Monday, May 26, 2014

The Sims 2 vs The Sims 3 (Part II)

You can read the first part of my ranty review/thoughts here.
          Building: I am not an avid builder and I do not spend hours playing with CFE. From my point of view it is difficult to create cohesive routable buildings in both games, but I like the Sims 3 CAST and tomb building tools a lot. Though I wish it was as easy to precisely sculpt terrain as it was in the Sims 2 and both games would benefit greatly with complimentary themed sets of doors and windows.
         Gameplay: Well, what can I write in this paragraph, I'm completely biased towards the Sims 2. Firstly, it suits my play style better and secondly it gives me more options to play this or that scenario I have in mind. For example, I can buy groceries in town or use the telephone, I can own a restaurant or I can use one to have a great date or family outing. I like how characters interact and act on community lots according to their personalities, and that there are no long pauses between animations as in the Sims 3 case. Meaningful long-lasting memories and sane attraction system are also a blessing, they do add depth to the characters. If there was an option to roam the map freely, visit neighbours, sculpt bodies and organize social events on community lots, it would've been a perfect game for me.
        The Sims 3, on the other hand, is more restrictive, shallow and kid safe, plus I still cannot get over the fact that bistros and stores are "rabbitholes". What sane person would read text about the great time their sims are having in said bistro instead of playing it? The chances something bad happens in this game are non-existent and it has a very low difficulty level. I have yet to see a meteor and my single sim can go from empty lot to beautiful upper middle class home in a week. Overall I believe that if the Sims 3 base game would have been stable and better thought out from the start, it would work with expansions better and allow developers to introduce new and much more intricate systems, such as apartments or managing businesses. This game had a lot of great ideas - such as horses and minor pets, houseboats and diving lots, entertainment career and many more. Sadly, the execution is far from great and the bugs are never addressed properly. There are a lot of scripted events that player simply cannot avoid, for example the curfew, the reaction to seing a plumbbot or a ghost or the instant reaction to cheating. All this, plus gradual breakage of save files, poor animations and countless errors make the game unplayable for me. Yes, the visuals are beautiful and picturesque, the open world seems unrestricted and full of opportunities, but as the result you get broken lighting and empty nightclubs. This whole game seems like smoke and mirrors to me.
           So, what do I think so far about the Sims 4 we'll get this autumn? I believe it will be more like the Sims 3 then the Sims 2 in it's execution and game play depth. I think we'll lose more old and time tested features for the sake of gimmicks and online stuff. I do like how the sims themselves look and move, I don't even mind the plastic hair that much, but I greatly dislike the general brightness, bloom, proportions and fakeness of the neighbourhood and a lot of things mentioned in previews and articles bother me (car animations, neighbourhood backgrounds, unlocking content etc.). I have yet to see what can overweigh both the Sims 2 and the Sims 3 that I already own.

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