America - Front
America - Back
25th Jun 2009 | 1,153 views
The Sims 3. The Pinnacle of all Simulation and Virtual Life games. It was the year 2000 when the original Sims game was released, a game that changed several opinions and set a whole new level for simulation games. One of the most successful games of all time TS1 (The Sims 1) was, and the several expansion packs proved it was a huge choice among the casual gamer. The Sims 2 delivered almost the same results, and helped propel Electronic Arts to over 100 Million copies (including expansion packs) sold - making it clearly the most successful game series of all time. Now, 9 years later, comes The Sims 3. The next step into a realistic, yet fun life simulator. Is it as good as it's hyped to be? Maybe. Is it the best game in the series? Yes. But what is it about The Sims 3 (TS3) that makes it so great? Is it the seamless neighborhood? Is it the virtually no loading screens? Or do the cons of the game (very few objects, lack of neighborhood editing in base game, etc) make the game unplayable or not enjoyable?
I'll start with the basics. The Sims 3, or as I will refer to as TS3, has an incredible amount of new features. TS3 includes a completely seamless neighborhood, where everything moves along the life as the sim or sim family you're playing as. TS3 also includes a completely new Create-A-Sim and "Create a Style", where people have the power to custom color every object in the game. The create a style is an amazing feature, and doesn't fail to disappoint. You can choose from over 10 different categories, with tens of tens of choices of patterns in each one. Plus, you can color every single one just the way you want it, right down to the lightest touch. The fact you couldn't custom color things in TS2, and therefore, the Custom Content community was forced to make unnecessary different colorings and tools to do custom coloring. The seamless neighborhood also doesn't fail to impress, although it could be improved slightly. What is a seamless neighborhood? Well, have you ever imagined a Sims game where everyone moved along with you? New babies are made, new families move into town, and people die as you live your life? If so, you're in luck - because that's just what the seamless neighborhood offers. Along with this includes virtually, or basically unnoticeable, loading screens (excluding the first 2, which are still shorter then the Sims 2 loading screens). Along with this comes some "Events" in which the whole neighborhood can participate. Unfortunately, for now, there are only about 4 or 5 different events. All of these get extremely repetitive quickly, and will not hold your interest for very long. Finally, there is the trait system. Forget "turn-ons" and "turn-offs", now, you have the ability to create whoever you want. Weather you want to create Chuck Norris or Bill Gates, you can do it by choosing 5 out of over 80 traits for your Sim. And, if the trait system wasn't enough for you to make Bill Gates or Chuck Norris, you can also use the all new customization in Create-A-Sim which includes Eyebrow tweaking, and up to 5 sliders for adjusting such things as cheekbones, jaws, and noses.
There is now a Lifetime Reward System. By completing "wishes", or the equivalent of Wants in Sims 2, you can get lifetime rewards that help you cruise by life easier. Some of these lifetime rewards range from Hardly Hunger, where you hardly have to eat at all, to Extra Creative, to Teleportation. There very helpful, and make the game much more brilliant and unique.
Some little minor Pros:
- A new Build/Buy mode, with a new method for suggestions on rooms and what would be recommended for them.
- Ability to rotate objects 45 Degrees.
- Ability to TILT Camera (Unless this was already in The Sims 2, I don't quite remember)
- Ability to put several objects including a lamp, computer, phone, and plant...all on one desk or table.
- TS2 Freetime expansion pack integration (Fishing, etc. are now Skills).
- Moodlet System makes the game even more based around the sim, and not just random things. Moodlets are either good and bad, and depending on which one they are, they can make your sim's mood go down or go up. Higher is obviously better, and with a high enough mood, you can earn skill points faster then at a lower mood.
With every game comes some cons, and The Sims 3 is no exception. I believe the pros outweigh the cons, but that's not for me to decide.
We'll start with the infamous stuttering problems. Although some of the top-notch computers wont experience any problems at all, most computers will feel the effects of no loading screens. When zooming out of TS3, your computer lags to a somewhat extreme effect. Not only at this point, but every now and then there will be a slight "lag fart". On the contrary, if you zoom in decently close, then at most points you will be able to run the game smoothly without lagging.
Another Con is the MAXPEED of the game. Comparing TS2 with TS3, TS2 has a MUCH faster clock. TS3 Ultra Speed is most accurately TS2 Normal Speed. This may be yet another side effect of no loading screens, and trying to render a whole neighborhood in the background at once. But until we get more information, this is not completely certain.
The Game feels "incomplete". I am unsure of it's because of the lack of objects, or the SEVERAL glitches and bugs, something doesn't feel 100% ready. I realize bugs/glitches are a huge problem in several games, but this game seems to have a high amount. This can be supported by my topic, "OFFICIAL Bugs/Glitches" found in these very TS3 Message boards.
The Create-A-Sim is surprisingly generic. I would even go as far as saying the Sims are more unattractive, and look even worse and bland then the sims in TS2. This is an abnormal disappointment for me, considering TS3 was released over 2 1/2 years later then TS2. You'd expect the sims to look better, but apparently that is not the case.
One more con I have to mention is one of the most angering ones, and that would be the "rabbit holes". A rabbit hole, at least in TS3, is considered to be a lot where you cannot see or control what your sim is doing - your sim just walks in, and they fall into a trap - or a rabbit hole. This is very angering to several players of TS3, including me, as walking into community lots was 100% possible in The Sims 2. Of course, there aren't loading screens now...
- Pathing is extremely glitched
- Story Progression "Off" option doesn't work, a huge mistake releasing a game with a fault as big as that.
-Game is perhaps a little too short "1 family" wise. Got 2 Sims int he same family to LVL 10 in the Music/Electric Rock Branch in maybe 5 hours, 1 evening.
The Sims 2 was a terrific step-up from The original when it comes to Video and graphic performance, but The Sims 3 doesn't even come close to the step-up previously. Although the graphics do improve, they are still not worthy of high honors. Although the game isn't pixelated (thank goodness), some of the textures are bland. Details of items including T.Vs are still poorly displayed, and not very appealing
The choices of music are great, and a nice refresh from The Sims 2 music. The Sims 3 has a whole new collection of music, a collection with a more "electric" and party themed music. Great for keeping an uplifting mood, and the custom radio is still available to put your own music into the game.
The sims has always been known to have tremendous replay value. Hence all the expansion packs. There has always been a select number of things to do, weather it be to impregnate every woman in town, or to achieving your lifetime wish + more, there are just too many possibilities to count. Plus, throw in the creation of your own house (always a huge factor in The Sims), and the future modding community, and you've got yourself a game you'll be able to play for weeks before even getting the slightest big tired.
Replay Value: 10/10
Neighborhood Selection: 7/10
With only 2 Neighborhoods, and NO NEIGHBORHOOD EDITING TOOL IN THE MAIN GAME, you cannot expect to be dazzled with this category. Although, most of the homes are pretty decent and stylish, and at least a few lots aren't rabbit holes.
Buy Mode: 6/10
The fact that Electronic Arts had over $200 worth of VIRTUAL ITEMS in there own little EA Store...before the game even came out, just shows what company greed really is. Now, we hardly have any objects what so ever. Extremely disappointing. It's lucky to even get a 6, the all new Room sorting and suggestion method saved this one
Build Mode: 9/10
Build mode is still build mode, and also incorporates the house suggestions method implemented in buy mode. Plus, there is all new categories of walls and all new floor patterns. Roofs are somewhat a drag though, as they are not customizable.
Career Choices: 9/10
I'll admit, I wasn't impressed that they cut down the career choices. But, at least they added multiple branches to certain careers. For example, you can become either a master of the symphony - or a legend of Rock N' Roll. There are even perks for certain careers. One of my favorites is the squad car you get at Lvl 5 of the Police track.
Trait Variety: 10/10
They have every trait you can think of in this game. If you want to be a vegetarian, pick the trait. Gardner? Fisher? Artist? Slob? Evil? EXTREME (Daredevil)?! The POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!
FINAL VERDICT: Although there are some bumps and grinds along the way, The Sims 3 does not fail to impress, and I would prefer giving it the title of "Whole New Game" rather then "A Giant Expansion". But, don't take my word for it. If you're not satisfied with reading about the game, I don't see any excuses for why YOU cannot go buy it.
Have fun fellow simmers, and I will see you at the hop ;)
Reviewer's Score: 8/10, Originally Posted: 06/15/09
Game Release: The Sims 3 (US, 06/02/09)