[Review] The Sims3

Game: The Sims 3
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Released: June 2
Price: RM139 (Normal Edition), RM169 (Collector’s edition)
Harddisk space: 6gig upon installation

Graphically, the trailer and screenshots posted on the web say that this is one beautiful game. I agree, it is nothing short of gorgeous. The different personalities of the Sims and their various quirks seem to be very much like real life rather than the game mechanics I grew up with, and interaction becomes much more human-like.

I decided to splurge on the Collector’s Edition as my 25th birthday present (bday’s next week :P). Getting it was a fun chore, and I’m glad that [Joicy], the Wind Goddess and CC followed me; the trip was that much fun (Wind Goddess, the Neverwinter Set is ONLY RM50, you sure you don’t want to get it? *evil smile*).

So after a crazy day at work, I went home and installed the game. The first thing I’ll say about this game is WOW! The loading times are much faster than the Sims2 (which was a huge resource hog) but the graphics here are simply beautiful. The light plays on the water are gorgeous, and when your Sim is cooking a meal, it actually tries to show you how the individual components look (hint: the Autumn Salad).

Creating a Sim and letting her roam around was easy. Something to note: Now buying a house comes with two options: furnished or unfurnished. The price difference isn’t that great, but if you just want to get in and go, then it’ll make a difference. I made mine a unfurnished place somewhere in Sunset Valley, a small one-bedroom house with enough space to paint outside, lots of comfy chairs to sit in and read, and a really small kitchen that reminds me of my own home’s kitchen (and that was unexpected).

Ariala Romanov (I haven’t used that Sim name since Sims2 came out) is a budding writer, and she lives in Sunset Valley. A young idealist, she doesn’t just love books, but is friendly and a bit of a workaholic. She wears glasses, has a similar haircut to mine, and is now a Trauma Surgeon (Tsu, I salute you for being a doctor! The on-call hours are killing my poor Sim). Her ultimate goal is to Master the Writing and Painting skills and to become an author.

And this is where the fun begins. Balancing improving your skills with your work and social life is no mean task. It’s very demanding, but the game rewards you for it. When you haven’t seen the bookstore for a long time, your Sim will have a wish. If you choose to fulfil this wish, then you’ll get points, which will allow you to purchase lifetime rewards. These rewards are usually tied into functions in the game, like the Diner Discount, which allows you to eat anywhere for free! There’s also the Steel Bladder reward, which allows your Sim to hold on to their bladder for much longer periods of time.

These small touches help break the monotony of the game. They make the Sims 3 fun, and breathe new life into the franchise.

However, there are a few cons in the game. Unlike previous Sims, I do encourage you to read through the Lessons when they pop up and to play with the Tutorial when you first begin, regardless of whether you’re a Sim fanatic or a newbie. A number of the game’s mechanics and controls have changed, and the tutorial does a wonderful job of easing you into them. Moving between the Map and the Sim view was also very disconcerting, and I think I got vertigo after doing that a few times (not that it stopped me, I played the game for 4 hours straight last night).

There are more things about the game that I haven’t covered here (the moodlets are one of them) but suffice to say, I’m kissing my social life goodbye. If I hadn’t made appointments today, you wouldn’t be seeing this review- I’d still be in-game playing. :P

So is the Sims worth it? To a fan, it is. It’s worth every sen I paid for the original instead of getting the “pirated” one. :D Heh.