I was once a musician, raven haired and lithe. What remains now is a mere shadow of what I once was.
It started out innocently, as a young adult I flipped burgers by day and played guitar for tips by night. Returning home to a black and white TV and eating ice cream for dinner.
But time, like bad news, has a habit of creeping up on people. Before I realised, I was middle-aged, hair fading and responsibilities growing. Gone is the burger flipping, I now turn over capacity crowds as a rock star. My days are long and filled with pressing the flesh and autograph signings.
Alas, those days are over. I rarely leave the house for fear of the Reaper’s icy touch on my shoulder. By all accounts I’m a walking ghost, well over 200 years old. Everyone I knew is dead, their grandchildren even show the cruel signs of old father time.
By studying the dark arts I have extended my life by 120 years. Every morning at 5am I awake from a dreamless sleep to tend my garden, only this will give me the irredescent life fruit I need to survive. Perhaps then I will continue a grand painting in my lofty mansion, either that or write another self-help book.
The Sun fades and my true work begins. Fishing rod in hand I mount my ancient bike and head for the graveyard. My former companions float past leaving a glowing trail, like a spooky firefly. I pay them no attention as I cast my rod into the errie lake. After two hours the float dips below the water, I’m quick to reel it in. As a lumpy head breaks the waters surface I smile. The death fish is mine.
I return home as the sun rises, but no sleep for me. Plenty of time to sleep when I’m dead. In my kitchen I make the fabled recipe of Ambrosia, using the life plant and the death fish. Before it had cooled I greedily guzzle the glowing liquid.
In a flash of light I am transformed, the years melt off my face. I am now back to 70 years old. But there is no time to celebrate, my garden needs tending.
I fear death, but sometimes I would welcome it openly, just to feel something again. This is The Sims 3.
Ok all, after that wee bit of fan fiction I knocked up, I’m gonna keep the rest of it short.
Everyones heard of The Sims right? You play the role of God, directing your simulated people in anyway you see fit. From birth to death you craft their destiny, for better or for funnier. Anyone who has played The Sims before will be instantly at home in this modern iteration of a classic.
Graphics – 4/5
Saying that, the first thing you notice when you load the game is the graphical overhaul. The Sims now look lifelike, each feature fully adjustable to create a Sim-me if you choose. Scrolling around town, you can pull down the camera level to head height, allowing for some stunning vistas of your sim-town.
Also, when constructing your “crib” several hundred more items have been included to create a lifelike domicary, not just spamming stat-heavy items to cater for your sims. I think the majority of the work has gone into hte graphical side of The Sims 3.
Sound – 4/5
Do they speak English? NO! Its still that blasted Simlish! But thats not so bad, it seems there are many more speech paterns so you can’t practically learn the language from the dozen phrases in the 1st game. Cmon es snala?
Unless you have a stereo or like to play guitar, there isn’t a huge amount of music, apart from the signal music when you level up a skill, or you set fire to the cooker (again).
I can’t discriminate against it too heavily though. If you’re yearning for music, just lower the game volume and pop on an MLG podcast in the background!
Gameplay – 5/5
Now, the main criticism for the previous games has been the lack of progression, a Groundhog day-esque existence where nothing really changes apart from a stat point here and a lesbian love affair there. So EA have been keen to give a feel of time passing to The Sims 3.
First, and most noticably your sims will age. In their personal character tab you’ll see a display of how they are, and how many days until their next age group. From Baby to Child, young adult, adult, senior to finally Thora Herd!
With so many accomplishments and aspects of the game, everything cannot be completed in one 90 day lifespan. One way of subverting this is to meet someone nice, wine and dine them then “make whoopie” until a child is conceived. After your character dies you carry one controlling the other sims in the house. Or, if you refuse death, like the afformentioned cursed soul (above), you can sustain your life indefinately through complicated means to furfill your potential.
Apart from the daily whims, your sims have a lifetime goal. Their own fantasy ambition you must work hard to achieve.
For some this could be to become a world famous chef. Or maybe a high-flying astronaut. Or, and more entertainingly, it might just be a sims life dream to be a mooching gold-digger, to marry a wealthy spose and arrange an “accident” for them, leaving your their mansion and fortunes
“Why did you put a BBQ in the bedroom? WHY!?”
All in all, I’d say that enough has been put into this game to keep it fresh for long after most games would be in that big trade-in in the sky.
Re-playability – 5/5
This score wildly depends on your own imagination. If you take the career path every time, you with live many boring lives. One of the most impressive things about this game is the adaptability. With a fully grown adult having 5 different personality traits, which can be picked from a list of about 60, there should be no two sims alike. Given then that each Sims lifetime goal is based on those traits, you should get a different game every time. With EA releasing new content already; new furniture items and an entire different town to roam in, it seems this game will keep on giving. Especially due to the track record of expansion packs related to the sims franchise.
Although, a little differently, these extra items are for digital download. So possibly we’ll get a steady stream of new stuff, rather than stand-alone discs.
The bottom line – 9/10
Its The Sims, no doubt about it. If you’re a fan of the previous games, you’ve gotta have it. If you’re against this type of game, I doubt this will change your opinion greatly either. However, if you’ve never played a Sims game, or are undecided, I would definately buy this game, I putting this in my possible game of the year box.
If this review hasn’t sold it to ya, then I leave you with this parting message:
I’m off to make myself a pair of bad-ass lesbians!