Sims 3

The Sims 3 is the third game in the Sims series. But you knew that.

Now your sims can be hippies. These particular sim hippies are clearly worried about a true menace.

Just The Facts

  1. The Sims 3 is the same game as The Sims and The Sims 2.
  2. The graphics have improved significantly.
  3. Despite this, everyone looks like they have a double chin when you're in Create A Sim.

So, How The Hell Is This Different From Any Other Sims Game?

It's not. Not really. The basic set-up is the same: play God, create little families, make those families live life rather than cultivating one of your own. Actually, there's no way that set-up is going to change. It's a simulation game for a reason, and in fact it does its job well. In layman's terms, it is a game that simulates life. A life simulator.

That being said, there are noticeable differences between this game and the other games in the series.

For starters, you can now give your sims traits--that is, personality traits that actually effect their lives and the way they percieve them. There are about fifty traits, so there would be no point in listing them all (that's what the Sims Wiki is for) but let it be said that you can make a sim evil, or flirty, or neurotic, or all of them at once. Just about the only thng you can't have is stuff that conflicts. Which would be stupid, anyway. Why would you want a sim that's both good and evil, or athletic and lazy? Granted, if you want to get into psychoanalysis such things are possible. You could be a good person who suffers from evil tendencies, and struggles with the daily battle of morality every day. You could be a terrific athelete and squander your potential. But it's just a computer game and you should really just relax.

The interior design aspect of the game has also been revamped, but let's face it, most of you reading this don't buy the game for that part. If you do, though, then you'll be interested to know that you can change the patterns of the furniture and all kinds of shit. There are other differences, too, like better graphics.

Ok, sure, the guy still looks creepy, but they all aren't that bad.

Okay, sure, the guy still looks creepy either way, but they all aren't that bad.

Other differences--such as continous storylines and seamless neighborhoods--have more to do with the fact that The Sims 3 assumes that you're competent enough to handle other sims doing other things. Without you. So, if you create a happy couple and then the wife moves out, she doesn't just sit there wasting away in your Sim Bin, she actually gets to go live a seperate life from your sim. Probably not a good one, since autonomous sims have never been happy sims based off what is likely poor game playing on this author's part. But she could end up mayor or something. Best to keep her around so you can keep an eye on her and make sure she acheives nothing.

As for the aformentioned seamless neighborhood, that is actually a really cool feature of The Sims 3. Rather than wait for 10 minutes just so your sim can buy some considerably overpriced coffee, you can now have your sim ride their bike, motorcycle, or car to wherever it is they want to go. Hell, they can even walk there if you want them to get a good workout.

How Can I Spend Even More Money On This Soul-Suckingly Addictive Game?

If you are a typical jaded Sims user, you're probably thinking, "Expansion packs." Or, if you're somewhat less jaded, "Stuff packs." Actually, with the release of The Sims 3, they have released a new and improved way to suck your wallet dry. But for those who are blissfully unaware of how the Sims system works, here is a breif guide about expansion and stuff packs.

  • Expansion Packs: Expansion packs don't really count as money wasters, because The Sims isn't the only video game to employ their use. If you don't know, expansion packs add to your game what should have been there before. It is particuarly jarring in The Sims 3, because it's usually stuff you had no idea you needed--but then you see that another expansion pack has come out and it has something you just know your game needs. Maybe it's the release of mummies with World Adventures. Maybe it's being able to actually control what your sims do at work with Ambitions. Either way, amongst the typical expansion pack extraneous crap is something incredibly useful. Most people aren't terribly against expansion packs. They're a loved part of the Sims franchise.
  • Stuff Packs: When the brilliant folks at Maxis realized that there was more money to be made (besides the money rolling in from expansion packs) they came up with Stuff Packs. As the name implies, Stuff Packs rarely have anything integral to the actual gameplay of any Sims game; rather, they include new furniture, new clothing, and new hairstyles. (Exception: the next Sims 3 stuff pack is all about cars. You know you want that one.) Only hardcore Sims fans insist on having every Stuff Pack. They rarely have something you just can't live without.
  • The Sims Store: Surprise! In continuation of the Sims tradition of adding more things you'll spend your money on (Stuff Packs came with The Sims 2, Expansion Packs started with the original Sims game) they have now released The Sims Store. The whole setup is cashing in on the recent cash card trend. Perhaps you've bought a cash card at Target as a gift for a friend who plays FarmVille or frequents Gaia Online. Cash cards are pretty popular, as they provide virtual currency, which is of course the most profitable kind. The Sims now has an online store that lets you buy exclusive content, along the same vein as the content in Stuff Packs. This is the most diabolical, and most effective, money wasting method Maxis has used yet.

Hm, I Feel Like Being A Psychopath Today!

Of course, a central point in any Sims game is the ability to kill off your sims. Because even though it's a life simulator, people will still find a way to fuck that incredibly easy task up.

Drowning: Back in the day, this used to be the #1 way to kill of any insolent sims. It started in The Sims, when killing your sims was supposed to be impossible. You would put your sim in a swimming pool, and then remove the ladder. This became so popular that they even referenced it in The Sims 2, mentioning a deceased sim who died in a "suspicious pool ladder accident". And you could still kill them that way, too. But no longer. Now your sims have competence, also known as the common sense to climb out of a swimming pool on the side. But don't worry, you can still drown your sims. Just build a wall around all sides of the swimming pool.

If your sim looks like this, you did it right.

Fire: No creature, simulated or alive, can survive a fire. Naturally, if your sim leaves their shitty TV dinner alone in the oven for a few minutes, they can have a kitchen fire on their hands. And if you leave your sim to die, then death by fire is completely possible. And funny, because their ghost still has smoke eminating from its spectral form.

Whoever did this has the right idea.

Electrocution: Pretty simple. If you suck at repairing stuff, don't do it. Just fork over the $50 and call the repairman. There's no stigma in the Sims world. And the best part is, they don't even rip you off much.

Otherwise you get this. Granted, as far as ghosts go it's fairly badass, but perhaps you'd prefer your sims alive.

Starvation: You really have to do this one on purpose. It's not really like your sims can starve to death on their own, unless you leave the game on autopilot for a few hours, which, again, seems deliberate.

"I died of negligence. Oh, and starvation."

Old Age: Unless you cheat, there's really no getting out of this one. Even sims who have a lower chance of dying can't escape old age. (Such sims have either the Unlucky or Loser trait. If these sims die any other way, the Grim Reaper will feel sorry for their depressing ass and save them from death.)

They sparkle, too. But they're still better than Twilight vampires. Why is that? Oh, wait, anything is better than Twilight vampires. That's why.

Should I Seriously Spend $40 On This?

Well, that depends. If you have a power complex and feel the need to wreck the lives of others, buy this game. If it stops you from being a dick in real life and gives you an outlet for this type of behavior, that is excellent. If you're a lady, and you're the kind of lady who would create anthropomorphized versions of her cats, go ahead and buy the game, but do it with the knowledge that you're making everyone else who plays the game a bad name. If you like simulation games, buy it because it's the best of it's kind.

Don't buy it if you like action games. The Sims 3 is not an action game. The most action you'll see is when your sim cooks lobster thermidor.

Though you have to admit, it is some pretty action packed lobster.