Posts Tagged ‘The Sims™ 3’

Have You Played… The Sims 3?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

In some respects, if you’ve played one The Sims game you’ve played them all. They’re all about building a house, populating it with people, making those people look like your friends, and making your friends kiss one another. It’s just that The Sims 3 got the formula closest to perfection.

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Surviving With The Sims

Note – this was originally published a month ago as part of the RPS Supporter program, hence the reference to our now-finished Survival Week.

It’s Survival Week here at RPS, so I decided that I’d write about my earliest experiences with The Sims, a survival game like no other. Left to their own devices, Sims are just about smart enough to struggle through life but they’re not quite intelligent enough to live. They need to be coaxed into improving their lot, and influenced by the click and the cursor. Without either clicks or cursors, I first encountered The Sims when I was struggling to build my own place in the world. Let’s take a trip down the memory cul-de-sac.

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Shock As New Sims 3 Expansion Packs Announced

OMIGOSH THE FUTURE
Far in the distance, a tiny speck appears on the grassy horizon. You can’t quite make it out – it could be anything, but it is moving. It is moving towards you, faster and faster now – you can make out a person’s features. It is a brunette with a bubblegum pink streak in her hair, and dark black square-rimmed glasses. She is wonderfully beautiful; just a dream. Like how you imagine Kristen Bell would be if she had brown hair and the build of an Amazon that had let herself go a bit and was about five years younger. So not that much like Kristen Bell but JUST ENOUGH. She is running, running, getting closer and closer – she is almost here, with an exhausted look on her face.

“RPS!” she says. “RPS! I bring NEWS! THERE ARE GOING TO BE SIMS 3 EXPANSION PACKS!” She coughs and splutters with the effort. “That’s right! The Sims 3 Into the Future and The Sims 3 Movie Stuff!” she says, stopping when she sees your frankly quite disappointed face. “I am not good at this news thing,” she sighs. Read the rest of this entry »

The Sims 4 To Be The Fourth Sims Game?

EA’s recently-announced The Sims 4 may in fact be a new Sims game, sources have revealed to RPS.

The source, who did not wished to be named but who purports to have strong ties to the press release-reading community, claimed exclusively to this website that The Sims 4 is in fact the fourth in the Sims series.
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A Time To Expand: The Sims 3 Seasons

You have to preorder to play with this ice lounge, where posteriors go to die.

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.

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Vampires Are People Too, In The Sims 3

I can see right up your nose.
I thought it was deja vu, but it was actually just another expansion pack. The Sims 3: Late Night already gave us the capacity to become a vampire, in a sexy out clubbin’ sort of way, but this time it’s all gone a bit Young Adult Fiction with vampires, fairies, wizards, and even zombies becoming simulated people. With a bunch of silly magic, and transformations into werewolves, The Sims 3: Supernatural actually looks like it might be amusing.

Trailer below, needless to say. The Sims 3: Supernatural is out int he first week of September.
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And Now The Game: A SimCity Preview

After all that back and forth about the DRM, let’s see what this new SimCity really is. There’s no number because it’s not a sequel as such, or so the word goes. I can’t help but see it as a statement of intent – the series first turned fallow and then was perverted, but now it’s back, back, back on track. Pure and faithful. In the same way Dexys Midnight Runners are, in their new incarnation, simply ‘Dexys’ there’s a consciousness that a long history can be as much an albatross as a boon.

And so what might have been Sim City 6 is simply ‘SimCity’, and it is indeed a city management game. A proper one, with zoning and utilities and emergencies and traffic jams and crime and all that metropolitan jazz. My sense was that it’s more accessible than Sim City 4 was, but not in the way that Sim City Societies or – heaven forfend – a Cityville-type is. Yes, the ‘a’ word. Wait, calm down. While I can only speak from a quick, eyes-on impression of a very early build, the trick seemed be in the presentation of information, not sacrifice of the information itself. A surprisingly lavish and high-detail 3D world was backed up by a slick-looking interface, heavily customisable to show what you do and don’t personally want to see at any one time.
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The SuperMes: Arch Social Criticism?

I'm pretty sure this is the end of television.

I’m not sure whether Channel 4’s The SuperMes is an extremely extensive advert for The Sims 3, or an arch criticism of the nature of reality television. Either way, it’s a man commentating over edited footage of the game, in an attempt to create a Big Brother-style narrative. You can see the first episode, spotted by Gamasutra, below.

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Mods And Ends: The Sims 3

Does anyone remember Sim Town?

Oh no! It’s for girls! And not even the good type of girls. The bad ones. The ones who like Hollyoaks and reality TV, and feast on swirling and scurrilous rumours about Brangelina.

Except that’s a load of old rubbish, like claiming that games with guns only appeal to violent sociopaths or wargames only appeal to retired colonels. I have it on good authority that many current ranking members of the Armed Forces also like to play wargames. The Sims has long been a fascinating piece of software, in many ways experimental and exploratory, and supporting a type of creative play that is rare to find. Let’s mod it. Let’s really open it up.

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Crossbreeding: The Sims 3 Pets

In most games, you would be actively encouraged to burn this monstrosity

The Sims 3 Pets is now out and a little birdie informs me that horses are exclusive to the PC version, so that’s good. That same little birdie is in every version though, being the sort of creature that doesn’t care too much about the company he keeps. I actually had quite a bit of fun with the Create a Pet doohickey, treating it as a cruel and unethical genetics laboratory, but the advertising campaign for the expansion takes that one step further with a hybrid of man and dog, called Trevor Mountleg no less, encouraging ownership of pets. And sex in haystacks. Peculiar.

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The Sims Pets “Create A Pet” Creates Pets

That horse is a cat.
Since I know just how much you lot love playing with cute fluffy animals, I thought I’d better point out this pet creator demo. From The Sims 3 website: “Create a wide variety of unique dogs, cats, and—for the first time ever—horses!” HORSES!? Best of all the animals?

You can download Create A Pet here. This concludes our The Sims 3 Pets coverage for today.

Old, School: The Sims 3 Generations Coming

Edward Boxhand was forever leading the girls on.
Information about this expansion leaked, like a rude analogy, onto a German Sims 3 site a couple of weeks ago, and now The Sims 3 Generations has been officially confirmed by Electronic Arts. Sims will be able play in treehouses as kids, play pranks as teens, and have a mid-life crisis as an adult, but in general the expansion seems focused on fleshing out the different eras of a Sim’s existence. A shiny new trailer has been birthed, and awaits you after the jump.
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Steam Bun: Sims 3 Ultimate Bundle On Steam

Reminds me of what I can remember of the last RPS meet-up.

I wasn’t going to post about this, but here I am posting about it. I wish I understood my mind. Sometimes it’s like I have a hedgehog inside my skull with whom I am not friends. So this weekend The Sims 3 and every single expansion to date appeared on Steam, and not only that, Steam are currently hosting a 50% off sale on the Ultimate edition (containing The Sims 3 plus the World Adventures, Ambitions, Late Night, High-End Loft Stuff and Fast Lane Stuff expansions). Yes! So instead of paying £115 you merely pay £57.50. Hm. I think I’ll be keeping my money, but I’ve deposited some thoughts on this plus the launch trailer for Late Night after the jump.
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The Sims 3: Fast Lane Stuff Video

XXX

That’s got to be one of the more opaque headlines I’ve written in my life. Look at it! It’s just a collection of words, strung together like clothes on a washing line. Man, this job*.

So the Stuff packs are little chunks of DLC for The Sims 3 that retail at some £7.50 each. The first, High-End Loft, added a catalogue of sleek, expensive designer belongings to the game. The second, Fast Lane, comes out tomorrow (or, two days ago if you live in North America) and adds both cars and belongings for “four different fast-lane lifestyles: racing, intrigue, rockabilly, and classic luxury”. At last! A game that lets me accurately recreate my intriguing rockabilly lifestyle. Launch video after the jump.

*Is awesome!
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The Sims 3: Late Night announced

I'm still waiting on The Sims 3: Turnin' In Early.

It seems every Sims game means a sexy expansion pack. The original game had Hot Date, the second had Nightlife, and this Autumn The Sims 3 will have Late Night, adding nightspots, celebrity-filled parties and a new hot tub to everybody’s favourite domination simulator, as well as the chance for your sims to go on tour with their bands. Meticulously choreographed teaser trailer can be found after the jump.

I’ve just noticed the guy in that video has a Sims cursor tattooed on his back. That’s a bit meta, isn’t it? A bit disturbing. It implies the sims are aware of the cursor over their heads, and yet are still slaves to it, perhaps even worshipping it. Eee.
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Fate And Agency: Rod Humble On The Sims 3

Does he have more choice than you?

During EA’s E3 press conference last night there was one moment that was by far the most extraordinary of the evening. Rod Humble, the man in charge of the Sims, came out and began to lecture on free will. The corporate reason for this was the announcement that The Sims 3 is to come out on consoles this Autumn – not something we need to concern ourselves with, unless the changes and improvements of the console version are not also updated into the PC version. But that’s a concern for another time. Because as far as we’re concerned, this was a glorious moment of sunshine amongst the usual pomp and explosions of a gaming press junket. You can watch it below.

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The Sims 3 Create-A-World Tool


The Sims 3 Create-A-World Tool, which is a tool for creating worlds in The Sims 3, is now available in beta. EA says: “Design Entire Worlds – Players can choose terrain patterns, vegetation and neighborhood accents like water towers and lighthouses, then place lots and roads to create something totally unique.” It actually looks fairly impressive, and appears to be a free download update for the game. There’s also a large PDF walkthrough which shows off some of the features and teaches you how to use the tool. The tool appears at the same as the Hi-Tech pack, which can be used to furnish the houses in your landscapes with contemporary furniture and consumer gadgets.

Sim Raider: EG Review Action

‘Tis a quiet day indeed in RPS’s musty central brain-chamber. More Friday words by one of the hivemind nodes can at least be found over on Eurogamer, where they tasked me with reviewing the first Sims 3 expansion, World Adventures. It’s far more conceptually interesting than you might expect from this much-milked series – but is that entirely appropriate for the Sims? Find out here. Includes words such as these:

My Sim had traipsed through a Chinese tomb, suffering a near-death experience with a firetrap halfway through. Upon finally emerging into fresh air, I duly ordered him to head over to the buyer of rare goods in order to spend all the ancient coins he’d collected. What I forgot was that a) it was about 3am in-game at that point, b) I hadn’t ever met the buyer of rare goods yet, and c) the firetrap mess meant my fat, bad-tempered Sim was now virtually naked and caked in ash. The second this frightening apparition turned up at a stranger’s house in the dead of night, they fled – a screaming, arm-waving Chinese merchant running away from his own house in absolute terror.

World Adventures: Virtual Virtual Tourism


The World Adventures expansion pack for The Sims 3 is released on November 17th, and it’s looking like a fairly ambitious idea: holidays for your Sims, complete with multiple locations, places to explore (Egypt, China, and France), and things to bring home such as an… ancient Egyptian mummy? It’s going to be interesting to see where EA go with these expansion packs from here, frankly, because the new game is ripe for expansion both inwards and outwards. I’d quite like to see the career side of things developed, as some of the stuff your characters do at work (which is largely hidden from view) sounds a good deal more interesting than what they get up to in the rest of the game. Trailer ‘neathward.
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The Church of Me: Sims and Religion. Why not?

Oh god - this thread is going to get messy.

This is something I’d normally save until The Sunday Papers, but I think there’s a debate here you comments-threaders would enjoy. After reading Tom Chick’s interview with the Sims Producer MJ Chun where she elegantly ducks a question on why they don’t include religion, Troy Goodfellow starts wondering about – er – the problems of – er – being a Good fellow. He thinks a strict idea that religion or faith should be popping off to Church on a sunday is misplaced anyway. And there’s little in the way which the sims are twisted which allow to pursue humanity’s non-materialistic side.

But look at the Sims trait list. No altruistic only ambitious. No kind hearted, but there is mean spirited. No generous, but there is mooch. Hopeless romantic, but no celibate. All the best virtues are lumped into one large “Friendly” category that is used to force you to make your Sim accumulate friends. The “Good” trait is the catch all for the Christian virtues we’ve been raised one. Not that the traits are everything, but they do – in general – point toward characteristics that are about gathering, collecting and self-improvement. They are a representation of how the game sees story telling.

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