So, I’ve been meaning to talk about the newest Sims game for some time. I bought it right when it came out so that I could talk about it when it’s release was a bit more relevant. However, I had to collect my thoughts and let some dust settle in my brain. This game was frankly a huge disappointment. However, it does have it’s moments.
What really lead to the disappointment of this game was all of the hype. There was talk about dozens of new features, talk that all seemed pretty legitimate, so many of us Sims fans happily believed it. Talk of autosave features, and even self Woo-hoo. I was pumped. However, when I got the game, it was pretty lack luster, and almost took a step back in some directions. Yes, there are some new features that are pretty neat. All of the customization of your Sims physical features is nice, but believe me, Create-A-Sim is still full of issues. Lots of new features came along wit building your home, most of which I really do enjoy a lot. Overall, this game has me torn.
Going through the process of starting a new game, we arrive first at Create-A-Sim. On the surface, it looks great. Look closer, though, and see that a lot of the great features that came with the Sims 3 were traded out for ones that just don’t stack up. For the customization of your sim’s personality traits and aspiration, there’s a bit of give and take. But mostly take. You can choose how your sim walks, which really is a stupid add on, I think. You can choose the voice and age of your sim, just the same as in the last game. They did change around the traits and aspirations a bit, though, and not in a way that I don’t love so much. You can choose three traits from a seemingly more limited selection, though they did add in a new hobby feature. The hobby tab allows you to choose from justa few traits that pick a type of thing that your sim is interested in, here you can even make them a geek! Once you pick three traits, which is down from the previous four, you can then choose your aspiration. These are also more limited. However, instead of giving you a handful of aspiration based on the traits you picked, you can choose whatever you’d like. There are a bunch of categories for the aspirations, and in them are two or three aspirations that you can choose. Some only have one that you can select. Once you pick an aspiration, it will give you a bonus fourth trait that will aid you in this aspiration. What is nice about this newly designed aspiration feature, is that you can change it at any point in the game, no cheats needed. When it comes time to create your physical Sim, my emotions are all over the place. Starting with the physical traits, I am happy with the options. You’ve got a lot more ability to customize how your sim looks. There’s a feature called Detail Edit Mode, in which you can really zoom in and change everything about a certain feature such as eyes, nose or lips.
It’s also so easy to do. You simply drag and pull everything around to change it’s appearance. This I like. However, once it’s time to dress your sim, I get a little pissy. In Sims 3, the customization for clothing was endless. You could choose different fabrics & materials, and create whatever colors your heart desired. Now, even though some of the clothes are a bit more stylish, you have a list of pre-designed color palettes to choose from. You like that sweater? Cool, but it only comes in these few colors, so you better hope they look good on your sim. One thing that is consistent from the previous game is that the clothing options for women still aren’t very good in my opinion. Sigh. There is a sometimes cool feature with pre-made outfits, though. If you want to quickly dress your sim in a certain style, there’s a small selection of full body outfits that you can choose from. It’s a great tool for if you’re not picky about the clothes your sim wears, or if you’re going for a specific style. Once you’ve made it through the somewhat frustrating Create-A-Sim, it’s time to make your house. I’m actually pretty pleased with what they’ve done with all of the features here. There’s a lot of customization, and they’ve added a lot of tools that make building & decorating your house much easier. One of my favorite aspects of building a home is the build a room feature. There is a selection of rooms for each category (kitchen, bathroom, bedroom. etc) that are pre-designed. You can choose one that suits your sim’s style, and plop it right into the house. There’s a great cohesiveness to this, too, with similar styles matching up from room to room. You can create a interior look that carries throughout the whole house in just a few clicks.
Just as in Create-A-Sim, the social aspects of the game are very give and take. The moodlets pretty much work the same, but they have a lot more of an effect on what your sim can do, which I enjoy. In that aspect, it works even more like real life does. Depending on your mood, different choices will come up for making conversation with people. If you’re feeling playful, you can tell more jokes and good around. If you’re feeling confident, you can take more social risks and be more outgoing or flirty. You’ll be able to tell which conversation options are added because of your mood by a little color flag next to them. Each mood has a color, and will add options to your social interactions. It’s pretty neat.
When it comes to what you can go out to do socially, though, you’re a bit limited. You can’t really walk around town anymore, and there are less places to go. Also, once you choose a place to go, you get a loading screen, and then just arrive at your location. It’s kind of lame. Because of this, you also can’t own cars or bikes because they’re not necessary. This is something that I really don’t like, and thought that it was a real step back to Sims 2.
Overall, I do enjoy playing this game. Though, I do find myself wondering if I should install Sims 3 again and ditch this game, sometimes. If I had to choose one, I would unfortunately go back to the older game. I love some of the new add ons, but they aren’t enough to fully turn me on to this game more than Sims 3. It’s not all that I dreamed of, but it’s enough to keep me playing. I’m looking forward to see what kinds of extension packs they’ll add on, and if they improve the game play. If you’ve been a fan of the Sims, I do recommend checking it out. All of it might not have been for me, but it might be what you’re looking for in a PC game. Onward, Fangirls! Create all your heart desires! Within the new limits of this game.
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