Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Sims 3: Ambitions

I am an absolute sucker for Sims games. I've been playing them since the original and I've purchased just about every expansion they've put out, whether they're good or not. A few months ago, I learned that they were released a new one for The Sims 3, which would be called Ambitions. This time, the Sims get a bunch of new skills to learn along with new "jobs."

Apparently some players were upset that they couldn't follow their Sims to work. Well, never fear, now you can. This expansion adds new "professions" your Sims can take on. Your Sim can become a fire fighter, a private investigator, a fashion designer, a ghost hunter, or they can register as "self-employed" and pursue a hobby like writing, painting, sculpting, or inventing as a career (the latter two are new additions).

In the interest of fairness, I haven't played all the professions yet. But I have dabbled with the investigator profession, I had a Sim named Clarissa work her way to the top of the fashion career, and another Sim named Ezekiel just mastered the inventing skill. I suspect that the other new professions are similar to the ones I've played.

So let's talk the fashion profession. When Clarissa joined it, she was given a portfolio (an item that looks suspiciously like an iPad) and she could either go to a salon and wait for customers to arrive or you can go out on missions. The Sims in town would want new looks ranging from the simple (new shoes or facial hair) to complete makeovers (multiple sets of clothing, new hairstyles, new makeup). The more missions you complete, the more money you make and the more experience you receive. More experience leads to promotions which leads to "bigger" challenges.

The same thing was true for the private investigator profession. You could visit the police station to do low level work for a little bit of money, or you could go on jobs to investigate crimes around town.

I have to be honest, I'm not a fan of the new professions idea. I get that it can be boring to wait for a Sim while he or she is at work. You have to accelerate time and watch their house just sit there. But what if you have a house with multiple Sims? Clarissa lived in a house with her husband and brother-in-law, who often stayed at home while she was out at styling jobs. I had to constantly shuffle back and forth between the three of them to make sure everyone was doing what they needed to.

I've also stumbled on what can only be described as a glitch with Clarissa. As a stylist, she received a weekly stipend for her work on top of the money she earned from each individual job. She recently retired and her pension is 5,000 simoleans a day. Compare that to her husband, who retired at the top of the culinary career. He receives about 200 simoleans a day. I think that will probably be fixed in a patch, I'm guessing.

On to the new skills. Sims can now sculpt in various media (clay, wood, ice, metal) and they can also invent, taking scrap they find in the garbage or at a new dump community lot and craft them into little widgets, toys, or inventions. The widgets are just decoration, items that sit there and do nothing. The toys, I guess, can be played with by kids (although I haven't tried that yet). The inventions are kind of fun. There are five of them: the floor hygienator, the collector, the miner, the time machine, and the Simbot. The hygienator is a strip your Sims walk over. When they do, they can be blasted with scent that can either improve their mood or sicken them. The miner is a big drill that can dig up scrap, weird objects, or minerals or gems. The time machines allow your Sims to go on adventures in time (you don't go with them).

The Collector is kind of fun. It's a little vacuum that sucks up objects in the area, useful for both collecting scrap at the dump and for gardening. Observe:

I have yet to build a Simbot. You have to gather certain items and I only have one.

Overall, this expansion is a good addition to the game. While I'm not crazy about the new professions from a micromanagement standpoint, it will be fun to explore the other options (although I don't know if I'll be going back to "stylist" any time soon). The inventing skill is funny and a blast (quite literally; you get to blow stuff up to collect scrap). So if you're a Sims player like me, make sure you pick this one up.

1 comment:

Judy said...

I haven't bought Sims 3 at all and aside from playing it at EA, I haven't seen or touched it. This EP though looks really cool. Once in a blue moon I'll get a hankering to play like when I see this but at this point, I have so much to do in real life, it's hard to even think about the amount of time I used to commit to playing amongst all the other things I did with the game. It could've been a full time job!