A 2020 look at an iconic game
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
I bet you didn’t think you’d see a Sims 3 review 11 years after its initial release and yet, here we are. Although its successors The Sims and The Sims 2 were released in 2000 and 2004 respectively, a special place in my heart is reserved for the third edition. Not only that, but it still retains loyal players even after all these years.
Truly, I am an avid Sims connoisseur. At seven years old, I had the original Sims with all of its expansions—spending most of my time building far-too-square homes where Bonehilda broke her hip countless times trying to clean. While most of my peers were dreaming of winning the lottery and buying hoards of ice cream (probably), my fantasies consisted of “rosebud;;;;;;;;;;;;.” Thus, I followed The Sims franchise to the Sims 3—though not The Sims 2. I’ve played it, but too late to feel any nostalgic attachment. Though it will get an honourable mention for typically being in the top two highest ranked Sims games according to most review sites.
The Sims 3 is not only a one-of-a-kind sandbox, it also has zero competition (besides its own counterparts). There is no other game like it, and if there is, I have yet to find it. This may be because The Sims franchise established a monopoly over this genre so early on and created a game which demanded so much of the players attention that, as it aged, offered a distinct nostalgia. Not only that, but it is versatile; the Sims is cross-platform, being on just about any device.
Its only major flaw is in its wonky coding. There are a ridiculous number of bugs and glitches mucking up the gameplay. Custom content is a huge hazard too, potentially disrupting save files and crashing the entire game. However, this flaw—especially now—is easier to mod away than Minecraft is. Just install the “Overwatch” mod and BAM! No more flaws.
Though, there will always be the looming price of expansion packs, which are still far too expensive for a game that came out over 10 years ago. At this point, there are obviously ways around it, but EA is—as usual—milking this game until it runs dry.
Regardless, there’s so much to do in the The Sims 3 and there’s definitely something for everyone. Whether you want to design characters, create rough architecture blueprints, play God, simulate real-life (or dream) scenarios, or even just farm and fish, you can do almost anything. With mods though, there are absolutely no limits. From the third-person mod to the “Woohooer” mod, there are tons of special add-ons created by the amazing Sims community.
It’s a classic, and while the Sims 4 lost the original Sims charm, Sims 3 is the most advanced version of the series while still obtaining that timeless nostalgia and charm.