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A Time To Expand: The Sims 3 Seasons

Like the games themselves, the expansions for The Sims are a surreal blend of the mundane and the extraordinary. There was an expansion that allowed Sims to go out to bars and clubs, which is something that most people can do anyway, but in the world of commercialism and gobbledegook it also became possible to turn into a vampire. The Sims Seasons adds weather and new activities and interactions for each season, so Sims can now become sunburnt or struck by lightning, which seems to burn off all of their clothes but doesn't quite kill them. There are also festivals along with other season-specific happenings. And then there's the alien abductions because, hey, the weather isn't weird enough.

Aliens can be befriended, which makes a change from shooting them in whatever most resembles a face, but they sound like the worst friends ever. Say you called your alien friend over for dinner, well afterwards he might propose abducting one of your neighbours or invading the local park. Now I'm accepting of cultural differences, but if this fellow were a human being and casually suggested chloroforming the chap next door and shoving him in the boot of your car, the first thing you'd do is call the police. Or at least I hope so. These aliens sound like the smug little invaders from Funny Games and you really shouldn't be hanging out with them.

Oh, alien friends can also take you on a trip to the stars. Maybe that justifies the rest of their antisocial behaviour. I guess it depends how much you like the stars. Professor Brian Cox would be fawning over the extraterrestrial sociopaths no matter how many bodies they had stashed in their probing parlour. He bloody loves the stars that guy.

While it's clear that these expansions won't stop coming until The Sims 4 is ready for sale, I wish they'd at least release the previous one before announcing the new one. Supernatural is out next month and Seasons is out in November. Is that the shortest gap between Sims expansions ever? Yes it is. Soon they'll be arriving once a week.

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