Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The Sims 3 (PC) Game Review

In the beginning there was The Sims, and about a decade later, we are given the third in the series: The Sims 3!! A huge transformation has taken place in this time, such as giving our sims a third dimension, the ability to grow in life stages etc.. but in this latest addition, we are given so much more! 

The biggest change is the seamless neighbourhood. No longer do we need to load a screen to step out our front door, we can do it just with a click. And you have a whole town to explore! Whether it be the graveyard, the town centre, shopping in town, exploring the beach or visiting neighbours, your sims will have loads to do! Sims that you don't control will also age gradually along with the ones you play with, so you no longer get daughters that are older than you or older siblings being younger.

The sims themselves are more self sufficient, so you no longer have to dictate their domestic needs, taking them to the toilet every 5 mins and getting them to make grilled cheese sandwiches and spaghetti. This allows you to focus more about exploring the town, building relationships and expanding your career. Not to say that those needs are no longer there, because they play a big part towards your sims and how it affects their mood opposed to life and death.

CAS (Create A Sim) has also had a major rehaul. Sims look much more realistic, and generally more rounded and less computer jagged. Sims can now be as thin or fat as you like, with a body slider, you can drag their body shape to your content. Hair colour, eye colour, and clothes can all be customised and recoloured with a large colour pallete, so all sims become unique. They are also more realistic looking and more human. Not only do they look good, they can be good, or bad, or evil... with over 60 traits, sims can have their unique personality which will help or hinder their daily life! Traits such as kleptomaniac, never-nude and hopeless romantic are just a few that will make playing this game so much more intriguing. And another 10 or so can be unlocked- including pyromaniac!

There are 10 careers in the game, including criminal, doctor, rockstar, chef and so on, and allows you to advance in so many ways. No longer are they solely based on skills, your sims mood and performance with the boss and other colleagues are also important. Also, switching and merging careers is also possible. Midway through a career, you may be asked if you would like to switch to a similar career!

The interface is extremely easy to use. An area of the buttons dictate camera angles and views, and to fans' delight, you can now look up at your sim at a steeper angle! A range of tabs give you information about your sims' skills, career, social, inventory, and stats... which will help you guide them better.

The Build and Buy Mode have also been rehauled, having pictures represent different items, and this, in a way is more visually appealing and helps you find what you need, but yet takes time to get used to. A note is that whilst the overall amount of objects may be considerably higher than sims 2, the individual sections do lack variation, and one relies on Create-A-Style* for originality.

*Create-A-Style is an in game tool that allows you to customise almost anything! Hair/Walls/Furniture.. and you can choose any colour (palette available) and pattern available from the catalogue.

Web features have not been ignored, and players can seamlessly upload youtube videos or movies of machinama, or gameplay, upload custom content and designs/sims/houses that they've made, and upload their online page, like a FB or web blog.

Upon registering your game, you can download a whole new neighbourhood, Riverview, which is absolutely stunning. The farm theme is fantastic, and it looks rural and cosy. You also get 1000 sim points (worth £6) to spend in the Sim store to buy those coveted hairstyles/furnitures or decor!

The online also has a large community forum, downloads section, sims 3 store and more, allowing you to maximise your experience with players around the world.
THe graphics are highly improved due to the seamless neighbourhood and the unique locations and scenic views. The sky changes throughout the day, stars come out, the sun rises and sets, the waves roll.. it is visually STUNNING. Sim interaction is not as rigid as before, and they fit right in.

You may ask how it is possible to do all this and not lag? As the screen moves out or you zoom out, images become less detailed and only load when you zoom in!

Now onto the CONS- difficulty for Custom Content.. due to the new 3D meshes and the way it has to work with sims and surrounding objects, it is made more difficult, so it will take a while before we see those first set of well made celebrity sims or anime hairstyles!

The game is suitable for anyone- sims fans will love the improvements, whilst those who have not tried before will be WOWED by this life simulation. I preordered from HMV for £30 and got a free mouse, which was well worth it, although it can be bought for around £28 online.

Believe the Hype. it is amazing.

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