Gamer Girlie

The Sims 3 – Same Old Story

I have been playing The Sims series since it was released. I remember opening up my birthday gifts in February, 1999 and finding the cover of The Sims 1 staring back at me. I had always been a Maxis fan, playing games like SimTower, SimCopter, SimCity, SimAnt, SimFarm and Streets of SimCity. I’ve always loved the idea of a simulation game and using my creative side to come up various stories for the workers in SimTower or the residents of my SimCity. The Sims was an instant success in my eyes and has continued to lure me even after all these years.

Let me give you a little background information into my addiction to The Sims. I have purchased every game and played them inside and out. I have purchased every stuff pack (except Katy Perry Sweet Treats…don’t ask!) and every expansion pack offered for the game. I have purchased so many items on The Sims 3 Store that I can no longer take part of the “mystery bags”. Yeah, it’s a bit sickening. Some people are addicted to drugs, others are addicted to cigarettes or alcohol; I’m addicted to The Sims. And coffee.

So let me jump right into the purpose of this post. How the hell are all of the Sims fans still playing the same game?!

I know how different the Sims 1, 2 and 3 are. I’ve played them all for more hours than I’d like to share. I’ve spent insane amounts of money to keep my game fresh and have new opportunities and skills to master. But every expansion pack that comes out, particularly for The Sims 3, just feels redundant. I know EA keeps creating them to make more money and people like me are purchasing them. But there is such a small amount of new content released in these expansions that I feel like I’m totally getting ripped off.

So why do I play? Because I’ve been playing forever. And despite how boring and mundane the game can be, I love it to pieces. I love starting a new character and raising her to the top of her career as fast as possible. I love watching her have her first romance and marrying her dream Sim. I love building the houses, completing the same puzzles in China, France and Egypt, and fully getting to know each new expansion inside and out.

After all of that is where I start to get bored with the game.

Let’s talk about Into The Future. We have a new world to visit. It’s a pain in the butt to live in this world permanently because your Sim usually wants to return home and it isn’t made for children. The clothing and hair look like they were taken from Hunger Games and the objects, though they look cool, don’t really do much. There are a few objects with a new effect like the Food Replicator, but they make actually learning to cook completely useless. And in my opinion, the Plumbots are really just another annoyance in my game. They are another character to watch over and make sure they don’t kill themselves. That’s about it.

Basically I’m hoping that the Sims 4 brings something new to the table. I miss getting lost in The Sims for hours on end. I miss having Sim Marathons with my best friend while we gamed on our laptops beside each other, raising our families and comparing stories. And I hit the same boredom barrier in each Sims since the release. A new expansion pack captivates me for a few days, and then I lose interest. Maybe my imagination has diminished and I can’t come up with the same great stories of drama for my Sims. Or maybe the expansions just don’t have enough new content in them. The Sims 4 “emotion” idea sounds like it’s the exact same game as The Sims 3. The only differences seem to be better graphics and character customization.

I hope I’m wrong and that there is new content. I love my Sim families and I love the idea of the game. I’m waiting for new, fresh content without so many rabbit holes. I’m hoping that’s what Sims 4 will bring.



10 Comments

  • Skadi says:

    I think there have been some huge changes between TS2 and TS3. Many of the storytelling aspects of TS2 are gone in the latest version. You lose control over the neighbourhood, it is harder to capture sims following your internal story due to the way the game tells, rather than shows.

    I spent years creating for the sims, and stopped early into TS3. It was too different in the places that mattered, and not different enough in others. I still enjoy playing, but I can’t do a 9 hour simming session like I used to.

    I think many of the TS3 expansions are too novel and niche. How many of the ITF objects and interactions get used every gaming session – high fives? They need more packs like Generations, which alters the entire game and give new options, rather than novelty packs like ITF.

    I am not holding my breath for TS4.

    • Gamer Girlie says:

      I agree. ITF seems more like a “stuff” pack than expansion. Generations, Ambitions, Late Night and World Adventures were great IMO. They really gave more options to the players. Showtime, ITF, Pets, Supernatural and Island Paradise really fell short for me. There were new items and new things your Sims could try, but nothing that was totally necessary or really interesting to me to use.

  • Jeff Clough says:

    There’s always Dwarf Fortress. ;)

    I played The Sims 1, with all the expansion packs, pretty obsessively back in the day. When I got The Sims 2…I don’t know, something already felt like it was missing and never even bothered getting expansions for it or checking out The Sims 3.

    • Gamer Girlie says:

      I loved the Sims 1, but I still think Sims 2 was the best. I could sit and play for hours without taking a break. Maybe it’s because I was younger, but I just can’t do that with Sims 3. Everything is too monotonous. Having kids and growing your family is like having a tooth pulled. Basically if I do raise a family in Sims 3, I cut down their life spans and do it as quickly as possible, while still teaching the kids everything they can learn! ;)

  • FFR says:

    I think TS3 has too many “quest” elements. Do this, fetch that, unlock this, go there. I like RPGs, don’t get me wrong, but The Sims isn’t an RPG franchise. The entire series has pulled from the original concept and moved towards something else. I’d really like to see old things come back in TS4. Wants, Fears, Reward and Career Objects, better social interactions, memories (that aren’t some really bad screen shot), cut scenes…

    ITF should really be called Into the Capitol. It was such a blatant ripoff, I’m wondering if they get sued. It was briefly fun, but then I went back to IP, and started playing with mermaids again.

    • Gamer Girlie says:

      I agree with you. For me, if a game has quests it’s either have the quests run the game or don’t have quests at all. The Sims 3 quests are too few and far between in my opinion and it kind of kills the idea of a simulation game. I loved the idea of wants and fears, because don’t all humans have that? The Sims 2 wants/fears system was way more advanced and practical than The Sims 3 wishes. I feel like The Sims 3 was really dumbed down in terms of relationships and the overall mood system of the game.

      I’d like for The Sims 4 to be way more like The Sims 2. I feel like with The Sims 3, all of the expansions were basically adding content to the game in a new neighborhood and all of the expansions never really came together as a whole. And the base game was lacking so badly in content it was difficult for me to play. With The Sims 2, all of the expansions blew Sims 3 expansions out of the water (except for World Adventures and Ambitions).

      ITF in particular was a complete waste of time and money. Wow…my Sim flew around on a jetpack…after my Sims did it once that was enough for me. They added a couple new careers that are buggy to say the least if you put them in a regular town. And there’s nothing to do in the future! The plumbots are more of an annoyance than anything else for me. And Supernatural was a complete letdown. The fairies are annoying, witches were an afterthought and werewolves are a waste. Add in the weekly zombie attacks and a wonderful date turns into a nightmare while your Sim has “zombie attack” action constantly queuing. Ugh.

      There are many ways they can move this franchise in the right direction but I feel like EA is just out to make a quick buck. Look at Battlefield 4. How different is it really from BF3? And when you really put it to the test, I think PlanetSide 2 wins hands-down every time. I think their priorities are messed up and they should be more interested in quality games that will really sell and stand out. Take the new SimCity for example and check out the reviews. On Amazon, there are 2997 reviews on the game and 2281 are 1 star. That’s one of the worst I’ve ever seen, especially for a major franchise like SimCity.

      I agree with you completely about your list of what you want from The Sims 4. Wants/fears would be fantastic, reward and career objects back, better memory system. I’d love less rabbit holes and more meaningful relationships. The idea of meeting a girl in the morning and being married to her and have her pregnant by nightfall is ridiculous. I’d also like to actually have to work hard for The Sims to get higher in their careers rather than have them max level in 2 weeks. Also time management in the game needs some serious work. Since when does it take 15 minutes to walk down a flight of stairs? And the sleeping is the worst part of any Sims game. Even with the highest rating beds and speed x3, it’s usually when I get up and get myself a cup of coffee. It takes way too long. Then again, what doesn’t take too long in The Sims games?

      I think they’re concentrating too hard on the CAS and the building options for The Sims 4, which scares me a bit because I feel like they may be lacking in the gameplay areas. But I guess we’ll see when it comes out.

  • FFR says:

    I absolutely agree. I felt that TS3 was really TS1.5. I’d like to see a 2.5 now. I’ve decided to work on a TS2 Legacy family. Never did complete the challenge. Might as well try to now!

  • Kat says:

    I agree with the Sims series, I can only hope that they shake things up a bit in Sims 4, something to draw some old fans in. However, I did like the Sims Medieval, have you played that one yet?

    • Gamer Girlie says:

      I have played the Sims Medieval and I loved it. I was really excited when the first expansion was released because I thought they would continue on with the idea.

      With that being said, it was a bit disappointing. It could have been a great game with the Sim aspect but also with an RPG feel with quests and rewards. It was a great idea but the game gets very monotonous when you move on to each challenge. The Sims were also very limited in what they were able to do in the neighborhood and the overall gameplay was lacking a bit. The Pirates and Nobles expansion was really interesting and cute, but it didn’t hold my attention for too long.

      In regards to the Sims 4, they really need to shake things up. The original Sims fans like myself are getting soooo bored. I feel like they’ve already covered this “emotion” thing with the positive and negative mood meters. I mean in the Sims 3, if your husband cheats and your Sim finds out, she gets pissed. She walks around crying and is completely upset and it takes a while (obviously not long enough) for their relationship to repair itself. How is the Sims 4 emotion idea any different from that? I don’t get it.

      We’ll see what happens. I’m hoping they bring back a lot of the goodies from the Sims 2!! :)

  • Good article, and it summarises what EA does to basically every franchise they have. Dilute the complexity and immersive nature of the product, and then quarter it into several pieces, and sell them off as individual pieces as DLC. Even when you assemble them all together, it still feels like a fraction of the quality of the older games.

    For me, ‘Livin it up’ was great, with added complexity, unpredictability and novelty added to the Sims. Sims 2 went overboard with that whilst adding more details to what I loved the most…the world and Sims really came to life. Sims 3 was disappointing in the sense that they seem to make it simpler and actually regres for the sake of attracting new fans…as though the developer is getting bored of entertaining the older fans. That might explain why, in turn, older fans are becoming bored with the new games.

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