#964 The Sims 3

Posted: 13th November 2021 by Jeroen in Games
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1018th played so far

Genre: Life Simulation
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 2009
Developer: Maxis
Publisher: Electronic Arts

I don’t think I need to explain why The Sims 3 is my final life simulation game. As I mentioned with SimCity 4, this is the main game that has taken Maxis’ attention and while The Sims was big and The Sims 2 expanded on that, The Sims 3 went all in on the DLC model. It got people obsessed enough that it kept getting expanded. I could see it getting its claws in me, but with three more games after this, I’ve got a good reason to stop playing this time.

Life Simulation

Looking back on it, we rushed through the life simulations so quickly that we had to take a break of a few years before tackling more of them. Quite happily, I’ve seen quite a few takes on the idea of someone living in your system, starting with Little Computer People‘s mysterious man through the various Sims game to games like Flow and Spore that have you create your own creatures. Then you’re the other ones where you end up living a life – whether as a farmer in Harvest Moon, an RPG warrior in Persona 4 or, as the past year of lockdown has shown us works so well, as someone just running an island in Animal Crossing. They all feed into that idea of living a different life, but unlike Little Computer People, they also add on layers of mechanics that make it fun to play around with and try to set goals with, whether intrinsic to the game or ones you set yourself. Again, this genre has blossomed under the indie boom, and Stardew Valley is waiting for me to give it proper attention as I hope I can do soon enough, along with many others.

Our Thoughts

The downside of a blank canvas is that there are so many things you can do with it. As the series has progressed, more options have been added to The Sims, and you can really feel it in this game. Even with only the expansions that we got for free at some point installed – which is just one or two of them – you open up in a city with a lot to do. There are plenty of plots and small houses to start in (once I furnished them), and once you sort a job and regular income, a lot of other buildings, shops and things to go to.

It’s a nice change from the previous two games, having a town simulated around you, with your job being an actual location you travel to, apartment towers and everything else linking. Where previously the lots were there, they are so much more open here and part of a single world. You can go around and get a lot done, with some big goals that you set.

The one downside is the shop. The game really pushes it, obviously wanting to make some money on those, but it is always there and gets quite obnoxious. I’ve done my best to push past it, but it’s certainly annoying.

Final Thoughts

Shop issues aside, there’s a lot of game to play here, a lot of directions to go in and things to develop. It was incredibly addictive and I lost myself in the time. With the fourth game out now, I would switch to that, but I do need to get immersed in this world further.