Saturday, 16 April 2011

The Sims 3 PC

The Sims theme is evidently going to continue for a while. We bit the bullet and got hold of the third game and all of the current expansion packs.

The plumbob flash drive included with the collectors edition looks AWESOME. I love game merchandise too much for my own good. And the good of my finances.
Firstly I must say that, should this be genuine, I am very excited. I don't think I've actually been excited about a game release in years.

I'm still quite strongly attached to the second game, primarily because I've been designing ridiculous vacation homes and trying to get Sim families to afford them. And star-print cats. I made a star-print cat.

Totally lacking any creativity that day, I decided to make American Dad's Klaus Heissler from when he gets turned into a human in Finances with Wolves. I know he later shaves his hair, but I didn't feel like having him bald.

In regard to hairstyles, I found the choice to be quite restrictive, and as with the PC version of the previous title, there was not a wide choice of colours. More on that later. I couldn't even find a definitive afro style! I'd be stuck if I wanted to recreate my awesomely-haired friend Chris.
The option to fine-tune the pitch of the Sims voice is very cool, as are some of the more interesting traits and life aims you can pick. I made him an eco-friendly vegetarian; thought it might be a bit strange to risk him eating fish considering he used to be a fish. On the other hand, I made his life ambition the cross-breeding of creatures with robots.
I was very pleased to notice that not only can dying be turned off, you can select different lifespans! I chose "Epic"!

I bought him a nice lot with a farming-land background, and built him a modest home. Didn't want to spend all of his §15,000 starting Simoleons. It didn't take long before the wallpaper I'd chosen helped to initiate a migraine, so I replaced it with something plain. The building interface is very interesting, and products are now sorted by either their related room or function. It is pleasing.
I like that you can set the colour and intensity of individual lights, although having all purple bulbs got old quite quickly.

Obvious SecuROM reference.

Casually breaking-into the neighbourhood fire station

I don't know why this guy is holding a bowl. He even used it to eat something else.

Neighbourhoods are very different to those in the previous incarnation. You can't customise them at all, which is disappointing as I was looking forward to plonking unnecesary wind turbines everywhere. [Edit: turns out you can customise the neighbourhood by clicking Edit Town --> World Editor. There aren't any turbines, but there are terracotta horses]. You only have one playable household in the neighbourhood at a time, and setting a different family to be your active household causes your current one to lose all of their wishes and promises (replacing wants and fears), and they carry on in your absence, meaning that if you set up a save so that you'd return at a critical moment, you come back to things being very different. As I found out when my partner was playing it in my absence.

However, it must be said, that a benefit of having only one active household, is the ability to make them run all over the neighbourhood! Without loading a neighbourhood screen! Klaus didn't like taking taxis so I got him a nice bike.
Careers are now much more interesting, with the introduction of Professions; your Sim literally goes around the town, performing duties. As such, this title is much less family-focused. It is no longer about the home, but everything you do outside of it. So, what profession did I choose for Klaus? Ghost Hunter, of course! Which brings me onto my next topic.

Some ghosts will attack you

Noone has died yet so I haven't seen what household Sims are like as ghosts. When I saw the spirits on Klaus' first job, I thought the quality of dead characters had gone downhill. But I was relieved by his later assignments. I did meet a ghost belonging to another household - their name matching that on a nearby urn - and the only actions were greetings, so assumably ghost Sims are much like their formerly-alive selves. This is definitely an improvement on Montgomery's ghost!

I think it's great that you can interact with all of them. You can whip out the Banshee Bansisher and be done with it, or you can ask them about their lives, reassure them about their loved ones, and eventually convince them to move on peacefully. I also have to admit that I love the concept of ghost hunters working in shifts so that I could call one in every time the central heating freaks me out.

After being called to the Cantina household to rid them of possessed furniture, Klaus seemed to take a liking to Lorraine Cantina. Maybe it was her Kayako Saeki haircut, I don't know. I tried painstakingly to get them together, but so far they are still just the "romantic interest" of each of other and I'm totally stumped as to how to get them married. Even though I was slightly naughty and made them have a baby. In the end, the only answer seemed to be to merge the household, so that Lorraine and the automatically-named baby Thelma are living with Klaus. Still not technically in any kind of relationship, mind you. A benefit of the merge was getting all of Lorraine's money, so I then had enough to finally build Klaus an awesome house!

First I thought it looked like Zoidberg's face

But then I realised it was a fish!!

Fish with a robot eye, crown and veil?

Something new to me is the ability to have adventures in the likes of Egypt and China. I completed some puzzles in a tomb and attempted to do so in the Sphinx, although when it came to the second pool, Klaus *suddenly decided* he didn't know how to swim. Apparently if I'd have gone into a pyramid too, I would have encountered a Mummy!

Bert the Bear ♥!

After buying a basic mirror and aiming to change the hairstyles Lorraine displays on different occasions, I noticed there was a way to change the colour of the roots, ends and different layers!

Graphically, The Sims 3 doesn't seem to be too improved, for example when you compare the Sims 2 fire alarm with the current one. Many regions of texturing are slow to materialise, if they do at all. Sim skin is now shiny in such a way that Klaus literally appears to be made of chocolate.

Being driven-through by a car

As you'll have noticed throughout this, the screenshots are thankfully of a MUCH higher quality than beforehand. It is a bit dissapointing though that you don't seem to get portraits of the families you play added to the game folders.
In summary, I am very much enjoying the game although I will continue to play its predecessor alongside for its qualities. I'd say they were both worth getting in their own right. I'll let you know as soon as I get my hands on anything with pets in it. I WANT A LLAMA. And a Platypus. That is all.

Scary driving eyes

Everybody loves Bert!

Where is the phone?

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