And the Zone's decision is ...
Instead of giving you a long drawn-out but detailed review that leads up to the conclusion, I am going to give the answer now and explain why I have reached it.
Simply put, it is this. If or when you can afford The Sims 3, I recommend you buy it! Although it may look similar to The Sims 2, it is very different indeed and offers lots of brand new experiences worthy of the cost.
I would hazard a guess that not everyone will think "Ok, I'll go down the store right now" or otherwise take my conclusion for granted so I need to explain how a week of playtesting has helped me to reach this conclusion.
The Sims 3 is set in the town of Sunset Valley. It is a well crafted neighbourhood leaving many populated houses, many empty ones and enough space to add houses or community lots to make the neighbourhood your own.
There are many places that can be described as "rabbit holes". Once your sim is in there, for example having gone to work, having spa treatments or going shopping, you don't get to see them while they are inside although you can influence in some way how they act while in there or what foodstuffs or books you wish to buy. Sims can even sell things that they have found, grown or fished.
There are other lots that you can see inside. In the community lots, you can go into the gym, the art gallery, the library, the park and many other venues. In household lots, your sim can visit anyone assuming that they'll let you in. Also, if a sim has certain negative character traits, they can even break into someone's house and take things.
There are so many places there is not enough space in this précis to cover them all. I am nevertheless really impressed with this seamless town and in our indepth report following this article, you will find more about it.
Sunset Valley is set 25 years before the original game and therefore 50 years before The Sims 2, and there are some familiar faces for those simmers who have been playing for many years. For starters, there is the Goth family and Mortimer, who we knew from The Sims 2 as a rich old man, is now a child, seen here with his parents, Gunther and Cornelia. Bella is in the town as well as one of the Bachelor family with her brother Michael, who old simmers will remember from The Sims. To name but a few, other familiar sims include the first Malcolm Landgraab and the recently widowed Agnes Crumplebottom, seen on the right. You have the choice of playing these and many other new families or letting the world go on around you as you play one of your own design. You could even evict them all out and populate the town with your own families.
Written at 07:42 on Friday 12 June 2009 by