Wednesday, July 05, 2000

Sims 3 | 8.0

here are many different Sims players out there buying this game from years of playing The Sims 2, and I think some of them will be impressed with The Sims 3, while others disappointed.
Note: This review is for the base game only, and does not include any of the expansion packs.

Create-A-Sim Players: 4/5
If you have an juiced up computer, the graphics are amazing. The customization you can give a sim is also very rewarding; you can now color customize the different parts of a sim's outfit with virtually any color, and the pattern system they've created only increases the amount of customization you can give a sim's clothing. A sim's hair coloration is now broken up into four parts, all of which can be set to any color you wish. The only disadvantage I found is that there doesn't seem to be as many ways to customize the face as there had been in Sims 2; there are some new, different ways though.

House Building Players: 5/5
Because of the new pattern system in the game, building houses now has a new level of customization, making it easier to customize a house's color and texture to your liking. Another nice thing is that furniture can now be placed at angles, so you no longer have to worry about awkward placement of objects near angled walls. Just keep in mind that since this is the first game, with no expansions made yet, there is a limited amount of furniture you can use. Also, if you're only interested in building houses, its not as easy as simply clicking on the lot you wish to build, once the game starts; you actually need to be playing your saved household and then exit your household for "Edit Town," where you can then select a lot to build on.

Neighborhood Building Players: 1/5
If you were big on building neighborhoods in Sims 2, you're going to very, very disappointed. You can no longer make your own neighborhoods; you are stuck with customizing Sunset Valley (the only neighborhood that comes with the game) or downloading another neighborhood from The Sims 3 website. There are no pre-made empty neighborhoods you can create and then customize and populate. Needless to say, there is no compatibility with SimCity 4 neighborhoods either. You're stuck with Sunset Valley, and that's that.
Note: There is now a "Create a World Tool" (in beta form and only for PCs) on the official website, but it's a very difficult to use if you don't know what you're doing.

Movie/Story Players: 5/5
If you're into making movies or stories there doesn't seem to be big difference between Sims 2. Photo capture now seems to be similar to what the "Print Screen" button does on your keyboard. The quality is exactly what you see on the screen, and the size of the image is as big as your resolution for the game. Video capture options seem almost identical to Sims 2. And like Sims 2, the controls are still difficult to deal with if you're trying to make smooth transitions. Also, there is no in-game Storytelling option anymore, storytelling is mostly focused online at The Sims 3 website, where there are some neat tools you can use for editing.

Single Family Players: 4/5
If you liked only playing one household in Sims 2 (like if you were into the Legacy Challenge) Sims 3 makes it even more interesting and more realistic with the fact that the entire neighborhood ages around your sim; no more childhood friends always being children, even when your sims have become adults; no more grandchildren out-aging their grandparents because they happen to be on different lots. And not only that, but you can now explore the rest of the world, expanding the possibilities for your sims.

Multi-Family/God Players: 2/5
If you liked jumping between many different houses and creating a complex story between many different households, you may be in for a big disappointment with Sims 3. You've ultimately been demoted from being god. You can no longer save individual households for later. Once you leave a household the sims there become NPCs (characters for the computer to control) and continue on their own lives and own story without your help. This may sound odd but Sims 3 is more of a game, and less of a device to tell a huge complex story.

The Sims 2 Console Players: 5/5
For people who loved The Sims 2 for PlayStation 2, X-Box, and GameCube, The Sims 3 plays very similar to those. In fact, The Sims 3 seems like a souped up version of the console Sims 2. For people who hated The Sims 2 console games, well . . . you may not like how The Sims 3 plays.

You're liking of The Sims 3 is really going to depend on what you did and enjoyed in The Sims 2. And sadly, I have to say this game isn't for everyone who loved The Sims 2.

New Players: 3/5 - 5/5
For players who haven't played the Sims games before, from my experience, Sims has either been a hit or miss deal. You either like it or you don't. And it's hard to say whether or not you'll like it until you give it a try. Sims can be a very repetitive game, yet a very addicting game. It all depends on what entertains you. As I've said above, Sims is a very creative game, and that alone can be entertaining for hours. The customization in the game is probably one of the game's greatest assets. As far as game-play is concerned, part of the game is about making your own story, but there are also objectives ("opportunities" and "wishes") that help make the game challenging and entertaining if you're more goal-oriented. But keep in mind, if you're looking for a game with a solid plot and an ending, this isn't the game for you. Sims is a game that never ends. It's a simulation game of life, and The Sims is never short on life; even if you kill off everyone in your neighborhood, you can simply create more.
[This part wasn't originally in the review, but I figured since I was focusing on people who were familiar with The Sims 2, I decided to add this.]

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