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The Sims 3 Generations Preview

Josh_Laddin By:
GENRE Virtual Life 
DEVELOPER EA Redwood Shores 
T Contains Crude Humor, Sexual Themes, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

They grow up so fast.

The Sims 3: Generations, the newly announced fourth expansion to the ever-so-popular craze that lets you play God with your digital faux people, is focused on exploring the nuances of different ages throughout life, from snot-nosed kid to nostalgic old-timer.

click to enlargeTo that end, new functions have been added to help tell the story of your Sims growing up. Children and teenagers can play pranks on strangers, neighbors, and even other family members. A young kid can do something as simple as call his big sister over to his boys-only treehouse (another new feature) and then dump water on her unsuspecting head. That same sister, though, can later mess with the kitchen sink faucet so it sprays all over her dad, or go to the old flaming-bag-of-poop standby at a neighbor’s doorstep.

Another cool little quirk is the imaginary friend for a young child. Little Timmy can play with his buddy, who can be dressed up in all kinds of costumes, and you can issue suggestions to the imaginary friend as long as you’re looking at them through the kid. Click over to another Sim, however, and the friend disappears, while little Timmy just looks like he’s playing on the see-saw all by himself.

Older Sims have other ways of causing new mischief. Grandpa can go off to his own poolside bachelor party (he mostly just stood around and “talked” to the dancing girls – this is a family-friendly game). But you can order his jealous fiancé to tail him secretly, and then use a first-person view to record footage with a camcorder. Later at home, she can approach him with the incriminating tape and play the same footage you shot earlier on the family TV. While this is an entertaining use of the camcorder, you can also use it for more traditional purposes like making family home videos and replaying them when your Sims get old and yearn for the good old days.

click to enlargeBeyond the more age-specific additions in Generations, there are also little details here and there that add to the experience. Fans have clamored for bunk and loft beds for years now, and they’re finally available to the budding Sim family, in addition to the aforementioned treehouses. Even something as simple (and kind of disgusting) as lots and lots of fine body hair on your male Sim that you can zoom in on is there to make your Sim life that much more realistic.

Jealous vindictive fiancés, fiery bags of dog crap, male body hair – what more could you ask for in a Sims 3 expansion?

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