The Sims 3 Hands-on Preview

Written by Joe Martin

May 18, 2009 | 08:05

Tags: #expansion-pack #hands-on #preview #sims #the-sims-3 #will-wright

Companies: #ea #maxis

Meet my Sims

A huge part of the appeal for The Sims 3 comes from wish fulfilment; creating characters which are like you, but better, smarter, faster, has more technology, has more money and who can rebuild yo... never mind.

So, anyway, since the explicit goal of the game was to fulfil your lifetime wishes, we created Guybrush and Elaine Threepwood, with Guybrush based on an idealised version of Joe. That’s how geeky we are.

Tall, slightly overweight, spectacled and still not able to grow what even pre-pubescent girls might deem as ‘a proper beard’, Guybrush got the Clumsy, Bookworm, Inappropriate, Childish and Computer Whiz traits. His lifetime goal was listed as ‘The Tinkerer’, which involved mastering the Handiness and Logic skills.

His favourite food was sushi, his favourite music was the custom tunes you can import into the game and his favourite colour was blue. All of this is essential information for other sims who might want to impress Guybrush or steal him away from his spouse, Elaine.

*The Sims 3 Hands-on Preview Meet the Threepwoods!
Joe Guybrush is a dab hand in the kitchen

Starting the game with enough to buy a small house, Guybrush and Elaine quickly bought the bare essentials they would need, despite having a few issues with the somewhat cluttered interface. Every single control has been crammed into a very small space in the bottom left of the screen, with the usual time-control mechanisms being the most prominent.

As with earlier Sims games, the controls have a few different modes to them, which alter the rest of the interface. Buy Mode is where you purchase all your furniture and essentials. At the start of the game the Threepwood family didn’t have much money and had to weigh up each expense, so bought only a cheap couch, table, bed, phone, alarm and PC. Then they sold everything but the bed and couch, replacing everything else with a well-stocked cocktail bar that sat close enough to the bed to ensure the development of Guybrush Juniors soon enough. Oh, yeah....

*The Sims 3 Hands-on Preview Meet the Threepwoods!
Ok, maybe Baby Threepwood isn't that likely after all

Build Mode is again fundamentally the same as in previous games and it’s here that you can sculpt the landscape, knock down walls and customise your property. Live Mode is where you spend most of your time though and it’s here the interface is most over-stocked, with dozens of little icons constantly popping up to tell you about how your Sim is doing, what they want to do and what benefits they are getting. Short term goals, such as getting food or seeing friends, are constantly popping up and you can either dismiss or promise them as they come.

Since the Threepwoods were new to the neighbourhood they decided to introduce themselves to the family they shared a wall with, popping round to visit Sunset Valley’s Irvine family. They got half way there when Elaine, who had the absent-minded trait, got distracted and wandered off, leaving Guybrush to make friends solo. The number of distinct character interactions was quite astonishing and we were tempted to try and befriend the Irvines as fast as possible, but at the same time we couldn’t help but fiddle with the responses that came from Guybrush’s Inapproriate trait.

Thus, we walked straight into the house, introduced ourselves rudely, told Miriam she looked like a Llama and waited for the fallout. It could have all gone horribly wrong, but it turned out that Miriam had a good sense of humour and thought we were trying to be funny, so her name was slowly worked onto the Threepwood family friends list. We made a mental note to buy her a nice present in the future as way of apology and promptly set off into town.
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