The Sims 3

Without fail you will have come across ‘The Sims’ at some point in your life, and sat at a computer for days on end, claiming time off at work for being ill, living a virtual life playing god.  A phenomenon from the day it launched, the game soon claimed the title as the best PC game of all time.  After the expansion packs got too much, they announced ‘The Sims 2’, which saw characters ageing, falling in love, and a whole host of new features.  Now, history is repeating itself once again and ‘The Sims 3’ has reached our computer screens, and it’s better than ever! 

The third chapter in the series caters for all audiences, whether it’s a new experience or an upgrade, there is something for everyone, and with the endless help messages offering tips and tricks, you’ll learn the ropes in no time.  EA have really developed this game into the ground, and you can definitely tell. 

First off, I’d just like to mention what I’ve heard most from people playing the game, which is ‘You can zoom in real close!’ apparently this is a massive boast for the game, and an aspect gamers love. 

Moving on to actual gameplay and you begin by creating your sims.  The creation is amazing, and you can completely customise your sims from weight, to muscle tone, to jaw shape, and right down to the angle of the eyebrows, you can mimic yourself to the inch, which is quite a scary, when you find yourself looking in a mirror.  Also, you get to decided character traits and what their favourite foods, colours and music, making each sim individual within their own right, and to top it all off, decide their destiny and an ultimate goal to achieve, whether it be rockstar or even a thief.

After creating at least two sims, you then have an option to ‘Play with Genetics’, which takes features from both created sims, and creates a third, perfect for creating that little rascal, and completely customisable after.  This makes the process quicker, and is great fun to see what your kids will look like.

As with all the series, you are given a certain amount to spend on a plot or house to begin your journey, and what a journey you will be on! EA have really pushed to make this new upgraded version of ‘The Sims’ a big step away from the older versions.  During build and buy mode, you will find that everything you buy is fully customisable, from colour and fabrics, to changing simple lamp shades furry or even stone.  Should you wish to customise every feature, it really makes the build process a lengthy one, but caters for the choice to be able to build the perfect house to the complete specifications that you require.

Your sims become a lot more independent with going to the toilet and meeting their own needs, so you don’t spend half your life mopping up after them!  With new features like, ‘opportunities’, you get a chance to compete in 4 hour jogging contests or even pie eating at the local diner which in turn earn you points to get prizes.

Another great new feature is the ‘wishes’ tab in the control panel.  Your sims will have ‘wishes’ that improve lifetime experience, and help win you prizes like teleport machines.  These wishes can be simple, for instance: ‘bob wishes to go swimming’ which can be achieved with a simple instruction, or harder tasks like, ‘bob wishes to be level 4 in fitness’ tasks that take longer and subsequently develop your sims, which in turn makes them more interesting to friends and colleagues and improves the whole experience.

A further bonus in this chapter is that you earn more simoleans (money) per day when you work, this makes the game a little easier to progress through, but with all the added features, ensures you endless opportunities and an overall gaming experience that ‘The Sims’ really benefits from.  Work your way to fame and fortune, or become a high flying businessman, by buying shares in the company, or even buying it outright!  Giving you the ability to re-brand and even fire employees that you feel aren’t performing.

After you have sorted jobs, it’s time to party and enjoy the beautiful town.  When you visit the town, there is no waiting for it to load, and the game play is effortless.  New places to go include, the beach, the park, the art gallery, the health spa, a 24hr gym and the list goes on.  Here you have the chance to meet new sims, go fishing, and achieve a few ‘wishes’ that you may have.  tasks also play a big part in the town, by accepting things like cooking competitions, you can enjoy watching some fun action, and bump into friends you may have already, making the whole town have a real community feel to it, adding to the immense virtual life you lead.

Finally, an online presence!!  My only argument against this fantastic title is that there has never been a true online presence where you can meet friends, and chat with them in your virtual world!  Well this time round, there is a whole new town to unlock online, and you can take photos and videos of your favourite moments to share them with everyone online, via the launch suite.  Add a little online ‘Sim’ shop that you can purchase new items from and you have yourself an online community, all immersed in each others’ virtual worlds.

Overall a fantastic game and I could talk forever about it, but unfortunately I have a word count.  So if you’re considering getting it, you shouldn’t have even started considering, and just gone out to be one of the 1.4 million people in the first week to buy the latest edition of a truly brilliant game.