The infinitely re-playable world of The Sims 3 is set to expand once more with The Sims 3 Late Night. The upcoming expansion will include new skills, careers, and opportunities – as well as a ton of new locations and gear to customize your Sim’s appearance and living quarters.
But it’s the return of vampirism that promises to bring the biggest changes to how you actually play The Sims 3. And these vampires won’t be overly glamorous vampires or cartoony caricatures of counts and countesses from the 1920s. “Our vampires are not Twilight,” insists associate producer Grant Rodiek. He’s the one who designed the new vampire system for Late Night and wants to make sure that your blood-sucking Sim is totally badass and unique.
“The Sims 2 also had vampires. Their vampires were based on this sort of 1920s’ Bela Lugosi-style vampire. We wanted [Late Night] vampires to be more muscular and powerful. They gain skills twice as quickly. They run in a flash at night. They can drink from other Sims. They can hunt Sims. They can read their minds and learn about them really quickly… So, if there’s a girl you want to date or this girl you want to drink from, you can make [her] think of you and she’s going to like you more,” continues Grant Rodiek.
One downside to being a vampire is that you have to drink plasma to survive. “You can grow plasma fruits, you can drink plasma juice from the fridge, which is free, but it won’t make them very happy – it just satisfies your thirst. Or, you can actually drink from other Sims, which is the best way to make them happy – unless you’re a ‘vegetarian vampire.’ At that point, you’ll actually prefer the vegetable,” says Rodiek. It’s also harder to do stuff during the day. Get too many UV rays, and your Sim’s mood will be affected to the point that they can even begin to lose the ability to use their supernatural powers.
Above: Grouping is a big new feature in Late Night. Go bar hopping with friends, play games, and get into bar brawls. Also, this time around, NPC Sims can invite you to their own house parties
Our demo begins with a trip to Waylon’s Haunt, a seedy dive bar near the city’s port. In Late Night, you can now start a band with other Sims and play gigs. He’s in the middle of showing us all the cool special effects you can set up to add some flare to your band’s performance. But just as he’s finishing setting up a smoke machine and a miniature laser light show, he spots a member of the paparazzi snapping pictures of his Sim who also happens to be a vampire.
Above: If you want to know if a Sim is a vampire, just look into their eyes
There’s something off about the color of her skin and when we zoom in for a closer look, we can see a hint of fang in her grin just below her smoldering bloodshot eyes. Rodiek draws attention to his Sim’s moodlet. “Basically, when you’re around vampires you don’t know, your Sim gets a moodlet called ‘Hunted.’ And this is to encourage you to either leave or to befriend them – because once you befriend them, you won’t get this anymore. And of course, if you’re a vampire, you won’t be ‘Hunted’ you will be the ‘Hunter’.”
We see a bit of how being a ‘Hunter’ works after we head to Aquarius, a posh night club located on the roof of a tall building in the heart of the city. Rodiek brings an entourage of Sims with him for the journey. He explains that with Night Life, the Sims team wanted to get back to the roots of The Sims’ gameplay, particularly the simulation aspect of it. You can now form groups and take them barhopping, and watch them interact as they order drinks, get in bar brawls, or dance on the bar. It’s not long before two members from the party split off for some skinny dipping in Aquarius’ outdoor hot tub.
After drinking in the scene, Rodiek shows us how you can target prey. He scans the area for the Sim that will be his main course for the evening. “It turns out that Amy Star is the ‘Hunt’ target. So that’s the person my vampire has determined has the best blood; she’s the best, tastiest person… and if you go up here, you can see a map tag that shows where they are,” explains Rodiek as he pulls up the city map with an icon for our Hunt target. But we won’t need to chase Amy Star throughout the city this time. Tonight, Rodiek uses his vampire powers to make Amy Star think of him, he flirts with her. And before long, Rodiek’s Sim is supping on Star’s plasma with a gentle bite to the wrist. This is a more friendly bite. If your vampire has a more intimate relationship with its prey, you might see a more erotic bite to the nape of the neck.
But before things get too serious, we quickly return to the random shenanigans that The Sims 3 is best known for. After having his fill of Amy Star, Rodiek decides to play a prank on his friends in the hot tub by stealing their clothes when they’re not looking. With nothing but a mosaic filter blur to cover their naked bodies, his Sims’ friends are full of shame.
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