In my opinion, this is where Create-A-Sim has excelled itself and can give us the personalities we want. Previously, both in The Sims and The Sims 2, we were restricted with applying 25 points across five scales to work out how Neat, Outgoing, Active, Playful and Nice our sims were.
Not any longer.
TRAITS - In a manner not dissimilar to computer dating, you define your new sims with a maximum of five character traits from a full list of sixty three.
Toddlers only get two character traits and only have a limited list of 22 to choose them from. Children only get three character traits, Teens get four and Young Adults, Adults & Elders get the full five.
Although they are all shown in one complete list, the traits are divided into four classes.
Mental - There are thirteen traits here, which include Absent-Minded, Artistic, Computer Whiz, Handy, Insane and Neurotic.
Physical - There are thirteen traits here too. Traits here include Athletic, Clumsy, Coward, Light Sleeper and Lucky and Never Nude.
Social - There are twenty traits in this class. Traits here include Charismatic, Friendly, Inappropriate, Loser, Mean Spirited and Snob.
Lifestyle - There are seventeen traits in this class. Traits here include Ambitious, Childish, Evil, Hot-Headed, Loves the Outdoors and Workaholic.
Some character traits preclude others. If your sim cannot stand art, they cannot be artistic. If they are a computer whiz, they cannot be a technophobe. If your sim is good, they cannot be evil. Not yet anyway. It would not surprise me if a future expansion added some more traits and allowed our sims to be schizophrenic.
When you select a trait for your sim, they go through a routine of showing the mannerisms. Clumsy sims lose their balance, Handy sims produce a wrench from nowhere, Mooch sims get a tin out and are begging for money, Genius sims are making calculations in mid air and Artistic sims frame the scene. These are just a few and are not dissimilar to the mannerisms of sims from TS2 FreeTime as a sign of what hobby they were best at.
Jonah Miles here, who is a bit of a random sim, is Athletic, Excitable, Hydrophobic, Perfectionist and Unflirty.
When something good happens, he will be REALLY pleased about it. He will learn the athletic skill more quickly than other sims, although he will not be able to do it through swimming due to a fear of water. He spends more time cooking, writing and painting but the results are superior to those who don't. Romance is not on his agenda and flirtatious behaviour towards him will not go down well.
Once traits are selected or picked for you, they do not have to stay in place the sim has his final meeting with the Grim Reaper. By spending Lifetime Happiness Points, which I will explain in a later part, a sim can redefine his personality. Also explained in a later part, there is another way to change them and that is with a cheat.
LIFETIME WISH - A sim's selected traits determine a selection of five choices from which you get to choose your sim's lifetime wish (LTW). This is not dissimilar to the lifetime want from TS2 (University +) but with the added and welcome advantage of getting to choose your sim's big dream and not having it predetermined.
In this example, the wish choices include being a Star News Anchor, a CEO of a Megacorporation or an International Superspy. Another one is to maximise the charisma and guitar skills and the final one is to be super-popular.
Note - If you are not happy with the choices available, click on the "Change Traits" button that will return you to the traits list. Do not change any of the traits, though. Click to accept them and it will bring you back to the LTW screen. You may find that the choice of five LTWs has often changed, although it never gives you any choices that are clearly not appropriate to the traits you have selected.
FAVOURITES & VOICE - To complete the character creation, you get to choose your sim's favourite food, taste in music, colour and voice. Yes, your sims can sound different.
Food - There are sixteen different types of food ranging from Peanut Butter & Jelly to Ratatouille.
Music - Only seven choices here, ranging from Eletronica to Classical.
Colour - Nineteen choices here ranging from Sea Foam to Spice Brown.
There are three different voices that you can choose your sims to have which can be customised further by adjusting the pitch and timbre of them with a slider.
My only criticism of favourites is that they cannot be changed. If a toddler's favourites are cookies, lilac and kids music, those remain his favourites into old age and beyond. Even if he pursued the music career later in life and became a rock star, his favourite music would still be kids music.
Finally, on the Favourites & Voice page, is the option to edit your sim's biography, although this could be done later. In fact, it can be edited at any time.
I was very impressed at the time with the way sims could be created in The Sims 2, which I felt was a major improvement on The Sims. With this new Create-A-Sim, it now shows the previous systems to be antiquated, artificial and obsolescent compared to how things can be done now. The bar has been raised dramatically and I feel now that our sims are the closest to being as we want them to be.
If EA follows the trend, I am sure that the expansion and stuff packs will add new hair styles, outfits and textures. I would not be surprised if certain expansion packs brought new traits, lifetime wishes and favourites added as well.
In the next part, we will be seeing how Jonah and his wife Bronwen get on in living the simlife in Sunset Valley.
Ohh, didn't I introduce Bronwen? She's artistic and charismatic for starters. However, she's also got a nasty habit of taking things that are not hers and that can also include other people's partners.
Written at 03:14 on Tuesday 23 June 2009 by