I've finally obtained the holy grail of my sims addictions: The Sims 3!
To be honest I haven't obtained it. The Boyfriend got the game and let me play it on his laptop. I'm still a mac owner and I don't even thing my laptop would be able to run the game if I wanted it to. I only played it for a short time but I have to say that I like a lot of the improvements made upon the game. However, when I finally get a job and get the gaming computer of my dreams, I will definitely be playing the Sims 2 as well as the Sims 3 it seems. Let me explain in my somewhat short review.
I started out the sims 3 where any other sims fanatic would start-- Creating sims. I decided to make a little interracial family. I'll post some pictures of my own later but right now we'll just have to make do with what google search has provided me with. Continuing, making sims is, of course, higher detail than it was in previous games, and has a lot more choices. There's still a sims look. A lot of the sims look rather similar, and I think it's because when the developers made the NPC sims, they didn't work a lot with face depth and cheekbones, so those all start looking the same amongst those sims. I think the mother in my family fell for that trap, but it's okay. You still have a lot of options, and coloring of eyes and skin makes a lot of sense. You can also choose the colors and patterns of the clothing! This is really fun to tinker with, and made easy to change.
Although I was able to get a lot of variety with everything other physical trait, I'm really disappointed by the lack of haircut variety. It is kind of appalling. I'm not one of those people who can fancy up a hair cut for a sims in a jiffy, or anything that involves designing things outside of game. I'm kind of stuck with what they give me. And especially for the guys, I think they could've thought the selection of hairdos through a bit more. Knowing Maxis, there will be expansion packs, and I think this is why they are holding back.
One more complaint: mixing genetics to make a kid between two sims in the version I got seemed rather unimpressive the one time I used it... but then again that was just once. I have a pregnant sims so we'll see how it goes.
One of the changes I like the most is how they got rid of the previous personality system entirely. Zodiacs are gone, and everything is replaced with a traits system. An adult gets up to 5 traits. Children have 3 traits, and toddlers have even less. The idea is that sims growing up in the game gain certain traits as time goes on. If your sims has a reall awesome life, they can choose these traits as they grow up. If not, they'll just be given whatever trait seems fit. Not every trait is a positive, and not every trait is a mere personality choice. Some examples include clumsy, lucky, perfectionist, heavy sleeper, neat, loves outdoors, and technophobe. After choosing these traits for an adult sims, you can then choose what that sims dreams to be or do. They may want to be surrounded by family, grow a fantastic garden, succeed at the top of a certain career path, and a lot of other goals. You get to choose from 5 when your sims has all his traits in place in the creation phase. These traits are important later on for wishes, which I'll speak on a little later.
After you create your sims, you can figure out the family relationships and then choose a house for them to settle in. What's fantastic is that you can choose to have the house furnished when you move in, and if you hate shopping for hours like I do, it's a blessing. However, if you love shopping than you can shop 'til you drop in an unfurnished house. I like that furniture can be placed diagonally and I like the look of the interior of a house.
The majority of the gameplay is really familiar and easy to adjust to when you first play. Jobs are all in the same town, you don't drive off to some mysterious place. You can also choose your attitude/goals at work. For example, I had all my sims focus on meeting people at their job or at school so it would be easier for them to make friends. Skills work about the same, you just have to discover them however, you don't know which ones exist right off the bat. Fulfilling needs such as hunger and fun is easier because the don't deteriorate as quickly as they have in games before. I'm so excited for this feature since it'll make managing pregnant sims a heck of a lot easier.
The newest gameplay feature is the map. Sims can venture around town at the drop of a hat, and while one sim is at the park, and you're asking them to talk to the old lady playing chess, you can still keep tabs on your other sim who's watching the baby at home. Everything is in real time and completely manageable without wasting game hours repeating chunks of the day. Thank you for noticing this Maxis!
There is one drawback to everything being in real time. Because of this, you can only control one family in an entire neighborhood. Let me repeat that: You can only control ONE ENTIRE FAMILY in ONE ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD. This is a big difference than in the Sims 2, where you could technically control an entire neighborhood of people, along with it's downtown area and it's college and it's shopping district. You could control everyone! Of course, that wasn't in real time, but if you love managing people (like I do) this was great fun. There is no way you could control a whole group of people in real time. This is a catch 22. Either you can control one whole family in real time all the time, and deal with a town full of NPCs, or you control as many people as you like but not in real time.
And this is why I will play the Sims 2 and the Sims 3 when I get a gaming PC. Because I like both types of game play. I like being able to control a whole town of stories, but at the same time investing in one family in real time is really fun. I'm not so blind that I can't appreciate the new. At the same time, I'm not so blind that I can't appreciate the old either. So I guess that is my compromise.
I'll have pictures soon. In the meantime, I think I'll make that family in my sims 2 games too. I'll do that AFTER I apply for some jobs today.