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The Sims 3 – hands-on

How do you go about improving a game that’s become, at well over 100,000,000 copies sold, the best-selling PC game franchise of all time? EA Black Box, I’m guessing, began with another question: Why didn’t the other six and a half billion people in the world buy it? If only 10 percent of the world’s population owns a computer, and 60 million of those people just aren’t very much fun, that still leaves half a billion people who objected to some part of the idea of creating, managing, and lording over a little virtual society of simulated people.

At a recent visit to EA’s Bay Area studios for my first grubby hands-on with The Sims 3, the first thing I noticed was that EA seemed to have done a clean sweep of all the annoying elements of the two previous games, beginning with the torturous loading screens. I took my Sim on a brisk stroll around the continuous, seamless hamlet of Pleasant Valley, alongside other Sims who were driving to work, tending to their families, going to picnics in the park, and visiting their neighbor’s house for a quickie in the afternoon. EA just bagged 170,000,000 new fans.

Even better, the most aggravating micro-management aspects of the game are now kaput. Players are no longer required to hover obsessively around their characters in order to send them to the restroom before they soil the carpet, for instance, and don’t have to worry about finding gravestones instead of Sims if they’re left on their own for a few minutes during lunch. Instead, Sims are now capable of managing most basic essentials of life on their own, and that’s another 280,000,000 new fans there.

Players that don’t want to dedicate an entire week to upgrading their bachelor pad into a spacious family estate can hit the ground running and move into fully-furnished houses, but apprenticing architects will face fewer obstacles, too: when I moved a wall to open up a living room into love nest proportions, the objects on the wall moved with it and the roof adjusted itself, sparing me the embarrassment of a house that comes off looking like a toddler’s papercraft project. You’ll also be able to launch the game and take control of any of the Sims you find next door, down the street, protesting outside City Hall, or grabbing a bite to eat at a sidewalk café. Chalk up another 32,000,000 fans.

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32 comments

  • doomdoomdoom - July 5, 2009 4:28 a.m.

    Sim is a Game about living someone else life and if your still sane you'll see that this game will suck your life up like world of fucking warcraft This game is good for boning game characters wives and lesbian getting-it-on. you all are fucking perverts WELL I HAVE CONVINCED MYSELF TO BUY IT!!!
  • ncioffi1 - May 30, 2009 7:32 p.m.

    their is only 3 days to and I'M BUYING WHAT IS THERE NOT LIKE ABOUT THIS GAME NOTHING. I started with the frist sim game and got the senced and i'm going to get the 3ed. There hase been a big chage from 1st to 2nd and to the 3ed. The things that make the sims 3 so differnt form the sims 2 in my opinon is the custmiztion and no louding srcreens what as make me vary happy is thet IT'S GONE GOLD MEAING THAT IT WILL BE ON THE SHELF TUS. JUN. 2nd, 2009 when i started playing i got scook on it and their is some many thing they have done to this game to keep me playing for 16 years out of the games i have played ea doing on this on
  • darkaleks - March 22, 2009 12:47 p.m.

    gus plsmake me happy is this game on market or not?????
  • steeler1 - March 17, 2009 11 p.m.

    awesome
  • DeadGirls - March 3, 2009 9:27 a.m.

    Bring your boners, 'cause they're giving away tits!
  • Nitemarish - March 2, 2009 11 p.m.

    Does the swimming pool ladder trick still work?
  • hardcore_gamer1990 - March 2, 2009 8:30 p.m.

    I'm gonna be one of those new fans.... Mind Control FTW?
  • sheas93 - March 2, 2009 3:39 a.m.

    they really need a plot line to gain 1 fan, me
  • flk - March 1, 2009 12:59 p.m.

    This game is going to be awesome. If it won't have that stupid DRM, thou
  • TrevorISme - February 28, 2009 6:03 a.m.

    AND Im really surprised that Charlie didnt write this =O
  • TrevorISme - February 28, 2009 6 a.m.

    I had lots of fun playing the Sims 2 player on the gamecube and we would have a family and i would live in a shed outside cause we wanted 2 houses and i would always purposly break things in his house so he came to my shed and burned it down with the only oven we had :'(
  • djsn1per - February 27, 2009 10:14 p.m.

    This might actually be the first Sims game that I'll buy. Couldn't stand the super micro-management that it took to keep them alive! Bravo EA Viva la world domination!
  • spiderking2009 - February 27, 2009 5:16 p.m.

    cant wait
  • iKOemos - February 27, 2009 7:52 a.m.

    lucashintz is right! I've read this before too!
  • Yourself - February 27, 2009 4:34 a.m.

    Iucashintz, You did and I did.
  • NelosAngelos - February 27, 2009 12:50 a.m.

    I've never been much of a fan for these games. My girlfriend is nuts about them and is counting the seconds for it to come out. It looks pretty good though, and glad that some of the more annoying aspects of the previous games are gone. Who knows, maybe I'll be one of those anonymous millions to start playing.
  • Skidd - December 18, 2008 3:32 p.m.

    Looks quite awesome, probably going to get it.
  • AMayer - December 18, 2008 3:08 a.m.

    I want this game so much already, because I loved the first two Sims to death. Too bad my computer can barely run the Sims 2.
  • Cwf2008 - December 18, 2008 1:40 a.m.

    Fifth...and...Sims...no commment
  • outergod - December 17, 2008 10:24 p.m.

    I have always loved the Sims and will almost certainly be adding this to my collection unless I get eaten by a frog or something ridiculous like that but the problem is the bloomin' specs... I have no idea what they mean... Can anyone tell me if it'll run on my laptop: Intel Core2 Duo T7500 @ 2.20Ghz 2046MB RAM Thanks :D

Showing 1-20 of 32 comments

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