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The Sims 3

Reviewed on: PC

EA Redwood Shores
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Rated: "T" for Teen

CHEATfactor Game Review
by Joe Sinicki

Audio/Visual: 6
Gameplay: 5
Lasting Appeal: 5
Overall: 6
CHEATfactor: 6

Games like The Sims 3 and its predecessors pose an interesting dilemma. As a game reviewer, my job is clear – to give you a clear picture of just how good a game is from beginning to end. But what happens when a game has no end? The only fair thing to do it seems would be to judge the game based on how fun it is and how well it accomplishes what the developers set out to do.

Luckily, The Sims 3 not only meets any expectation one could have – it blows them away completely.  While fans of the series will find the fresh gameplay they’ve come to love, those who have yet to experience the franchise will find an experience that feels more like a new beginning than a sequel. Wave goodbye to your friends, and forget about seeing the sun – The Sims 3 is here and it’s about to control your life.

In case you’ve been living under a rock -- The Sims series can best be described as a “life simulator.” You design your characters, known as Sims (see how that works?), design their world and then play Deity and run – or destroy their lives. You’re tasks will range from the everyday mundane duties of taking out the trash and eating to major life accomplishments like getting married and of course – death. You’ll assist them in making friends, getting a job and even controlling their bladder – in short, living life.

"The world of The Sims 3 is one massive map – free of load screens and disruptions."


What truly sets The Sims 3 apart from those that came before it is just how fluid the game is. In previous games you could move freely within your household and the immediate area surrounding it with little to no lag – but if you wanted to go anywhere like a business or a friend’s house that was a bit away you’d be greeted with a lengthy load screen that seriously took gamers out of the experience.  The world of The Sims 3 is one massive map – free of load screens and disruptions.

While this new mechanic may seem basic, it adds an incredible level of depth to the gameplay mechanics.  A major aspect of the franchise has always been creating relationships with other Sims. This used to be done by inviting other Sims over to your house or to do activities around your world. In the past, this involved making a call, inviting that sim and waiting. Sure, you can still do that in The Sims 3 but the beauty is that you don’t have to – you can just zoom out on your map, pick where you want to go (and occasionally invite someone) and you’re off.

The true brilliance of The Sims 3’s new open world is the added level of exploration it provides. Of course, the focus is still on your lot but for once – you don’t feel confined. You can walk around, check out the sights of the neighborhood, peruse a business or two or even introduce yourself to a new Sim or two (just don’t be surprised if they’re a little freaked out by a stranger approaching them).

These social interactions are made all the more entertaining by the incredible depth of the customization available in The Sims 3. As before, you’ll be able to choose your Sims appearance and personality traits, but in The Sims 3 there’s just so much more to do. You choose up to five personality traits for your sim that will greatly influence just how you play the game.  You can be everything from an easy-going, friendly free-spirit, to an excitable, neurotic and everything in between.  There’s a ton of different options here and they truly do have an effect on gameplay; for instance a more social sim will be happier interacting with others while a neurotic will be content making sure the dishes are clean over and over.

"One key addition to The Sims franchise is the ability to set goals for specific characters."


One key addition to The Sims franchise is the ability to set goals for specific characters. These goals can range from being successful to having a happy family life and anywhere in between. You’ll have to make choices (like going to the bookstore and reading up on hobbies and chosen careers) to work towards these goals. These goals are optional – but you’re going to want to obtain them if you want your sim to be happy. In a series that has taken some flak for having no real goals – these new goals add an entirely new level of gameplay to the franchise.

Your character’s appearance has also received an upgrade. Sliders are used to customize a sim’s height, weight and age and you’ll be able to customize your own clothing and accessories. To say the level of customization is deep would be an understatement – you can make 100 Sims and still not make any that look the same.  While this is impressive, it’s quite evident that the developers are holding some features for future expansion packs. If the game is so advanced, why do we lose the ability to live with Pets, take your Sims to College or to an island if we could do it in a previous game?

On that note – why are the developers seemingly selling out the mod community that has stuck by their franchise for so long? For years players have been able to create and share content made exclusively for the game and while some of that is bound to slip through as the game progresses but most of the new content is for sale – and we’re not talking Simoleans – we’re talking real American dollars. It’s not uncommon in this era to charge for downloadable content but somehow it just feels wrong in The Sims.

The Sims 3 is a fantastically deep yet incredibly accessible addition to an already accomplished series. From the robust creation engine to the customizable personality traits – there’s something for just about everyone here. While it won’t do much to change the minds of the series’ doubters, The Sims 3 is an incredible experience that combines its core gaming element with a strong sense of community to form an almost social networking medium.  Those looking for a game they can really dig in and devote some time to will need to look no further than The Sims 3.  



CHEATS USED: Add money, Lifetime rewards, Needs always full

The Sims has always been a franchise with no “right way” to play – hence the cheats available may not appeal to all players. It all depends on what you’re looking to accomplish. The trainer features options to have all needs met and instantly achieve your sims lifetime goals. By using these cheats you’re essentially just watching a group of happy people walk around -- Where’s the fun in that?

That’s not to say that there are no fun cheats for The Sims 3. Everyone wants to be happy and I don’t care what they say – money can buy happiness – especially in the Simworld. Using the codes to add money adds an incredible amount of fun to the game and allows you to buy whatever upgrades and items you want. It’s just too bad they don’t work for the items you have to use real money to download.



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