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"[Game] The Sims 3"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'The Sims 3'.
Wed 24/06/09 at 12:24
Regular
Posts: 2,781
Note: originally written for my review site, ShaunMunro.co.uk, thanks!

~~~

After years since the last "proper" Sims title, and numerous delays, The Sims is finally here. Does it live up to the hype? The answer is yes. But is it the best Sims of the series?

The premise is undoubtedly familiar to anyone that's gone near a PC in the last decade; you essentially play God over computer characters, shaping their lives and relationships as you see fit. Strangely, The Sims 3 is missing the hugely pre-built neighbourhoods that The Sims 2 featured, meaning to get anywhere you really have to go straight into your own customisation, but this is only a minor hurdle.

One strange introduction to The Sims 3 is the ability to only control one house per town at any one time - every town has one active house by default which you can play with. However, there is an option to allow the houses around you to evolve also, meaning you ARE able to interact with them somewhat.

The most glaringly impressive aspect of The Sims 3 is the character customisation - there is a huge wealth of detail available, down to the individual facial structures of your Sim. My only complaint is that there are seemingly no fine controls to adjust details like hair length. Apparently, The Sims store offers more, but this seems pretty crass when you've likely just paid at least 30 for the game.

Another exceedingly aspect once you get a little further in is the ability to play with genetics; you are able to meld the characteristics of your male and female Sims to synthesise a hybrid child. The only real let-down is that no illigitimate children are allowed - the children can only be "grown" from married couples.

If you felt your Sims were lacking in the personality department before, this has now been remedied - any Sim you create is allowed five attributes of your choosing, and surprisingly, the depth and range is quite impressive - my girlfriend and myself had no trouble choosing five suitable attributes. Incorporated within this is a new aspiration meter, whereby you can promise wishes to your sim - be they personal or professional - and in fulfilling your Sims' wishes, you increase their happiness meter. Happiness points become important later, whereby you can apply permanent attributes to your Sims which enhance their abilities.

The main area where I found the game lacking is with extra-curricular activity - when your Sim is at work, you are able to view the building where they are working, and even informed of some of their actions, yet through what is presumably graphical limitation, you are unable to venture inside the workplace. Perhaps Maxis and EA are saving this for an expansion pack, but either way, it is rather disappointing. One less expensive alternative is The Exchange, whereby you can trade custom designs with other users - clothes and furniture are available in great abundance.

What The Sims 3 gets the most right is the general ease of use - this is a game aimed at people who usually aren't gamers - it is the most casual of gamer demographics that they are aiming at, and the game boasts a wealth of options to reflect this. For instance, what if you don't want your Sim to die? Well, there's an option to stop your Sim aging or even change their age entirely! Maxis knew well to make this an option that can be adjusted at any time, also.

It's safe to say that this is the most visually impressive Sims game yet, by a country mile. Imagine the upgrade from the first Sims to The Sims 2 - it's that multiplied a few times over. The textures are really sharp, and whilst it's not going to rival Killzone 2 or anything, it does a good job of being able to run on affordable systems whilst still being visually impressive for such a game as this.

The Sims 3 is ultimately much the same of what came before it - just prettier and a little more expansive in places. Areas such as your workplace still aren't as detailed as they should be, yet you can bet several subsequent expansion packs will endeavour to remedy this. Nevertheless, for Sims fans, this is a sure fire hit. For the uninitiated, it is unlikely to do much, though.

8/10

Thanks for reading,
Reefer
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Wed 24/06/09 at 12:24
Regular
Posts: 2,781
Note: originally written for my review site, ShaunMunro.co.uk, thanks!

~~~

After years since the last "proper" Sims title, and numerous delays, The Sims is finally here. Does it live up to the hype? The answer is yes. But is it the best Sims of the series?

The premise is undoubtedly familiar to anyone that's gone near a PC in the last decade; you essentially play God over computer characters, shaping their lives and relationships as you see fit. Strangely, The Sims 3 is missing the hugely pre-built neighbourhoods that The Sims 2 featured, meaning to get anywhere you really have to go straight into your own customisation, but this is only a minor hurdle.

One strange introduction to The Sims 3 is the ability to only control one house per town at any one time - every town has one active house by default which you can play with. However, there is an option to allow the houses around you to evolve also, meaning you ARE able to interact with them somewhat.

The most glaringly impressive aspect of The Sims 3 is the character customisation - there is a huge wealth of detail available, down to the individual facial structures of your Sim. My only complaint is that there are seemingly no fine controls to adjust details like hair length. Apparently, The Sims store offers more, but this seems pretty crass when you've likely just paid at least 30 for the game.

Another exceedingly aspect once you get a little further in is the ability to play with genetics; you are able to meld the characteristics of your male and female Sims to synthesise a hybrid child. The only real let-down is that no illigitimate children are allowed - the children can only be "grown" from married couples.

If you felt your Sims were lacking in the personality department before, this has now been remedied - any Sim you create is allowed five attributes of your choosing, and surprisingly, the depth and range is quite impressive - my girlfriend and myself had no trouble choosing five suitable attributes. Incorporated within this is a new aspiration meter, whereby you can promise wishes to your sim - be they personal or professional - and in fulfilling your Sims' wishes, you increase their happiness meter. Happiness points become important later, whereby you can apply permanent attributes to your Sims which enhance their abilities.

The main area where I found the game lacking is with extra-curricular activity - when your Sim is at work, you are able to view the building where they are working, and even informed of some of their actions, yet through what is presumably graphical limitation, you are unable to venture inside the workplace. Perhaps Maxis and EA are saving this for an expansion pack, but either way, it is rather disappointing. One less expensive alternative is The Exchange, whereby you can trade custom designs with other users - clothes and furniture are available in great abundance.

What The Sims 3 gets the most right is the general ease of use - this is a game aimed at people who usually aren't gamers - it is the most casual of gamer demographics that they are aiming at, and the game boasts a wealth of options to reflect this. For instance, what if you don't want your Sim to die? Well, there's an option to stop your Sim aging or even change their age entirely! Maxis knew well to make this an option that can be adjusted at any time, also.

It's safe to say that this is the most visually impressive Sims game yet, by a country mile. Imagine the upgrade from the first Sims to The Sims 2 - it's that multiplied a few times over. The textures are really sharp, and whilst it's not going to rival Killzone 2 or anything, it does a good job of being able to run on affordable systems whilst still being visually impressive for such a game as this.

The Sims 3 is ultimately much the same of what came before it - just prettier and a little more expansive in places. Areas such as your workplace still aren't as detailed as they should be, yet you can bet several subsequent expansion packs will endeavour to remedy this. Nevertheless, for Sims fans, this is a sure fire hit. For the uninitiated, it is unlikely to do much, though.

8/10

Thanks for reading,
Reefer

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