The Sims 3

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The Sims 3

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Product Details

Product Description

The Sims 3 lets you immerse truly unique Sims in an open, living neighborhood just outside their door! The freedom of The Sims 3 will inspire you with endless possibilities and amuse you with unexpected moments of surprise and mischief. Your Sims can roam throughout their neighborhood, visit neighbors’ homes, and explore the surroundings. They can stroll downtown to hang out with friends, meet someone new at the park, or run into colleagues on the street. If your Sims are in the right place at the right time, who knows what might happen?! New easy-to-use design tools allow for unlimited customization to make truly individual Sims. Determine your Sims’ shape and size, from thin to full-figured to muscular—and everything in between! Choose your Sims’ facial features, their exact skin tone, hair eye shape and color and select their clothing and accessories. Create realistic Sims with distinctive personalities. Select from dozens of personality traits and combine them in fun ways. The combination of traits you choose—brave, artistic, loner, perfectionist, klepto, romantic, clumsy, paranoid, and much, much more—help shape the behavior of your Sims and how they interact with other Sims. Your Sims can now rise above their basic set of every day needs. They are complex individuals with unique personalities. Build your dream house or design the ultimate home. Customize everything from floors to flowers, shirts to sofas, wallpaper to window shades. It’s fun and easy to change colors and patterns giving you endless personalization options. Or you can populate your Sims’ neighborhood with pre-designed buildings and furnishings. Which of your Sims will live in high-end mansions, cool bachelor pads, ultimate dream homes or low-cost cottages?

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #50 in Video Games
  • Brand: Electronic Arts
  • Model: 15390
  • Released on: 2009-06-02
  • ESRB Rating: Teen
  • Platforms: Windows Vista, Windows XP, Mac OS X
  • Format: CD-ROM
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: .40 pounds

Features

  • New Seamless, Open NeighborhoodExplore the neighborhood freely.
  • New Create A Sim Create any Sim you can imagine.
  • New Realistic PersonalitiesEvery Sim is a unique person, with a distinct personality.
  • New Unlimited CustomizationEveryone can customize everything!
  • The freedom of The Sims 3 will inspire you with endless possibilities and amuse you with unexpected moments of surprise and mischief.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Product Description
The freedom of The Sims 3 will inspire you with endless creative possibilities and amuse you with unexpected moments of surprise and mischief. Create millions of unique Sims and control their lives. Customize their appearances and personalities. Build their homes – design everything from exquisitely furnished dream homes to quaint cottages. Then, send your Sims out to explore their ever-changing neighborhood and to meet other Sims in the town center. With all-new quick challenges and rewarding game play, The Sims 3 gives you the freedom to choose whether (or not) to fulfill your Sims’ destinies and make their wishes come true.

'The Sims 3' game logo
Create like never before.
New seamless neighborhoods in 'The Sims 3'
New seamless neighborhoods.
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New create a Sim functionality and personality traits in 'The Sims 3'
New create a Sim and personalities.
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Extreme home customization in 'The Sims 3'
Extreme home customization.
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Key Game Features:

  • New Seamless, Living Neighborhood
    • Explore the ever-changing neighborhood—and take your Sims to meet friends in the park, go on a date at the bistro, visit neighbors’ homes, converse with less-than-savory characters in the graveyard and more. Who knows what might happen?
    • Admire the natural beauty of the beach, the mountains, and more.
  • New Create a Sim Functionality
    • Create any Sim you can imagine with easy-to-use design tools that allow for unlimited customization of facial features, hair color, eye color, and more.
    • Fine tune your Sims’ body shape from thin to curvy to muscular.
  • New Personality Traits
    • Create over a million different personalities with traits such as evil, insane, kleptomaniac, romantic, and more.
    • Influence the behaviors of your Sims with the traits you’ve chosen. Will you create a neurotic romantic with a heart of gold, or a geeky super-genius with an evil streak?
  • New Unlimited Customization
    • Everyone can customize everything—design and build your dream house and decorate it to fit your Sims’ personalities.
    • Customize everything from floors to décor, shirts to sofas, wallpaper to window shades.
  • New Gameplay That’s Rewarding and Quick
    • Face short and long-term challenges and reap the rewards.
    • Your Sims can pursue random opportunities to get fast cash, get ahead, get even, and more.
    • Choose whether, or not, to fulfill your Sims’ destinies by making their wishes come true. Will your Sims be thieves, rock stars, world leaders? The choice is yours.
  • Get Connected and Share Your Creations with The Sims 3Online Community
    • Get free bonus content—download Sims, outfits, furnishings, houses and more.
    • Create and Share Sims, houses, movies and more with anyone.
    • Join The Sims 3 community to share ideas with fans of The Sims from around the world.

System Requirements:

  Minimum Specifications:
OS: Windows Vista (SP1)/Windows XP (SP2) Mac OS X 10.5.7 Leopard or higher
Processor: Vista – 2.4 GHz P4 or equivalent/XP – 2.0 GHz P4 or equivalent Intel Core Duo Processor
RAM: Vista – 1.5 GB/XP – 1GB 2GB
Disc Drive: 8x DVD ROM or faster 8x DVD ROM or faster
Hard Drive: Vista & XP – 8 GB or more At least 6.1 GB of hard drive space, with at least 1 GB additional space for custom content and saved games.
Video Card: 128 MB Video Card with support for Pixel Shader 2.0. Supported video cards include: NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900, FX 5950, 6200, 6500, 6600, 6800, 7200, 7300, 7600, 7800, 7900, 7950, 8400, 8500, 8600, 8800, 9600, 9800, GTX 260, GTX 280 (GeForce FX unsupported under Vista); ATI Radeon 9500, 9600, 9800, X300, X600, X700, X800, X850, X1300, X1600, X1800, X1900, X1950, 2400, 2600, 2900, 3450, 3650, 3850, 3870, 4850, 4870; Intel Extreme Graphics GMA X3x00 series. ATI X1600 or Nvidia 7300 GT with 128 MB of Video RAM, or Intel Integrated GMA X3100.
Other: Laptop versions of chipsets above may work, but may run comparatively slower. * This game will not run on PowerPC (G3/G4/G5) based Mac systems, or the GMA 950 class of integrated video cards.

Customer Reviews

Fun for some, diappointing for others.3
There 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.]

A Sims Type Game3
If you are going into Sims 3 thinking of it as an improved Sims 2 you will be disappointed.

The Sims 3 is a “Sims Type Game”. It’s like the previous Sim games but not quite. Sims 2 was about creating your own storyline. Sims 3 is about rolling with the punches. The game will change things in the neighborhood at random. People will die, move out, have children…the neighborhood is constantly changing. Like someone else said, the game is rather like an RPG. If you liked having complete control like in Sims 2 then you may not like this game.

Also, if you did not know. With Story Progression mode on Sims will leave town. Meaning they will disappear. Not only townies, your custom made Sims can be randomly deleted. It is not a glitch. It is an actual feature of the game. It’s difficult to understand why EA thought having Sims randomly deleted was a good idea, but it’s there.

There is an option to turn off Story Progression which is supposed to stop life changing events. Unfortunately this button does not work. Story Progression being such an important part of Sims 3, you have to wonder how this got by EA quality control. To me this is unexcusable. Fans have every right to be angry about this. Even before the game released this was a widely known problem. Everybody expects bugs, but for an important feature of the game to outright not work is ridiculous.

Next, the controls. Sims 3 controls: Clumsy. In Sims 2 the controls are simple, friendly, and easy to use. Sims 3 controls are strangely clunky and makes you jump through alot of hoops for something as simple as switching families. Get ready to learn the new and sometimes confusing interface.

Onto the Sims looks. Even after watching all of the promotional videos I did not realize the Sims 3 Sims were quite so chubby. There are ways to slim down the face in CAS but once you actually start playing them they look chubby again. After many hours of playing I have actually grown accustomed to their looks so it doesn’t bother me as much now. If looks are very important to you this maybe a dealbreaker.

The Camera. Camera movement is not as smooth as in TS2. It’s very touchy and jumpy. After getting used to the controls I’m getting better at using it but at the same time it lacks the smoothness of Sims 2. This is not because of my computer. My computer way exceeds the minimum requirements for Sims 3. The game itself is just plain laggy. Some advice for those frustrated with the right click screen drag, go into options and enable edge scrolling this will alleviate some of your frustration.

Onto the Pros!
The seamless neighborhood is gorgeous. This is one thing EA got right. I almost never left home in TS2. In TS3 going into town is one of my favorite things about the game. The scenery is beautiful. Go to the beach and lookout onto the water, it’s moving, glimmering, and looks so alive.
I built my Sim home right next to a waterfall. Beautiful!

Traits system. I really enjoy the traits system. You can now make truly unique personalities. The little personality quirks of my Sims make me smile. Like if you have a neurotic Sim, they will want to check the sink constantly to make sure it’s not dirty. A loner Sim will become upset at being around other Sims. An insane Sim will talk to himself.

Color Options. I love being able to give my Sims crazy colored hair and eyes. You can also recolor almost anything.

Improved AI. It’s not obvious, but I do think the Sims are more intelligent in Sims 3. They are better at doing things by themselves. Frustratingly they still do the footstomp when their route is blocked.

Overall it’s an entertaining game similar to The Sims games. But I am disappointed by the number of technical issues the game has. My advice to Sim fans is DO NOT uninstall Sims 2. I’m very glad I did not uninstall TS2. There are things TS2 still does better. It’s much simpler and easier to play. I will be going back and forth between TS2 and TS3, enjoying the similarities and the differences.

EDIT: Hi I just wanted stress one thing. What EA did with The Sims 3 was take away creative control from the player. This is what made so many fans angry. I’m sure the anger will simmer down over time but the overall disappointment and missed potential will remain. The Sims 2 was about playing GOD. It is an integral part of what made The Sims so successful and loved. For EA to have taken that away from the player is a blow to a large group of The Sims fanbase. Now, it’s still possible they will add more controls in future expansion packs so I’m not giving up on this game yet. It has a lot of potential and I would like EA to use it to it’s fullest.

This soulless game isn’t really “The Sims” for me1
Like many of the other reviewers here, I have been a HUGE fan of The Sims franchises, losing many pleasant hours to The Sims 1 and its wonderful sequel The Sims 2. Even before The Sims came out I was a Maxis fan, playing games like Sim City and Sim Tower with pleasure.

I can’t say that The Sims 3 has “disappointed” me because the more I heard about the new game over its development period the more I thought to myself “why are they including this feature or dropping that feature? It sounds like they are tampering with the heart of the things I enjoy about The Sims”. But I bought the game anyway in good faith. Needless to say I am now back to playing The Sims 2. The Sims 3 has no interest for me at all in comparison. Despite all the “improvements” – and I admit there are some surface ones – the heart and soul of what The Sims means to me is absent from this game.

Unlike other reviewers here, my negative review of this game is not due to any technical difficulties. Perhaps I haven’t played long enough to experience any, and at any rate – every hard-core Sims fan has learned to live with the bugs shipped with the game and love it anyway. The modding community has always done a sterling job of cleaning up our games and making them more playable and enjoyable. So my negative rating is not due to bugs or crashes – it is purely based on my perception of the game’s enjoyment factor, especially when compared to The Sims 2.

To be fair, I will sum up what to me are improvements to the game compared to The Sims 2:

– the “open neighbourhood” – the ability to go from one place to the other without a loading screen is a fine idea and works well in principal. But I found that it really didn’t impact my playing habits as much as you might think at first. While playing a large, busy family there would be very little time to go rushing off to the park or elsewhere and I found I was “household” focussed in my game playing just as much as in The Sims 2. I actually prefer in some ways the way community lots worked in The Sims 2. If you could organise your sims enough to go off to a community lot, time would actually stand still in the meantime, taking the pressure off your enjoyment of this change in pace for your sims.

– No doubt about it, the “Create a Style” colour wheel/pattern maker is the one thing that is far superior to recolouring in The Sims 2. It’s great fun and so easy to go through and match up clothing, furniture, wallpaper, etc in an obsessive fashion that suits my type of playing down to the ground. But even here is a caveat – there is no Body Shop type program to truly customise textures. You can recolour only which is hardly satisfying in a creative way compared to being able to extract a texture and import it into Photoshop, thereby putting your own personal stamp on the texture. For example, in The Sims 2 you could export a dress texture and by pasting on a texture of your own you could make the outfit appear to be a cardigan and skirt instead.
I am sure custom content creators in time will come up with ways of importing new meshes/textures into The Sims 3, but it is obvious that EA is trying to limit this type of thing to the “regular” user right from the beginning by eliminating a “Bodyshop” program from their development tools.

– The ease of angle rotation is an unmixed blessing in this game – something that I wish had happened in The Sims 2

– The outdoor scenery in The Sims 3 is gorgeous from the beach, the shimmering water, to the parks, rolling hills etc. But the limitations put on being able to make this neighbourhood your own again shows up the inflexibility built into this game. Whereas in The Sims 2 you could completely customise your neighbourhood, building it up from a terrain created in Sim City, to decorating it and laying out your lots etc, in this game, EA gives you this beautiful scenery and then severely limits your ability to customise it. You cannot create your own terrain, the community lot buildings are the same everywhere and are not even properly functional, and there are a limited number of lots for your houses. It feels like a “dumbed down” version of a neighbourhood to me that even the “open plan” of the game cannot make up for.

– There are a lot more surface details to gameplay in The Sims 3 by the way of person and object interactions and the little missions/opportunities that pop up. I do appreciate the amount of thought that has gone into a lot of these things, like adding depth to the career paths and making such things as painting a picture personal to every different type of sim. But again, when playing a busy family (six kids!) I found that I would just click the opportunities away as an annoyance without even reading them. There was no way my busy mother or father could go running off to the town park for a chess tournament when they were caring for screaming toddlers at home!

– The lighting of the new game is a nice update and beautiful. It is also flexible if you have the time or inclination to mess around with the many options provided

So even the improvements included in The Sims 3 are mostly mixed blessings for me!

Here are the things that have decided me against the game:

– The sims themselves. Try as I might, I cannot bond with these weird looking people and that bond between the player and their “Simmies” is the major factor that holds many Sims fans in thrall. For a start, these creations just don’t look like sims to me. It is laughable that the creators of this game are claiming that the sculpting tools given to create a sim are more flexible and customisable than in The Sims 2! In fact the sliders are very limited in their scope and have less points of difference than those provided in “Bodyshop”. That round-faced, chinless look that we all noticed and wondered at in preview pictures of this game is there for the very specific reason that you can’t provide your sim with a proper chin and all of them look blobby and quite fat in the face. The noses look like they are just stuck on anyhow and look very unfortunate in profile. And the empty-looking eyes roll in a very disconcerting and unappealing alien manner.
The sims toddlers and children – one of my prime delights in The Sims 2 – all look very ugly and all look exactly the same. One couple I played had six children, just to check out the genetics and all of them looked like peas in a pod until they got to their adult years, and even then the differences were minimal. It was very unsatisfying spending so much time and energy raising these unappealing little clones!

– Obviously, I have had trouble creating sims I like to look at. That wouldn’t matter as much if I could love the way these sims act and interact. If you think back to The Sims 1 and The Sims 2 what charmed fans of these games was how cute, quirky, funny, unexpected and unique all these characters seemed to the player. I don’t accept the criticism the developers of this new game kept stating that “all previous sims games had sims who were all the same and all they wanted to do all the time was go to the toilet!” Well really – do they think The Sims 1 and 2 would have been such world-wide successes if this were actually true?? Of course not! Our sims charmed us, made us laugh, surprised us and often took their own little lives in their own hands and pulled the game in a direction all their own.

The two things promised by The Sims 3 creators about how the new sims would behave were 1) There would be a lot more time to attend to the sims’ lives and less need to run around after them caring for their basic “needs” – such as sending them to the toilet or to bed; and 2) the new “traits” system would ensure truly unique behaviour from the sims and open up entirely new vistas of personalities and interactions for sims fans to enjoy.

I’m sorry to say, but I have to rebut both of these stated improvements.
1)I think every Sims 3 player, no matter how dedicated a fan they are will admit that you spend more time waiting for your sims to fulfil needs than ever before. You spend ages just watching them sleep every night. They seem to have bladder and hunger needs that are never satiated, and you spend more boring time staring at their work building while they are off at work. So between taking them to work, watching them sleep, fulfilling their needs and trying to skill up, there is actually zero time left in a sims’ busy day to take them to the park, the beach or visit a neighbour! How is this the “new balance” of life over needs that the developers were so proudly proclaiming??

2) As for the “traits” system – that has to be the biggest disappointment of all. Sure, picking different traits for your sims will give them some very superficial differences, such as different interaction possibilities with other sims, or different animations. but at a deeper level, each and every sim seems the same over and over again. I think the main reason I say this is if you watch a household full of sims who all supposedly have a unique set of traits, you don’t see them acting differently unless you tell them to. In fact they barely interact with one another at all if you don’t tell them to. They ignore one another and spend their time being boring – fulfilling the endless needs or perhaps using a skill object. They don’t care to interact with one another at all! It is quite possible to have two sims living in the same house forever and they remain total strangers to one another. You have to force them to interact which I find really annoying – I had hoped that they might work out their own relationships as they did in The Sims 2. Another annoying thing is the lack of familial affection between sims. Unlike The Sims 2, you never see a parent hug, kiss or play with a child unless you tell them to. You just don’t feel that these sims love/care about one another at all, and I remember that feeling that “love is real” between sims being the primary and most striking point that charmed me when The Sims 2 came out.

I am sorry to say, if I compare the depth of personality of a houseful of Sims 2 and 3 sims, the Sims 2 sims would win hands down. In Sims 2, they would take one another in like or dislike, be attracted to some and repulsed by others. The parents would hug their kids when they got home from work, and kiss them goodnight. Husbands and wives would find a quiet corner and canoodle in a very romantic way. In Sims 3 they all coldly ignore one another and act in boring and one-dimensional ways, totally uninfluenced by their so-called “unique traits”.

This lack of true feeling for my sims and between the sims themselves is my primary reason for calling this latest instalment “soulless”. How can you feel attached to these ugly, alien-like people who all look and act the same?

– I do not care for one of the key selling points of The Sims 3 – the so-called “story progression”. Which sim fan really wants to leave their playable family for a little while only to come back and find they’ve moved out of the neighbourhood, or had a family while you’re not looking with kids you didn’t get to name? Where is the appeal in that? Most sims fans love to micro-manage their sim’s lives – who they love, marry, have kids with, what they name their kids, where they choose to live, etc. Even more frustrating, the ability to turn story progression off is broken!! Good one, EA!!

Another one of my criticisms is that EA has written out some of the most enjoyable and endearing elements of The Sims 2. Eliminating these things really proves to me how little the developers of the game understood the things that true Sims fans love about their games. Here are some as an example:

– Story mode is gone. Yes I know there is a camera and yes I know they have all this fancy equipment that enables you to easily upload stories and movies onto the web to share. But I bet 90% of Sims players are not all that interested in sharing stories on the world wide web. The Sims has always been a highly personal game – a fantasy world unique to each sims player, and making up and sharing sims stories is not the driving reason to play the game for most. It is to get lost in your own little self-created kingdom and fall in love with the little pixels that people it.
In Sims 1 & 2, using the camera as I played and building up an album for each little family became a mainstay of my playing style over the years. Most of the time I would not even add text to the pictures. They would be safely stored in each family’s little album and every once in a while I would choose to browse through this visual record of my sims’ little lives and enjoy again the sentimental, surprising, funny little incidents that marked the passage of that family’s life. I would record the unexpected or charming little things that made my sims seem unique, like when my prim little sim teenager fell in love with the neighbourhood “bad boy” all on her own and against any of my expectations. Or when my shy, nerdy sim who lived with a party animal room-mate spent all her time in her room reading on the bed or, of all things – washing the windows! whenever her room-mate threw one of her wild parties!
Not having this record at hand of the family’s little story in Sims 3 is definitely a contributing factor to the feeling of the game having little forward progression – every day seems like the one before.

– Eliminating memories from the Sims is another way EA has wiped out the sense you might have of the family’s story and history. I know memories caused all sorts of trouble in The Sims 2 if you moved sims indiscriminately from one neighbourhood to the next, but I think for many of us, having that sim’s little milestones recorded in their memories really gave the sim a feel of individuality and personal growth. After not playing a particular family for a long time the first thing I would do would be to flip through the family’s album and check their memories. This would put me back in touch with where the family was in their own particular life story.

– Another charming Sims 2 feature that was wiped out was the attraction system. I know the original Sims 2 game did not ship with this, but it was added early on in one of the expansion packs and I am sure every Sims 2 fan absolutely loved it. It was another way to differentiate sims from one another. You could create down to the finest detail two sims who you thought would be “perfect” for each other, only to find they couldn’t stand each other! Then two of the unlikeliest sims would get together all of their own accord, making you feel that these little people had minds and hearts of their own. I loved this feature so much that my playing style was to resolutely let each sim choose his or her own mate with no help from me.

There are other reasons for me not to like this highly polished, highly superficial instalment of The Sims franchise. But in the end, it came down to these basic feelings about the game
– I don’t care how gorgeous it is to look at if the gameplay is shallow and boring
– I feel like EA is really dumbing down long-time sims fans by trying to eliminate custom content, charging like a wounded bull for their sub-standard stuff and doing their best to stifle the creativity of the custom content community
– The sims are cookie-cutter clones of one another, and have no charm either of physical appearance or personality. The life and soul has been sucked out of these pixel-people
– There is no sense of story, no unexpected interactions, no story mode or memories to record the sims lives. They no longer care about one another at all – parents, children, lovers, room-mates, friends – it doesn’t matter what relationship the sims have to one another, there is no desire for these people to interact or develop their relationships unless you force it.

I am mad at EA for “missing the boat” on this franchise upgrade. In fact, it no longer feels like The Sims at all to me. All the charm and spontaneity has gone out of the game. I suppose it’s not surprising I feel this way – Will Wright and his unique Maxis team of developers are long gone and EA has taken over. EA have no idea, and do not care what made The Sims beloved of fans the world over and instead are forcing something on them that has only a surface relationship to previous games. Much in the same way they “improved” Sim City out of all recognition of the original game (“Sim City Societies”), they have done this to The Sims and that, I think is unforgivable.

Fortunately, The Sims 2 will always be here and I am gladly getting back to my cute, funny, irreverent, surprising little sims with the huge added bonus of all the expansion packs and custom content I have built up over the years. I doubt if I will ever come back to The Sims 3 even if they bring out boatloads of expansion packs. If the game has no soul, it cannot be loved.

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