Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Sims 3: Gamers First Impressions

It is not within my jurisdiction to do a full blown review on The Sims 3 quite yet. I will, however, get around to that as soon as I feel I have spent enough time playing the game to put out an honest review for those interested.

I did however want to give my very first impressions of the game. Many of you already know that The Sims 3 finally became 'legally' available for purchase yesterday. All day long at work I kept thinking of leaving early just so I could get my game on. Although I didn't get to go home early to play the game, when I did finally get home I got a good solid 5 hours worth of game time in.

My first impressions right now are mixed.

I have been reading a lot of complaints from players who insist that the game is lagging, and runs slow, and that the beginning screens take so long to load. For those who have any sense, this has NOTHING to do with the game. These folks are moaning about a slow game, when the reality is 'they are playing the game with crappy computers.' Sorry if I sound like a big meanie, I had to be honest folks. If your computer sucks, expect a jittery, slow loading game. I'm sick of people downgrading this game due to their own crud computer.

Anyhow, for me The Sims 3 load times were not slow at all. The game starts up with a mini movie type introduction of the Sims, and after around 40 seconds or so the games menus load up. All in all it took my PC a minute or so to load everything up. This was a huge speed increase compared to The Sims 2, which I have running on the same system (Dell XPS 630/ 9800GTX).

After the game loads you choose which town you want to play in. Those of you who purchased the game also got the option to download a new free town. Chose which town you want to play.

I chose the town that came with the game. Next I simply created a Sim family, and chose an empty house to have them live in.

Before skipping ahead to living mode, I wanted to first discuss creating the Sims.

Not to be picky, but I seriously like creating Sims much better on the Sims 2. The Sims 3 features a bunch of new customization options when it comes to clothing, and choosing hair color, but something is lacking.

I think what it is is the skin tone. Their skin looks clay like, and no matter how much I customize my Sims all relatively look the same.

Clothing options are very, very slim picking as well. Don't get me wrong it is great being able to change the colors, fabrics, and look of each article of clothing, but really it's just like painting the same meshes over and over again. I would have definitely liked to have seen more variety.

Hair styles are also slim pickings. Yes you can really customize hair with different layered colors, highlights and so on. But the styles are slim. There should have been more.

The outfit options have also been cut down. In the Sims 2 your Sims had the options to wear outwear, underwear, formal wear, swim wear, everyday wear, sports wear, and sleep wear.

The Sims 3 cut out a few of these options. You have everyday clothing, pajamas, formal wear, and swim wear, and sports wear.

I do however love the addition of being able to add shoes, and different hair styles for different outfits.
Creating a Sim is a lot of fun and can take a good long while if you really want to customize the Sim. I do however wish that there were more options.

Next I want to cover The Sims 3 Community.
Everyone who purchased the game got a free new town download, as well as $10.00 in Sims Points. You can log on to the provided website on the Sims Points card, and register for your own Sims 3 account. With this account you can share stories, blog, upload items, download items, and of course purchase things in the Sims Store using your Sim Points.

Now I really like the clean layout of the website, but the whole Sims Point system really irks me. $10.00 is equivalent to 1,000 Sim Points.

Everything in the store though is sure to disappoint fans, because many of the items that they want you to pay for are items that we have all seen in The Sims 2. I think it is rather unfair to go about getting money from people in this manner, considering the things on the site as of now are not worth a dime. I imagine after using up all 1,000 points I will not be purchasing anything from the Store unless it really does something unique as far as game play.

Anyhow, back to the game.

Build Mode is very different, and I like the new layout of objects and how they are set up in optional tabs, or picture tabs.

It took me a good long while to get used to the new controls. No more placing the mouses arrow at the edge of the screen to move your views around. Now you must right click to move around. Scrolling in and scrolling out is the same, as well as rotating. The right click to move around though takes some getting used to.

All in all it took me around an hour to get fully comfortable with how it worked because I was so used to The Sims 2 controls. Once I had it down I enjoyed it just as equally as I would in the last game. No huge difference, but one that needs noting.

Building a home for the Sims is relatively easy, and I loved the fact that I could just drag a wall to expand the home.

One thing I noticed (and I am not sure if it was a glitch in my game or not) was that I did not have the option to paint second story walls? Customizing walls and carpets on the first floor all worked like a prayer, but the second floor only allowed me to customize the floors which sucked.

Outdoor objects are very limited, and you will notice a lot of things that were present in The Sims 2. I was rather disappointed with the lack of flowers, trees, and outdoor activities. The objects are very limited and I'm not at all happy with it.

The same goes for indoor objects and furniture. There are not many to choose from; granted you can customize the colors, fabrics, etc. It sucks that there are not more objects.

All in all build mode is easy, and fun to use, but with the gigantic lack of objects and furniture choices, you will feel ripped off because likely you had a ton of things in The Sims 2.

I am sure EA will release expansion packs and so on, but truly I wanted to see so much more come out of this game, and right now it feels like its missing so much.

Roaming around the Live Streaming Town
Roaming around the town is really easy, and a heck of a lot of fun. However roaming around is NOTHING like what the games marketing, and commercials had. When I directed my Sim to walk around town I rarely saw many other Sims. Only if I stood still in one spot did I perhaps see another Sim walking or running by. The town hall is cool, but also vacant. I was hoping to see a busy bustling town, but its really quite.

I was however able to introduce myself to other Sims in the neighborhood by ringing their doorbells, which was neat. I was also able to go into their homes once they met me.

In the town cars that pass seem to be speeding. It just looks a little quirky in the game when the cards are whizzing by in a blurry like manner. No one drives 90 down a residential neighborhood. Haha!

I see a bit of improvement when it comes to graphics. Fabrics look textured a lot more than they did in The Sims 2. The graphics though stick to the same look that one would expect from a Sims game. The improvements are there but they are subtle; recognizable, but subtle.

Overall First Impression:
I'm still on the fence. I don't hate it, but I also have not fallen in love with it. I know I only have 5 hours of game time in, so I am hoping with more and more hours put into the game, the more I will like it.

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