The Sims 3: Ambitions review

The Sims 3 Ambitions Review

…And then you suddenly have the new expansion for the Sims 3 in your hands. Were I was actually pretty skeptical with the previous one (the ‘vacation’ expansions for the Sims 1 and Sims 2 never really caught my attention), I was enthusiastic with Ambitions before I even saw anything from the game. Looked like it was the perfect expansion for me. So I quickly installed it and started playing.

CAS

First it was time to make a new Sim, to discover the new things in CAS. That’s how Sunny Simparool came to life.
What strikes me the most is that you can give your Sim tatoos now. You can place these on several spots on the body of your Sim and you can put multiple tatoos on 1 body part. Furthermore there are some new clothing sets. These are mostly work related clothes. Also a few new hair styles but not much.

Jobs

The new thing in Ambitions are the new careers. You can join your Sim to work. For Sunny I’ve chosen for a career as detective. This career can be done from her own home. Just check the PC sometimes, to see if someone has a case that needs to be done, is enough to get started. Most of the times she just gets called for a new case, right after she solved her previous one. You can decide whether or not you want to take on a case, or not. Do you choose to take on a case, you’ll get a series of tasks that you need to successfully finish. These tasks can be compared to the ones you can get in World Adventures. Also like the ones you get in the basegame. But in the basegame, they are always tasks that stand on itself, while in World Adventures (and now in Ambitions) they are more a linked series of tasks, that lead to an end result).
The tasks that Sunny gets in her career, vary from interviewing the one that has a problem (that’s where every case starts with), to searching fingerprints, search through the trash of someone, question possible suspects, etc. Even breaking and entering in the house of a suspect is one of the possibilities. For every task that you have completed successful, you’ll earn experience points. When you have enough experience points you get a promotion. You can also earn experience points by developing a certain skill. For detectives this skill is Logic. On top of that, a detective can spy on every moment on (almost) every location, by hiding behind two bushes and hoping to unveil some shady business. Every time you spy like that, you’ll earn experience points as well. When the detective sees something that isn’t completely legit, he or she can write a report about this on the computer and hand it over to the police. This earns him a bit of money as well. The detective will not see something suspicious every time you spy though; as long as nothing happens there is nothing to report…
Other careers will most likely have special interactions as well, but I have not played those yet, so I can’t say anything about those.

As said, you can earn some money as a detective by sending a rapport to the police about some shady business that you’ve seen. For every career you’ll get a weekly bonus. How high this is, depends on the career and the level your at (after every promotion the bonus gets higher). Especially in the beginning you should not expect too much from it, it’s more an extra… I don’t know the exact amount anymore, but Sunny Simparool got around a measly 250 simoleon at the start of her career. For every case that you solve, you get paid as well. This brought an extra 650 simoleon per case into the wallet of Sunny. Every case takes 1 to 2 days to complete, so when you are only working on solving cases, you can do around 4 to 5 cases a week. So that gives you around 2600 – 3250 simoleon a week extra. Plus with every few solved cases, you also got a few promotions, so your bonus has risen as well. The amount of money you get per case is the same every time, independent of the length of the, or the amount of promotions that you’ve got.
Another way to get your money as a detective, is to go to the police station and do some deskwork there. But going in to the police station remains the same; you can’t follow your Sim there. And this also works the same as the traditional jobs. The only difference is that you decide for yourself how long you work. You get paid by hour, but don’t expect it to be a goldmine.

Then the lifetime rewards. There are several new rewards, based on the new careers. There is one that gives you more money per case, plus extra experience points for every job well done.

Of course there are other careers to choose from in the game. The others are:

  • Fire Fighter
  • Sculptor
  • Inventor
  • Ghost buster
  • Stylist
  • Interior Decorator
  • Doctor

Laundry

What else is new in the Sims 3: Ambitions, is that your Sims can now do their laundry. By a laundry basket, a washing machine and a dry line or wash dryer and your Sims can clean their clothes themselves.
But why would you actually do that? Well after every wash you do, your Sims enjoy the feeling of freshly washed clothes for a very long time. And that makes them happy, which in turn gives them a happy moodlet! Everytime you change clothes, the time that the moodlet still runs is being reset. So you can enjoy this moodlet for a very long time. Plus, your bedlinnen gets washed as well. So every time you go to sleep, you feel those lovely freshly washed sheets, which gives you an extra moodlet!

UI

Good, so those are the gameplay elements in the game. Lets talk about stuff you always see on screen; the User Interface. In Ambitions several (small) changes have been made: the screen that gives you a challenge no longer is centered, but has been moved to the left of the screen. The messages screen is different as well. Before you got every message below the previous one (“Your Sim was promoted”, “In 2 days your Sim wil grow up”, “Your Sim has learned that X is a workaholic”, etc.), now all these messages have been bundled up into one screen. This screen has 3 categories, for work and skill related messages, “conversations” and other messages. Other than that, no major changes have been made to the UI.

Conclusion

There are simply too many new things to talk about in this review. The Simbots return, there are several new options in the build mode (like a fireman pole as stairs), there is a new neighborhood that really has a lot of atmosphere and lost of other small things.
To sum it up, Ambitions is a fun expansion, that adds a lot of new cool stuff. Finally we can see what our Sims do at work, although some jobs still take place in a rabbit hole (the “old” jobs for instance). There are not a lot of new clothes and hair styles, but the gameplay makes up for that. Some jobs might get a bit repetitive after a while, but luckily there are enough of new things, to keep you occupied until the next expansion!