It’s here! It’s finally here! The Sims 3 launched in the US today! My gaming boredom is finally over!
I’m really excited about this launch, as I’ve been playing The Sims franchise since the original game (and SimCity prior to that). Since I haven’t had much time to explore, and since my blog posts tend to be ridiculously wordy, I’m going to try to make a series of short posts about the game over the next several days. I’m hoping to provide a few screenshots, some helpful information, and general impressions of the game. (Click on screenshots below for larger view)
So first up: Meet Girl Unplugged, the Sim!
That’s my sim self, watching television with Boyfriend sim and looking very bewildered.
After only a few hours of play, I have to say I’m very impressed with the game overall. It’s a great addition to the franchise and improves on areas that desperately needed work from the previous games. The designers were also smart to leave in various aspects of the game that were working well, leaving players with a product that is new and shiny but still maintains the same “feel” of the previous games.
One interesting addition to The Sims 3 that is one of the things you’ll first notice is that two of the more annoying need meters, environment and comfort, have been removed. Six need meters remain — hunger, energy, social, hygiene, bladder, and fun — but there is also a neat new feature called the moodlet system. Many of the things your sim does, from going to the movies to eating a hearty meal to having a good night’s rest to smelling the stinky garbage, will create a moodlet that affects the sim’s mood positively or negatively.
For example, I built my sims’ home on a lot that overlooks the sea. All of my sims get a permanent moodlet called “beautiful vista” that gives them a constant +20 bonus to their mood meters. The moodlets also seem to be affected by your sim’s traits, as a neat sim will always be “disgusted” by a dirty dish (-10 mood) while an evil sim will be “fiendishly delighted” (+25 mood) whenever something unfortunate happens to a sim nearby.
The moodlets can be permanent, like the “beautiful vista” moodlet, or temporary. You can see in the picture above that the smiley face moodlet — something that has to do with how much fun Boyfriend is having watching television — will sustain him for seven hours. A “disgusted” moodlet, like the one my sim gets whenever she sees anything dirty in the house, will last until she leaves the area or the mess is cleaned.
Moodlets are a fascinating mini-game on their own, as you never know what activity might cause a moodlet, or how sims with various traits will accrue them. It’s a system that I would never have thought of myself, but now that I’ve used it, it seems indispensable.
Finally, a screenshot of my sims’ beautiful vista, the view from their back porch.