like device on him at all times, which does not take up an inventory slot and will ring together with your home phone –no longer do you miss calls in the middle of the night because you didn’t wake up fast enough. Gardening is also worthy of mention, because now you can plant seeds anywhere you want and care for them, then collecting your harvest for consumption or re-seeding. One more big RPG element is your work. The standard selection of careers still exists, but now you are actually engaged with your Sim while he is at work (in one of the city’s buildings). You can set your Sim to work hard, relax, interact with others, or even help the boss. You don’t see these changes in interaction, but they have affect on the gameplay, as your stats change and relationships are created. You can adjust what your Sim is doing at work at any time, but it’s best to focus on one/two actions per day to actually get an effect out of them. Your Sim is promoted at work much like in previous games, by increasing whatever skill is needed to the required level by reading or watching TV.
The progress you make at work depends on your mood as well, and your mood is very much affected by the personality traits you’ve selected at the beginning. But that’s not all – your Sim also earns “Lifetime” points for every minute you live. These points can be spent on various upgrades, such as making your Sim a good party host, a charming office worker or a quick-learning repair man. Once you gain enough, you can even spend points to change one of your core personality traits. The way to earn these points is to complete various wishes your Sim gets. These wishes are mostly dependant on your personality, the people you know and your skill levels. For instance, your Sim may want to order a pizza. You click on that wish and it is added to your 4-slot wish storage. As soon as you fulfill that wish, you get the bonus Lifetime points promised. Wishes can also vary, such as preparing a specific meal, making a friend, buying a new TV, etc.
As promised, changes were also made to the classic gameplay formulas. Your Sim no longer needs to go to the bathroom 3 times a day, and all of the “Needs” are much easier to satisfy now. In fact, you can buy a pizza (which strangely takes a very long time to go bad) and eat only its leftovers for a week. It fills you up completely, requires no ingredients or cooking time. It almost feels like I am cheating at the game. One complaint I have though is that your Energy now drains pretty quick, and there is no way to boost it other than sleeping or relaxing on a bed/couch. In previous games, you could at least drink Espresso coffee to give yourself more hours in the day to do stuff.
Pretty much all of the classic Sims 2 and 1 features are back, including exhausting new interaction options for almost every object in the game. The buy mode is pretty much identical, except of course it’s lacking many items you’d hope to see, such as more electronics or even a hot tub. Most are readily available at EA Store for your precious money. The build mode is also not changed very much, except now you are able to completely customize the available items, such as floor tiles and wallpaper, by giving them a custom color or design. The same can also be done with any Buy mode objects, but to a lesser extend of customization flexibility. You really can “customize everything” here as the game box promises.
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