Sims 3 in the future

Oasis Landing, Sims 3: Into the Future

Oasis Landing, Sims 3: Into the Future

The future isn’t going to be all bad, if Maxis gets their way.

The Sims 4 is scheduled for next year. I have not decided whether to buy it. Most of the expansion packs for The Sims 3 I have bought on sale months after they were released, not because I lacked money but because I felt they were not worth the full price. Even then it took some more months before I installed the last two. And the latest that is out now, Island Paradise, seems completely worthless to me. Less than worthless probably, as I hear it slows down the game more than the earlier expansions.

And that is where it could have ended, had not the Sims 3 developers decided to let the game go out with a bang. Their final expansion pack, to be released in late October, may be the most ambitious of them all: The Sims 3: Into the Future.

The name is a pun, in the sense that it is the last expansion for those who want to stick with this game into the future. But it is also a future-themed expansion where our sims can travel into the future and back, alter the time stream to bring about three different futures, and also make smaller modifications to each of these time lines by the things they do in the present day.

This is not simply a stuff pack that give new skins to familiar objects. Sure there are some, like the hovercar and hoverbike. But to a large degree, sims in the future interact with the world in a fundamentally different way. There is an Advanced Technology skill that is common to a great deal of the future objects. Not having it makes even everyday actions like showering or moving around difficult, but having it makes some other skills unnecessary (like cooking, as you can now get your food 3D-printed). The game also introduces vertical flight with the flight packs. (Even witches’ broomsticks in Supernatural were basically a motorbike with a new shape.) Even sleep has been scienced: You can now program dreams in some detail, to achieves specific effects.

The simbot (robot) from Ambitions has expanded into a myriad of forms and these are now known as “plumbots”. These can be designed in a great deal of detail, with a bot creator comparable to the sim creator. Their personality can also vary, from fairly simple to human-like to having unique traits and abilities only available to bots. Achieving the skills and getting the components to make the most advanced plumbots is a quest in itself, but luckily you can also buy bots at a specialist shop.

The world seems to be the largest yet, with a full town and a large surrounding countryside with desert and small habitations. Those who just barely get the game to go round now should probably save this expansion for their next computer. But I am sure we will know more when it is released.

The notion that actions in one town (the present) leads directly to changes in another town (the future) is new and intriguing. Even if you don’t opt to make the future into a utopia or dystopia, your life in the present will determine the fate of your descendants (if any), and you can visit them in the future and see the consequences of your life! I hope that this will have a positive influence on young gamers who play the game during their formative years.

Overall, the topic interests me more than most, and judging from the previews it is done with a solid unified style that gives a great sense of immersion in a future world. Supposedly it is set hundreds of years in the future, but the technology seems mid 20th century to me – just around the time of the Singulary. Perhaps we’ll keep playing this game until then? ^_^

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