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Platform

PC

 

Genre

Simulation

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Maxis

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

June 5, 2009

 

 

‑ Sims personalities get a rejuvenated boost to help create a more complex – and closer to actual human ‑ being

‑ Less worry about Sims peeing on themselves and keeping hygienically fresh

 

 

‑ Don’t expect much “free” Sims stuff (from EA itself, anyway) anymore, as it appears microtransactions via www.TheSims3.com will be the way for gamers to upgrade their Sims’ inventory

 

 

Review: The Sims 2 (PC)

Review: The Sims: Life Stories (PC)

Review: Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive (PC)

 

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The Sims 3

Score: 9.5 / 10

 

Legendary genius game creator Will Wright didn’t need to make The Sims 3, not with its predecessor selling millions of copies and seemingly able to indefinitely churn out money-making add-on pack after money-making add-on pack. But that The Sims 3 is here is testament to not only Wright’s game-designing talent but also his passion for perfection. Because while The Sims 3 may not look much different than The Sims 2, it’s the intricate details below the graphical surface that Wright has refined that have pushed The Sims 3 into new boundaries of greatness in the simulation gaming genre.

 

sims 3          sims 3

 

Where The Sims 3 really advances the already intricate world of the Sims is in the designing of more human-acting Sims through more enhanced personalities that can be designed with the Create-a-Sim toolbox. Gamers get to choose from a rather large pool of traits to custom-design a unique, one-of-a-kind Sim. Gamers

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must also select from Lifetime Wishes to give their Sim a lifetime goal to attain, such as becoming a Superstar Athlete, News Anchor or Rock Star. Based on their interactions with other Sims and within the Sims universe they populate, Lifetime Wishes points accumulate until they reach the wished-for result.

 

Along with the emphasis on designing more personable Sims,

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there’s a big push in The Sims 3 for more advanced online interactivity. Wright has thrust his Sims into the social networking stratosphere with a dedication to building the Sims online community bigger than ever.

 

EA encourages and entices Sims gamers to register on www.TheSims3.com, the official site for all things The Sims 3, by giving registrants 1,000 SimPoints for buying items (outfits, furniture, home décor) for their Sims and also a new town to download for free, Riverview. Sustaining a portal that can be very profitable via microtransactions with gamers buying a lot of Sims items, and maybe even future expansions, seems to be a big goal of EA. There is other social networking through the site, too, as gamers will have the ability to blog and even edit their Sims 3 movies, from the story to the music, and upload the final “director’s cut.”

 

That social interaction transfers to the Sims, too. Along with possessing more complex personalities, the Sims are now more social also, wanting to interact with each other more than ever. There’s seemingly more opportunities to discuss more topics of interest to a particular Sim, giving gamers ample opportunity to befriend (or romantically woo) more Sims and easier develop a larger number of personal relationships in-game.

 

Another huge augmentation is the new openness of the Sims world, transforming it into a true sandbox realm. In the previous Sims titles, gamers had to wait to load a new area just walking out the front door and going anywhere 50 feet from your Sims front door. Wanted to go on a shopping excursion? Had to wait to load the shopping area. Going out for a night on the town at the disco? Had to wait for the town to load.

 

sims 3          sims 3

 

Every time, gamers had to wait for the loading of whatever place they wanted to go. That’s been replaced with sandbox freedom. Now, moving about is as simple as strolling down the neighborhood block or zooming out on the map and clicking the desired destination. Gamers’ Sims are then whisked away by the quickest means possible to get there. The effect is a much more open reality than before.

And that has conversely has the effect of giving gamers more enjoyment, as they’ll spend more fun playing The Sims 3 and less time annoyingly waiting for the game to load over and over. Adding to that enjoyment is the excellent Sim-to-Sim reactions and behaviors of the Sims, which seem to have been upgraded and have become more animated ‑ and clearly in many cases more hilarious.

 

Gamers will excitedly be interacting their Sims with other in-game Sims just so they can get a laugh out of the conduct of the intermingling Sims (especially since there’s less involvement in getting gamers’ Sims to clean themselves or go to the bathroom, which in past Sims games oftentimes interrupted fun gameplay at inopportune moments).

 

Refined and enhanced, the personalities of Wright’s Sims are more and more realistic, bringing his Sims one step closer to being a honest-to-goodness, true simulation of a living, breathing human being. The Sims 3 is pure simulation gaming fun, and the ultimate God game today. But let’s just hope Wright’s genius doesn’t get his Sims too much closer to becoming almost-humanlike in the Sims 4 or 5 – we don’t want them becoming self-realized and going all-out HAL 9000 or Skynet on us.

 

‑ Lee Cieniawa

lcieniawa@armchairempire.com

(August 5, 2009)

 

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