A First Look at the Sims 3: Generations

Generations Event London

Dit is de Engelse versie van het verslag. Lees je het liever in het Nederlands

London Calling. On April 14th, I took a plane to the British capital, to attend an event that was being held about the Sims 3: Generations, the fourth expansion to the Sims 3. Because the expansion was only announced a few weeks ago, I haven’t seen a lot of it yet. So I was even more curious to the new features and possibilities of the game. And luckily… I wasn’t disappointed!

The Sims 3: Generations – An overview
So what is Generations? Well besides the fourth expansion pack of course. You could describe the Sims 3: Generations as a true expansion to the Sims 3; in the real essence of the word. It adds really new gameplay elements to the base game. For all ages there are new objects, interactions and ways to play. And that’s what makes this expansion so great.

A lot of time has been put into the elements for the younger Sims. Children and teenagers really have a new way of playing. But of course, no Sim is forgotten, so don’t worry that becoming an adult makes your game boring. Because it doesn’t!

In the few hours that we had with the game, we haven’t managed to find out all the new things. It’s just impossible to do that, as there are so many new additions and features added. But we did find out a whole lot of ‘em. So let’s find out!

A new way to play
As mentioned before, the Sims 3: Generations really gives you a new way to play. You’ll experience all the life phases in the game, like you’ve never done before. Not just that, but you’ll also have completely new ways of playing the game. Storytellers will find this expansion amazing, as it gives a lot of new ways to craft a story.

Let’s take a look at all the difference life phases and what is added and new to them!

Children
The children in the Sims 3 were always a bit of the “outsider” when it came to gameplay. Sure it wasn’t like you had no ways to interact with them, but they just weren’t as “complete” as older Sims. But that has completely changed with this EP.

There are lots of new additions for children, both object wise as interaction wise. To start with the objects. A great addition for Sim children is the tree house. Who didn’t want to have their own tree house when they grew up. Now you can give your Sims the pleasure of playing in their own house, far above the ground.
The tree house is an object that you can put in your backyard. It’s a full object, so you’ll get a tree with a house in it; you can’t build the house yourself. There are more designs though, so for every Sim there is bound to be a tree house to his or her liking. We even saw a futuristic space tree house!

Children have a great time in the tree house. They can play with their friends and have little imaginary stories. And if they don’t want their brother to come bother them, just put a ‘no boys allowed’-sign up. Maybe it was also a good idea to put a ‘no parents allowed’-sign in the game, as adults can sneak into the tree house and have a good time WooHoo’ing.

The fantasy of children is also bumped up. Sometimes they have little pretend plays with themselves. They’ll hop onto a chair and pretend to be in a high speed car race. Another new addition is the imaginary friend, but more on that later.

Teens
Also the teens have some great new additions. If your teenager is a real lab rat, you can buy him a chemistry set. He can brew all sorts of concoctions. Some of them can even help you out of trouble.

Of course, being a teenager also means you like to be a menace and terrorize the neighborhood. Well not just the neighborhood, but also your own family. You can set up booby-traps in your home. Put a whoopee cushion on the couch or alter the sink so it sprays water in the face of the first person trying to get a drink. Or if you want to give your little sister a good scare, why not tell them a scary ghost story? Of course your parents won’t be too happy with all these shenanigans so they can punish you. Yep, your Sims can be grounded.

But be honest, you are not listening to your parents now are you? So you can sneak out of the house and try to cause a bit of mayhem in the city. Throw eggs at the neighbors house, or put a flaming bag filled with dirt on their front doorstep. That’s good fun. Until someone notices you’re out of the house and comes looking for you. That’s something you didn’t like. But no worries. Remember that chemistry set? You’ve brewed a nice escape potion just for a situation like this. Like a real ninja, you use the potion and disappear… only to appear again at home, in your room. How convenient!

You teenagers can also experience school in a whole new way. Don’t like the regular school system? Why not enroll in a boarding school. Your Sim will live on campus, so you can’t control them. They will come home every now and then however. The boarding schools will help your Sim later in life. Go to the military school and you’ll come out stronger both mentally and physically. Or if you like the free and wild life, just go to a hippie school. Yep, there is a hippie school. Just like in the sixties! Groovy!
Besides the boarding schools, you can also participate in after school activities. And of course you’ll need to get a date if you want your Sim to go to the prom dance!

(Young) Adults and Elder
Then you have the (young) adults and elderly Sims. The team has not forgotten to add stuff for them of course.

Parents now are more parent. They can punish their children, when they misbehave. Because let’s face it; that’s the best part about being a parent right?
Parents now also can use a stroller to go and have a walk with their babies. The stroller works a bit the same as cars and bikes; you buy it and when a Sim uses it, it goes in their inventory.

Between adult and elder hood comes another time; the midlife crisis. Well not for all Sims luckily, but it is possible that your Sim encounters a midlife crisis. If that happens they’ll get wishes to accomplish even more in life. So take out your wallet and buy that big sports car!

The elderly Sims have gotten a bit of an overhaul now as well. First of all, they can now support themselves with a cane. They’ll walk a bit bent over now as well. Elder Sims will reminisce about their live, look at some old photos and tell stories to their grand children.

Part-ay
Your Sims were already able to throw parties in the game. But now you have more options for your party. You can throw several new parties.

Bachelor party
You know that time before you get married? You just want to have one good time before the married life starts. So what do you do? That’s right, you throw a bachelor(ette) party. Invite some of your friends over and have a great time. You can either throw the party at your home, or – if you don’t want to clean up yourself – somewhere else. Your Sims will really get wild, with drinks and party until the late hours. And of course it’s possible to get some *hot* guests at your party. Dancers will arrive in a special car and will dance and entertain your guests. You have either male or female dancers in several skimpy outfits. These dancers are modeled after your Sims’ preference. If you are a female Sim into dark skinned guys, you’ll likely end up with some sexy cops in their Speedo’s. And if your male and fond of uniforms, don’t look surprises when you get some military girls to dance. The game even looks at the gender preference of your Sims. So you don’t have to worry that the dancers for your gay Sim will be “boring”; your gay Sim will get male dancers and your lesbian Sim will get female dancers.

Wedding party
The wedding arch from previous Sims games makes it return. If you want to throw a wedding party, your Sims will get a great wedding and give promise each other eternal love under the arch. After the ceremony they’ll cut the cake, which everyone can enjoy!

Slumber party
When your children want to have a party with their friends, why not throw a slumber party? Pop in a movie for everyone to watch, or jump in the pool. Afterwards they’ll take out their sleeping bags and have a good nights rest.

House party
You know those house parties you always see in the movies. Well now your teenagers can have them as well. Kick your parents out, put on the music and bring in the drinks because your teenagers know how to throw a party. Don’t make it too wild though; you don’t want the cops to bust you!

Imaginary friend

The new ‘creature’ of the game is the imaginary friend. This is a very special one. When your Sims are young, their parents can receive a special doll in the mail. Cuddle enough with this doll and give it enough love and it can later “grow” into an imaginary friend.

Imaginary friends are only visible when the Sim who has the friend is selected. You can’t control it, but you can have interactions with it. So your Sim can have pillow fights with the imaginary friend, hug it, talk to it… basically everything.

The imaginary friend does have some fun elements to it. As only one Sim can see the imaginary friend, it’s invisible for the other Sims. Imagine your Sim being on the see saw with his or her imaginary friend. The parents will walk by being completely flabbergasted!

It’s possible to bring the imaginary friend to life. Once you get an opportunity from the lab in the town, you can bring them something to get a new playable Sim. That’s right, if the imaginary friend is brought to life, you can control it and it becomes part of your family!

Fancy some chest hair?

There are also some new options in CaS. Besides the usual addition of new clothing and hair, there is also a new option of body hair. Body hair works more or less the same as the tattoo system. You select a location where you want body hair (which are basically the common locations; chest, back, arms, legs and even feet) and you just select a thickness. You can get light body hair, or really thick. So if you like your Sim to have a furry chest, now is the possibility to give him just that!

Bring your memories to life
Another new addition that we’ve seen from a previous game is the memories system. It does work a bit different now. When something memorable happens to your Sim, you get the option to add it to their scrapbook. It’s then added with a photo of the moment along with a caption and title.
If you want you can also add your own special moment, by just pressing a button.

Your memories can be shared to your wall on Facebook. I’m not sure why this was added, as I personally find the feature a bit useless, but I’m sure other love it to be able to share their accomplishments to their friends.

Another cool new addition is the video camera. Your Sims can buy a video camera and instead of making a photo of an event, they can put it on film. This works really cool. When you take out the video camera, you’ll go to a first person view of your Sim; you really look through their eyes. You can move around the world and shoot interesting video. Later you can watch that video back on the TV. Unfortunately the video won’t be exported so you can edit it yourself in your favorite video editing program, so it’s only available in game.

So… what do you think?
In the few hours that I’ve been able to play the Sims 3: Generations, I’ve seen a lot of the game already. But I’m sure I haven’t seen the most of it yet. There is still so much to explore that I haven’t been able to do yet. This expansion is really filled to the brim, with cool new content.

What I really like about it personally is the fact that they’ve added something new for all the life phases. This really makes the game more fun to play. Now you sometimes want to skip a certain life phase because it’s not so fun. But in Generations, all the life phases are just a little bit more entertaining and fun to play with. It’s also much more fun to play with a big family. And if you still don’t like a certain life phase, you can always set its duration shorter!

Again, we’ve not been able to talk about everything in this first impression; there simply is too much to talk about. But that this expansion will be one of the best up until now, is something we can already tell you for sure!