Kimberley Ellis
06 Jul, 2011

The Sims 3: Generations Review

PC Review | There be shenanigans afoot.
While previous Sims 3 expansion packs have provided gamers with focused themes of content - from World Adventures focusing on travel and adventure to Late Nights look at pubs, clubs and living single in the big city - The Sims 3: Generations has gone against the grain by offering a host of subtle changes to the title which enhance elements of the entire game, beefing up each stage of a Sims life to make the title a more balanced effort. But does the lack of an all encompassing update translate to an overall lack of value in Generations?

Traditionally, Sims games have always had a limited range of activities for babies, toddlers, and children, which meant that this stage of life was quite boring to play. Generations has fleshed this out by providing young Sims with a number of new activities to capture their imagination such as the tree house. By far the most fun of playing as a child Sim comes through the exploration of the theme of imagination, which the game tackles through the use of imaginary friends for your virtual kiddies. While previous expansions have added the ability to play as vampires, werewolves, etc. Generations too offers gamers with a slice of kooky gameplay with the ability to bring your Sim children's imaginary friend to life. While being a little left of the middle in terms of gameplay additions, it feels less tacked on than the supernatural aspects of the game that have previously been thrust upon gamers and proves to be a terrific link to additional gameplay aspects provided in the childhood stage of life.

Teens too have seen a Sim overhaul, with the game opening up a number of options for those that like to partake in a little rule breaking and mischief making. After many iterations of the game, it's safe to say that The Sims has finally captured the essence of teenage rebellion. From the consumerist wants of the latest craze, to the mood-swings and angst that we typically associate with our formative years, Generations does a supurb job of capturing this stage of life. By far the greatest gameplay addition for teenage Sims is the ability to run amok and perform pranks. Whether you're prank calling a neighbour or booby trapping the household appliances, the greatest thrill of performing these actions is being able to do so with without triggering the game's new punishment system. As with any good shenanigan, there are a number of possible repercussions that can be experienced by your teen Sim which range from the old staple of being grounded through to the extreme in bad boy/girl behaviour: being sent away to military school. If that isn't enough of a real teenage 'experience' for you, Generations also serves up traditional American teen fare by allowing your Sim characters to attend prom - where they may be crowned King or Queen of the formal.

I love a good shenanigan in the morning.

I love a good shenanigan in the morning.
The kids aren't the only ones experiencing the fun, with adult Sims also getting a few new options. The biggest game-changer being the ability for your Sims to experience a good, old mid-life crisis. Unlike a moody teen, recovery from a mid-life crisis is a lot easier to achieve; being as simple as adding a shiny new set of wheels to the garage or spending some serious Simoleans on yourself. Failing that, you can always settle for some old fashioned psychiatry to get you out of your middle-aged funk. While the opportunity for greater rewards exists if you can successfully navigate your Sim through the waters of a mid-life crisis, the possibility for failure is also greatly enhanced. Unlike a Sims traditional aspirations, these wishes cannot be cancelled, and failing to grant your Sim's aspirations will make it much more difficult to navigate your Sim's mood into positive territory. On a happier note, adult Sims also have some serious options for getting the party started with the addition of bachelor/bacherlorette parties - complete with 'entertainers' that pop out of cakes! The greatest addition to the party is the video camera, which you can purchase in order to record celebrations from a first-person view. This allows your Sim to navigate around the party to document footage which can then be played back through television sets within your Sim's homes. Aside from parties, the video camera can be used to document important steps in a Sims life or to spy on your neighbours. Whatever use you choose, it's one cool addition to the game.

Someone has definitely lit her fire.

Someone has definitely lit her fire.

Generations also adds another career into the mix, with adult Sims now able to seek out employment as a professional babysitter. Interestingly enough, rather than venturing off to work on a daily basis, Sim parents from all over the neighbourhood will descend on your doorstep in order to utilise your babysitting services. While the neighbourhood kiddies may look like sweet, innocent cherubs, their true colours shine once mum and dad leave, turning into needy balls of trouble. As a babysitter you’ll become accustomed to changing nappies, making sure they're well fed and keeping the kiddies amused with ‘attack the claw’ - an action which involves you making a claw motion to keep the kids smiling and giggling. The babysitting career can be quite challenging to deal with as you'll have your own Sim's needs to contend with as well as those of your young brood.

From an audio and visual perspective, there is nothing new to report with the game containing the same visual style and wacky Simlish language as its predecessors. Though it can be noted, that even after a couple of years, the visuals of The Sims 3 still hold up pretty well.

Unlike previous expansion packs, the content of The Sims 3: Generations isn't immediately noticeable. Instead, the game relies on the patient, persistent player to unlock its not instantly noticeable treasures as you progress your Sims through the many stages of life. Whether you're capturing the essence of a child at play or playing with your Sims through their crotchety octogenarian phase, Generations adds great depth and refinement to the world of The Sims that you'll wonder why it took so long for these additions to be made.
The Score
The Sims 3: Generations is a fun romp which relies on the patient, persistent player to unlock its hidden treasures. 7
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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MySims Review
09 Oct, 2007 Spread your town pride on the DS.
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