I am a huge Sims fan, as are many twenty-somethings—who, in my opinion, like games that take life, boil it down, and make it seem simpler while serving as a vehicle to test-out certain fantasies—but I have to wonder if the new Sims 3 is yet superior to the Sims 2. So far it certainly doesn’t seem as complete as Sims 2, which is probably due to the lack of game-expansions and not actual game quality.
For instance, there aren’t pets or closets in this version, and it seems every time you want to add something additional you’re probably going to have to buy it from the online Sims 3 store. I guess this is not too different from buying an expansion, but there seems to be a shocking lack of options within the online store as well. For instance, if there’s a hot tub available for the new Sims I’m overlooking it. I’m also unable to find a dart board, DJ tower, or non-goofy spiked hair for my husband’s character, which were some of my favorite elements in the previous game. I especially miss my Sims-cat, and I’ve considered lapsing back to the older version just so I can play with him. Also, what happened to the ability to have groceries delivered to your home? I hate going to the real grocery store so a virtual one doesn’t interest me. And it's not like it's a far-fetched concept for life either, when companies like Greenling, an organic grocery-delivery service, exist in Austin. Yet it’s unrealistic for the Sims 3?
On the plus side, the graphics are richer than the second installment, and I’ve already noticed a couple of details that are superior to Sims 2. For instance, when you pick up the newspaper and look for a job, once you’re done looking the newspaper disappears, instead of forcing you to trek to the recycle bin for every daily paper you finish reading. This created excessive walking in Sims 2 which made that part of the game a boring necessity if you wanted your newspapers (if you just left them where ever, the mail person would stop delivering them, which was inconvenient when looking for the perfect Sim-career). Some other perks include the ability to jump in your car (or on your bike) and watch yourself travel to one of the many interesting and accessible places downtown (instead of getting there magically through a fade-out/in), and thankfully sims overall don’t seem as helpless in this version. They don’t seem to need to pee as often, they get full after eating one meal (instead of several), they put-away—and can later eat—leftovers, and these sims can actually eat while sitting on the couch without complaint, instead of waving and sim-speaking at you while a vague icon of a table lingers in a thought-bubble above their head. So overall, there’s a lot less whining, which is a good thing.
Ultimately, I like this game and see many great things about it, but feel the loss of some options that are available through the Sims 2 and its many expansions. There is definitely room for improvement, which is inevitable since this is a new game and there probably will be expansions or increased options available on the web site, but I hope to see these additions soon.
More information about the Sims 3 is available at www.thesims3.com.