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Submitted by Gwynne Dixon on March 13 2009 - 17:38

We take a walk through The Sims' brand new neighbourhood, tipping our hat to perky sims as we go...

We know you're all eagerly anticipating The Sims 3. TVG readers have been making that point abundantly clear on the comments board below over the last couple of months, venting their anger at the game's delay from its previous February release window to a later June 5th release date. The first thing we can assure you of is that this delay was made purely to iron out bugs and improve the game prior to its release, rather than to move the product into a more profitable release window for EA.

It was an issue that we spoke at length about with the game's Associate Producer, MJ Chun, when we went hands on with the PC exclusive earlier this week. Keep your eyes peeled for a Q&A with MJ on TVG next week but, until then, we can regale you with our first experience of the title since the Leipzig Game Convention last summer. Then we merely got a first look at the title amongst a crammed demonstration room filled with sweaty game journalists, but now we've sat down with a more streamlined interface and gameplay style that promise to move the series forward in leaps and bounds.

A More Than Worthy Successor

The Sims 3 looks like it might do everything that The Sims 2 threatened to do but never quite achieved, even with the onslaught of expansion packs that followed in its wake. When you look back over four years ago to the last full Sims release, the title didn't actually add that many hearty additions to the original Sims' gameplay. Sure, you could take a stroll around the neighbourhood in The Sims 2 where you'd find some weird looking aliens and families that grew older through scripted life periods (indicated by instantaneous growth spurts), but it was largely the same gameplay experience overall.

The Sims 3, on the other hand, will streamline everything we know about enhancing a sim's quality of life. No longer will you spend most of your time checking that their bladders aren't bursting at the seams, or that they're becoming delusional with a lack of sleep, much less that they might keel over from starvation or become depressed because they live in a pig sty. EA assures us that Sims will become much more autonomous over these areas of their lives in The Sims 3, leaving you to focus on more important issues such as their life goals.

These life goals are based on the traits you assign to each sim when you design them in the character creator (more on that later). For example, if you were to create a sim who has the traits of being an angler and a bit neurotic, then one of the life goals for them might be building a perfect indoor aquarium, while a task required to complete that life goal would be catching 15 perfect tropical fish. Please note the use of the word perfect to denote the character's neurotic persona, adding a touch of humour that's drawn from the nuances of each sim that you create via the original character customisation screens.

And character is the key word here, because we've never experienced sims with so many different inclinations and penchants for certain modes of behaviour. It's unpredictable to the point that it becomes entertaining - it's almost fun enough just to leave each sim to its own devices and see what they get up to. The traits that you choose at the get-go are what determine this, with elements of character as ranged as hydrophobia and having a dream of leading the free world, to being a bit of a schmoozer or suffering from absent mindedness.

These then play-out through the usual command interface for each sim that we've seen in all the previous iterations. Selecting a sim will bring up a radial interface that allows you to chose from a variety of actions, whether they're telling your sim to flirt or dance around a bit with another sim, or simply to cook some food for guests or take a nap. The dial seems to be a touch more detailed than what we've seen in previous Sims games though, opening up deeper and more varied sub-categories of actions depending on who you're socialising with and how much progress you're making.

These sorts of interactions with other sims are now much more prominent in The Sims 3 over previous games, which is thanks to a mood system that puts a stress on socialising over the general upkeep of a sim. In short, you'll be spending much more time trying to break up the marriage next door by being rude about the husband while flirting with his wife. The Sims 3 emphasises creating a story for your sims rather than simply keeping them alive, which is why the game will allow users to create their own movies and edit them using a mash-up tool in the final game. EA has noticed various modders creating their own movies for The Sims 2, and it's something that the publisher wants to encourage in this sequel.

MODerately Contented

Rest assured, gamers won't be starved for content in the final game, with plenty of tools and features that will broaden their gameplay experience. As with The Sims 2, much of the modding will be committed through various character customisations, with EA now opening its doors for modifications of fabrics and designs that users can create or download from other Sims players. But even without these mods the character customisation is still notably deep, making it possible for gamers to create characters as obscure as an old man in slippers and a dressing gown with purple skin and fluorescent green cornrows.

All of this action will play-out in a game world that provides the sort of scope and scale that we've always wanted in a Sims game - one that encapsulate an entire village or town sized settlement, complete with a central park where you can meet other sims and complete life goal tasks to your heart's content. It's a truly living, breathing world with NPCs that are acting autonomously, marrying other sims and having children regardless of whether you're interacting with them or not. A DNA system also ensures that character traits and likenesses will be passed through to further generations in the natural way, while some sims will even live on after their deaths as ghosts that inhabit the town. 

Truly a forced to be reckoned with, The Sims 3 looks like an inspired product at this late stage in development. EA seems to have listened to its fans in the creation of this sequel, and listened hard, providing a game world that's teaming with the life of fully autonomous sims, all of which have a specific (and usually quirky) story to tell.


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User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Tue 18th Jan 2011 01:43, Post No: 803

post799,

the sims3 is better on the pc than the consoles.  it has way more content, and it is just much nicer to play with a mouse and keyboard.

this is pretty much the only game i'd recommend the pc for rather than consoles though haha.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Fri 10th Dec 2010 22:08, Post No: 802

I am extremely surprised taht EA Games allowed for this to hit the selves in the poor condition that it is in................I have not heard one person speak of anything good ......everyone seems to be experiencing the same problems.....never mind all the stupid glitches of sims who can't work or get stuck in walls and dirty dishes showing up at random places........refirdgerators not being accessable............even my neighbours refridgerator was not working people starving and dropping dead everywhere........once you get to third generation the wii simpley freezes any time that you try to save it.....you can't build anything as it keeps telling you that it is a fire hazard (why give us the option then)..... then my wii stop reading the disk all together........... and now EA games isn't even taking any responsibilty for this.............. they should send out a recall before people run out to buy it as a gift for their loved ones who obviously will be extremely dissapointed........... They are ignoring the issue now just so they can still make money from the christmas rush which is pretty low on their part........... many parents don't have the income to buy stuff like this often and to save money to buy something that doesn't work and obviously EA games must know about the ongoing issues is pretty low on their part............... boo!!!!! :( to EA games on rushing out a product without properly testing it on the appropriate platforms...............


By: Fariesastroboy Abid

Added:Fri 10th Dec 2010 13:55, Post No: 801

plssssss wrh download


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Mon 06th Dec 2010 04:23, Post No: 800

I have had nothing but problems with the sims 3 for wii

there are so many glitches that its frustrating to play, which sucks cause the sims is so fun.

i cant buy ANYTHING because it says my free space is full and its a fire hazord..

so i sold everything i owned  even my HOUSE. to clear my free space. and i still can not do anything.

random dirty dishes pop up on in random places so then i cant use the item that its placed by.

(like the fridge. you cant open it, sell, or delete it. so you have to have more than one fridge after it happens.)

my sims turn invisible sometimes and i can see their thought bubbles but i can see their bodies.

my sim walked passed a trash can and got stuck in it haha.

its seriously mind boggling that there are so many problems. and i have read many sites that have reviews and a lot of them have the exact same problems i have..

its almost like EA had a deadline to be done by and they didnt reach it so they just put it on the shelves anyway unfinished.

i definitly reccoment waiting to see if they recall it or just get it for the PC.... cause it sucks.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sun 14th Nov 2010 00:11, Post No: 799

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THE SIMS 3 IS BETTER ON PC OR XBOX??


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Fri 05th Nov 2010 21:43, Post No: 798

can anyone help  me with passing the time? *looks around* guess not...it comes out on the 17 for wii where i live and its only the fifth...soo...yeah... plus i knew about it since may so ive been waiting awhile...feels like im bout tew pop...


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Fri 05th Nov 2010 21:41, Post No: 797

what can i do to pass the time...*sigh*


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Fri 05th Nov 2010 20:08, Post No: 796

fffffffffffffff


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Tue 02nd Nov 2010 12:48, Post No: 795

i love this game !


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Mon 02nd Aug 2010 16:57, Post No: 794

i cant wait til it comes out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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