For my birthday present Dan upgraded our desktop video card and picked up The Sims 3 for me. I’ve only had about 3-4 hours of play (inbetween running around after kids/changing bums/making breakfast etc) so I thought I’d get out my initial impressions whilst they’re fresh.
For a bit of background, I’m a massive sims fan, this has been the longest I’ve actually waited for a game (due to knowing that our previous video card wouldn’t have played it) but I’ve been there queuing up and in line for the previous editions and most of the expansions. My main focus is the gameplay/story telling, I’m certainly no builder and although I like a bit of custom content, I’m also quite happy to play the base game. I generally play without cheats, but I do have households which I “KACHING” and “boolprop_” to my hearts content.
I either play Legacy or SimSelf. Whenever I get a new game or expansion I like to create a fresh family with just one member and aging turned off and just try out any new gameplay. Dan was my initial “Alpha Sim”.
Create A Sim
- Took some getting used to. Once I’d figured it out it’s fairly easy. I like that they’ve separated the basic and advanced customisation features. Noses for example are split into “pick a nose” type options with a varity of images, then an additonal optional screen where you can change the bridge shape, tip position, nostril flare.
- I managed to get a fairly good sim-dan using the tools, which I now wish I’d taken a screen cap of because he doesn’t look the same now (see below!). I did notice that the “Young Adult” age group – meant to be 18-30 was very babyfaced, aging him into middle age created lines and wrinkles and a much more “Dan-like” image. Although they don’t quite have the “Cabbage Patch Doll Look” that everyone was concerned about, there is a hint of it when you look around the town.
- I played a little with Create A Style, I was concerned that every single thing I did there would be a million options asking me how I want to make it look, but there are plenty of choices premade without resorting to CAS every single time. The actual meshes weren’t particularly varied, but I wouldn’t expect much more from a base game.
- I LOVE the “Traits” that you can now assign your Sim. Daniel is a book-loving, heavy sleeping, computer geek genius with evil tendencies. I couldn’t find a better description of my husband if I tried! His lifetime wish is to become an evil genius.
- I don’t understand the drama regarding the new navigation. Yes, it took a few minutes to get used to, but I don’t think holding down your scroll wheel instead of the right mouse button is enough to be as up in arms as a good chuck of the community seems to be.
- I’m still on the fence on the seamless navigation. I love the fact that I can pop down to buy some groceries without waiting five minutes listening to elevator music on a loading screen, but I also miss seeing inside the grocery store, or seeing interactions in restaurants. It seems a little weird when Dan is spending half his time hanging out in the doorway to a restaurant trying to pick up chicks.
- I like the wish fulfillment, Sim Dan, who’s working his way up the criminal track informed me that he wanted to focus more on using his criminal skills for evil as opposed to the whole Robin Hood thing, I have promised to fulfill the wish as soon as I get a chance. The list of rewards for your wish point is fairly good, so far I have “bought” Office Hero, which has made promotions very easy, and “Observant” which is making him a hit with the ladies.
- I really like the revamp of the careers, instead of the “you need to have XYZ skill points to level up” it’s now more spread over various (and more lifelike) situations. You may not be the most skilled in the workplace, but you’re close and you’re pretty chummy with your boss, so you’re a shoe in for that promotion :)
- I don’t feel as connected to my Sim as I did with the previous games. Not sure what it is, but I’m fairly certain that if a satellite fell on Dan’s head tomorrow I would be more bothered by losing all that work, not upset because the character had been obliterated by falling space-junk. Maybe because of the wider perspective I’m not getting quite so attached, who knows.
- Animations are lacking, particularly social. Dan currently has two young ladies who he is busy seducing and watching the interactions is fairly dull, there’s no ridiculously animated body language and responses, no hysterical laughing when he tells a funny joke, no blushing when they’re complimented. The voices also aren’t as good (IMO) as TS2, once again, lacking in excitement and animation. And for those concerned, yes, Dan will meet a lovely woman with purple hair by the name of Fern, eventually, but I figure I’ll let the poor sim have some fun first.
- I really like the moodlets. Not much to say on them, other than the fact that I love that a crappy nights sleep makes you stroppy for the next 24 hours. I can totally relate.
- I’m impressed with the body morphing. As I said, I made Dan to look fairly similar to his IRL Self, and this includes a little bit of a gut. But after just one trip down there Dan became obsessed with the gym, he has no athletic traits, but for some reason he behaves like he’s on steroids. That gut is gone and he’s now ripped to the point that you can see veins in his arms. He’s clocked up 50 hours of cardio workout in his short life and runs several KM a day. He’s won several Sim City Olympics now and is currently being begged to join the SCFC, The Llamas.
- I also very much like the option to earn a second income from home, in his spare time (when he’s not showing off down the gym) Dan writes fairly popular sci-fi novels which are bringing him in royalties each week.
- I also think the in game challenges are awesome. Reading about them I was concerned that these were minigames, but that’s not the case. Once a week or so a box pops up, almost like a chance card in monopoly offering Dan the opportunity to earn some extra money and reward points for completing a task.
So that’s my initial impressions at this stage I would give it 7/10, but I still have a hell of a lot to explore and look into.