Sims 3 First Impressions

Picked up my copy of Sims 3 on the day of release and really haven't stopped playing it since. It is so much more alive than previous installments. Just being able to take your sim outside their house and explore the town with no loading screen is so freeing. The other big  improvement from the Sims 2 is the fact that the townspeople (if you chose to keep this option on) can age along with you. Families move in and out, get promoted etc. Now people your sims know will age with them as basically your save is for the whole town not just the family you are playing. 

For example after leaving a particular Sim family for a while, one of my sims had given birth to a baby boy and her mum was now an old lady. All this is optional and can be turned off if you like more control, but  for me I think it will keep the game fresh and exciting so I am definitely going to keep this option on.
Some of the families i made  in the Sims 2 weren't as fun to play as i thought they would be when I made them. If that happens in this game they will eventually age and die if I don't play them which is kind of like an automatic in-game clean up of boring sims.
Also the customization possible now is mind boggling, hair, clothes, furniture, even things down to the standard mail box you get in the game can be changed to any of the many colours and patterns. Makes for a much more interesting and varied experience. 
There is still a lot to figure out and discover, I have only just scratched the surface but I have to give it a big thumbs up from my experience with it so far.
14 Comments
14 Comments
Posted by PyjamaRama

Picked up my copy of Sims 3 on the day of release and really haven't stopped playing it since. It is so much more alive than previous installments. Just being able to take your sim outside their house and explore the town with no loading screen is so freeing. The other big  improvement from the Sims 2 is the fact that the townspeople (if you chose to keep this option on) can age along with you. Families move in and out, get promoted etc. Now people your sims know will age with them as basically your save is for the whole town not just the family you are playing. 

For example after leaving a particular Sim family for a while, one of my sims had given birth to a baby boy and her mum was now an old lady. All this is optional and can be turned off if you like more control, but  for me I think it will keep the game fresh and exciting so I am definitely going to keep this option on.
Some of the families i made  in the Sims 2 weren't as fun to play as i thought they would be when I made them. If that happens in this game they will eventually age and die if I don't play them which is kind of like an automatic in-game clean up of boring sims.
Also the customization possible now is mind boggling, hair, clothes, furniture, even things down to the standard mail box you get in the game can be changed to any of the many colours and patterns. Makes for a much more interesting and varied experience. 
There is still a lot to figure out and discover, I have only just scratched the surface but I have to give it a big thumbs up from my experience with it so far.
Posted by JJWeatherman

Yeah I agree with most of that. It's a great game for anyone who liked the previous games. But at the same time, as you said, includes a ton of new customization options. Not necessarily with the character creation, but with the players house and with textures and such. Yeah, bottom line is that it's fun yet maybe not quite different enough from the other games to make it really interesting.

Edited by ahoodedfigure

Sounds interesting, thanks for the first impressions.  Please let us know more about stuff as you get further into the game.  Do the personalities come into play a lot more than previously?

Personally I feel a bit creeped out by the SIms :) I read your description and just replace Sims with human beings or whatever, and then I read something like "they will eventually age and die if I don't play them, which is kind of like an automatic, in-game clean-up of boring human beings."

*brr*

Posted by Alex_V

Sounds fascinating, and exactly what I wanted them to do with the game. Can't wait to play it.

Posted by gormers

Its gotten great reviews overall, and seems to be busting with content, but Im kind of disliking the style of the characters.

Sounds impressive what you say though.

Posted by IroncladMerc

People with laptops beware, the game overheats my nVidia 6800 Go Ultra in 5 minutes flat. I have to play it on a different laptop that has a Radeon chipset. I don't think Maxis games like nVidia, Spore also does this to my laptop.


Posted by Stephen_Von_Cloud

I used to play the Sims back in the day and enjoyed it, though got annoyed by the tedium.  I think back and am kind of embarrassed that I played those games, but I am being drawn back into it.  I want to pick up the game, and since they seemed to have made it fun and removed the chore aspects, I feel like it'd be crack.  I'm really trying to keep myself away.

Posted by PenguinDust

I've been playing a lot of it too and it's good but as a fan of the Sims 2 I see some short comings.  The game has a lot fewer animations than the Sims 2 to do things.  If you can have more than 1 family at a time running, I haven't figured it out yet.  The big problem of people being too tired at the end of the work day still exists.  Basically, you live for the weekends to try and make some friends.  No one drops by your house to visit any more.  You can only have 3 of any type of clothing in your dresser.  The fastest speed-up button is too slow.  Getting through a work day amounts to sitting there for 5 minutes while your sim is at work.  The nights are equally as bad.  I suggest you increase the life expectancy of your sims from the default 90 days to 190 if you plan to do anything other than get a job and have one or two friends.  If not, you'll be an elder before you can enjoy any of the perks you recieved from lifetime rewards.  And there really isn't as much customization as you might think in the game currently.  I do know that the non-EA sims community are working to fix that but they are still in the building-a-new-program part of true custom creation.  Don't get me wrong, I like it but I feel that EA striped away a lot of what was in the privious game to repackage later in new expansion packs or for sale online.  Did you know that the Sims 3 online store has one set of furnature for sale at $20?  One set! There are four additional sets for sale and their combined price is equal to a new copy of the game.  I don't ever plan to pay for any of the stuff EA is selling there. 

Posted by Kombat
@Stephen_Von_Cloud said:
" I used to play the Sims back in the day and enjoyed it, though got annoyed by the tedium.  I think back and am kind of embarrassed that I played those games, but I am being drawn back into it.  I want to pick up the game, and since they seemed to have made it fun and removed the chore aspects, I feel like it'd be crack.  I'm really trying to keep myself away. "
Why would you be embarrassed for playing a game you enjoyed?  Afraid your penis is going to fall off or something?

Yeah, it's a great game.  I just posted my user review up on Giant Bomb and on my personal blog and gave it glowing compliments.  I don't remember ever being this addicted to a game that wasn't an MMO.
Posted by Stephen_Von_Cloud
@Kombat said:

Why would you be embarrassed for playing a game you enjoyed?  Afraid your penis is going to fall off or something?
Yes, pretty much.
Edited by PyjamaRama
@PenguinDust:
i don't understand some of your gripes with the game. The one thing I think we agree on is that the fast speed time is not fast enough. It is slower than in The Sims 2 and I don't know why, if it some issue because the town is still alive and bustling at night maybe they could add a skip ahead option to a time defined by the user or something like that.

The part you said about no-one coming to visit anymore baffled me, for the first time in Sims history you can take a sim out of his/her house and walk/ride around town. I think the idea is to not be stuck in a house doing the same things over and over but to explore the world, meet people in the community lots. You can eat, shower,sleep on benches in town so I don't see why you would want to spend all your time at your house.
Sims can still have parties, invite friends over like before. If someone lives across the street or anywhere in town you can go to there house and knock on the door and visit them. It is much more realistic and immersive.

As for having to work all the time still, I don't understand that either. Most of my sims have a part time job and make extra money by selling things they find around town or selling fish they catch. I think the way to enjoy this game fully is to not get stuck in playing it like it is still SIms 2. Be inventive, creative, play the game to suit your play style.

Buying content is optional but really are you THAT surprised that they want you to buy lots of things. There were stuff packs, expansion packs, things to buy in the store for Sims 2 also.  Thats what makes the customization of everything from the mail box, floors, fridges in fact anything you can think of so good. You can have the same sofa in any colour you can think of with tons of patterns to chose from, and pick to have any colours within that pattern so it kinda makes it better if you don't want to shell out for stuff in the store. Create your own set.

Okay back to playing :P
Posted by PenguinDust
@PyjamaRama:

I do like not being tethered to my particular home.  Believe me, years ago I took a survey for the Sims and the first thing I recommended was being able to go to other peoples homes.  I have done that and simulated aspects of Sims 2 Nightlife by having my Sim go on full dates with other Sims.  I enjoy that aspect, even if it is more limited in choice than the previous game provided a gamer had installed the Nightlife expansion.  But, I don't know how you can earn enough with just a part time job.  My Sim works a full time job 5 days a week and I'm only slowing improving her lifestyle.  She has the worst car you can buy and lives in the mobile home she was offered after creation.  I have increased its size a small amount and that nearly broke her.  She is not buying anything near the fanciest stuff around.  In fact she is still sleeping on the crap bed she got when she moved in even though I want to get her the $1200 one, but she can't afford it yet.  The point I am making is even working full time she is barely improving her life.  Spending a full day at work or a full night fishing amounts to the same thing; work for money.  I'm not playing the game exactly as I played the Sims 2, because the needs chart isn't as critical as it used to be.  I can let it get into the yellow without much effect, whereas that was real trouble in the previous incarnation.  But, I am playing to suit my play style and (thank you WOW) part of my play style is collecting more and more better stuff.   On the bright side, she recently got a promotion and is working a couple of hours less...I need to see if I can get her a part time job after work.

As for the content, I know buying EA's content is optional, but come on, $19 for 1 set of furnature?  Do you really think that is okay, because to me it smacks of "horse armor."  I was surprised that EA chose to shaft their possible customers so quickly after the games release.  I had assumed that most companies learned from the infamous "horse armor" miscalculation.  I can only hope that EA is testing the waters and will come to their senses at some point and revise their online store pricing.  Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought the way companies made money from downloadable content was having a lot of little things that people could buy impulsively that add up over time, not over priced sets that make them ask "Are they nuts?"  I don't think there are really that many patterns and styles to choose from in the game's current condition which is why I applaud the fact that the non-EA Sims community are working to fill those gaps.  Maybe if all you utilized was what EA offered in the Sims 2 and the expansions, you'd think that what is out now is great, but my custom content folder in the Sims 2 was 14 gigabytes. I had hundreds of completely different meshes in my game.  I'm used to a superstore of choice, and I'm sure someday I'll have that choice again.

I may sound negative, but I'm not complaining because I don't like the game.  I do, I really do.  I just think there is a lot of room for improvement.  This is just a nit-picky gripe, but when my Sim owns a car, she still walks down to the end of my property as if she was getting into the car pool vehicle, she then put the keys into air since her car is still in her driveway and then it magically poofs to her driving off in it.  In the old game, she walked to her car and got into it, backed out onto the street and drove off (she could also listen to the radio, make woo-hoo and chat in it).  Like I said, it's a nit-picky thing, but it illustraites the cuts that seemed to have been made for this new game.  There are similar cuts in animation throughout the game.  I expect they will slowly be returned as more and more expansions are released, and for the most part, I've come to expect that.  But, I still reserve the right to complain about it.
Posted by SergeStorms

I played a lot of Sims 2 so got this one on launch day. I have heard there are different ways ot approach the game. I tend to be pretty straight forward and make a sim, get a job, have a few relationships then settle down, raise kids and so on. While I enjoy customizing the home to some extent, my approach is pretty goal oriented in the game. I like to max the career, in Sims 2, pull of great dates, have my kid get A's, and that sort of thing. For me, then, Sims 3 is a great evolution. the goals are more fluid and interesting as are the moodlets. I think they add a lot to the game. I love the open worlds where you can easily get around and do stuff. It makes having my little 50's style dream family (even when it is sometimes too chicks) more interesting and less tedious after the initial fun phase of getting things going. Raising kids right is less of a grind and turning aging off and on and changing the life span makes it easier to tinker with stuff and learn the game. I think the game feels empty compared to Sims 2 but I support the mod community and will buy stuff off online sites way before EA so I know there will be a lot of great stuff in the future.

Posted by Origina1Penguin

I'm just disappointed with the lack of hair styles.  You have to buy more from the online store if you want them.  I refuse to do that.  Although the game did come with some Simpoints for free, so I can use those.  I have no idea how much that stuff costs though.