PC Review: The Sims 3

…or Sims Deluxe Edition?

I have played almost everything there is when it comes to The Sims. From the expansion packs to the Life Story games, I’ve done it all. Now, the series becomes a trilogy with The Sims 3. But does the game do enough to qualify as a worthy sequel or does it feel like Sims 2.5?
At a first glimpse it does feel more of the same. If you have played a Sims game before, you’ll know exactly what to expect from the game. Having said that, there is enough new content and gameplay changes to make it a worthy successor to The Sims 2.

The first change is that you can go visit the neighbourhood seamlessly. No load screens, you can get one family to walk all the way to another location without any loading. It changes the game entirely and gives you more options to try out with your Sims. There’s also the level of customisation from more realistic Sims to user-created content which can be shared online. As well as items you can buy through micro transactions to add to your game. It might seem a little cheeky to be asked to pay a small fee for a digital item, but it might just put an end to the many Sims expansions you get with each game.

Despite that, I do expect there to be plenty of expansions to be released for Sims 3. Not that there isn’t plenty of items already, in fact it’s quite astonishing what you get with the game. You can adjust your Sims better, giving them personality traits that you think will suit them. You can make some crazy person with an insane trait or a blonde female with a shallow one. The options are limitless as each Sim will react different depending on what traits they have.
There is no one objective to The Sims 3, as it is when it comes to any game in the past. You get to make all the choices for your characters. You can make them get married, have affairs, protest, burn the house down and go to work. It’s just the level of customisation in the game that is truly great, you can do almost anything to your house, the area around it, fill it with loads of items that are interactive…you know, the usual. In that respect, you could call it Sims 2.5 but it becomes Sims 3 because it has more options than you would expect from a Sims sequel.

You could cheat your way to a fortune and live a life of luxury as you can in any Sims game, or you can make your family live in a run-down house. The game is different depending on who is playing it, you can choose to go to work, do the family thing and then die of old age…or you can be cruel and lock Sims up in a room till they die of starvation. The point is that my way of playing The Sims 3 will definitely be different from your own and that’s something special, even now.

The Sims 3 has definitely had a visual makeover. Character models are impressive as are the locations in the game. My PC is quite powerful and runs the game smoothly for the most part, but seemed to struggle on the higher settings. It would have been nice to see the game running on DX10, but it isn’t such a huge loss. There’s also the great news that Mac users can run the game on their machines too. I can’t claim to have a Mac, so I was unable to put it to the performance test…but the system requirements look similar to the PC other than needing an extra 500mb of RAM.

In terms of audio, Sims still speak the gibberish we’ve come to expect from them. The music is impressive though and even has the likes of Pixie Lott to add a personal touch to it. Sound effects are also well done, adding quite an impressive addition to the presentation side of things.

The Verdict

The Sims 3 takes everything that made the first two games great and adds more to them. The ability to roam the entire neighbourhood without any loading times is just great, as are the thousands of customisable options that the game offers. Any die-hard Sims fan needs this game right now…so just go and get it!