Oh God

Posted: November 22, 2010 in Gaming, Operation: GBTD, Writing/Journalism
Tags: , , , , , ,

You know that feeling you get where you’re really enjoying a game, really getting into it, and then suddenly you look over and OH JESUS IT’S 5 AM. Yeah – I had one of those. Again. To be fair, I’m the kind of person who really does get wrapped up in what I’m doing, especially when it comes to reading or gaming… but usually I try and pace myself, or at least not let thing get to the point where I’ve wasted most of my sleep-time. I am prone to the odd all-nighter though, and those happen more often than they should.

My latest time-sink came in the form of The Sims 3. Having been to a Winter Showcase for EA recently, I had a demonstration for The Sims: Medieval. It looked quite interesting and I was looking forward to writing the preview on it, but then I realised that I didn’t actually know anything about The Sims. Usually, in cases like these, I try and do some research, but before I even got that far I had a conversation with a friend of mine which kind of made me think that research alone wasn’t going to cut it. So I got on the horn to EA, and they airlifted in a copy of The Sims 3 for me. Ok, ok, they didn’t airlift it in…

So there I was, it was Friday evening and I was finished for the day. The Sims 3 had just arrived earlier that day, so I thought I would give it a whirl. Did some tutorials, created a sim who could have been me if I was actually good-looking, charismatic and living in a digital world (although he was also a workaholic and a geek), and I went about managing his life.

Oh my effing god… I see now why this series is so popular. I don’t know what inspired Will Wright to go from managing cities to managing… well, people, but it was a genius move. I don’t know what it is, but you really do end up caring about these little digital guys, and all the little facets of their lives that you can influence can keep you engrossed for hours on end. You get him started in his chosen career (Journalism, naturally) you get him a house, you make friends, get a girlfriend, improve your skills… there’s so much to do, and oddly enough it sometimes seems like there’s not enough time to do it.

I still wonder at the replayability of this game – once my original sim has lived his life, I wonder whether I’ll want to carry on, or whether starting again will still be interesting… When creating a sim, there’s lots of different ways you can customise their personality and behaviour, which will intern affect gameplay. There’s also several ‘life-time goal’ achievements to choose from, as well as several careers, so there’s content there… but we’ll see. There’s also all the expansions as well. Thinking about it, I’ll definitely want to pick up one of the content expansions at some point, but I’m almost saddened to see that the item expansions are little more than that – items. That element at least seems a little bit like cashing in on ultimately superfluous DLC.

It’s interesting, because on one level The Sims is not really considered to be a ‘hardcore’ game at all, and yet it possess a level of micro-management that could rival even Supreme Commander in some cases. It’s been an interesting experience so far, and I’m going to enjoy play this more. I just hope I remember that I still have a real life to live while I spend so much time managing a digital one.

Until next time.

  1. Marco Fiori says:

    It’s fricking awesome man and fiendishly addictive.

    • I know! Sweet Jebus…

      Although, I’m thinking I might ‘start over’ as it were, as this was really just an trial run. I inexplicable ended up with a butt load of money, and so part of the challenge is gone now. We’ll see how I feel when I next have a session.

      • Emily says:

        I’ve spent many, many hours on the first game, but have never really moved beyond it to 2 or 3. It just seemed to get more complicated with each new incarnation.

        It may also have something to do with the fact that I have limited access to a PC that can run either 2 or 3. My notebook freaks out whenever i think about installing 2 again.

      • Ahh reminds me of Diablo II and growing up. As I mentioned in a previous post I never finished it, simply because my computer at the time couldn’t handle it. I’m sneaking in the odd hour here and there in the hopes of completing it before Diablo III comes out.

        I’m quite enjoying The Sims 3 so far, although obviously I don’t really know how it compares to the other two. As much as I promised I would start playing older games, I’m not going to go there Haha. One Sims game is enough :P

  2. […] post… well, today’s other post: I actually finished ‘Oh God’ at around 11pm on Sunday evening, but I didn’t think anyone would be around to read […]

  3. Holly says:

    Ha ha, it really sinks in doesn’t it? I totally identify with the “run-through” bit. I always had at least one starter file with a character who was just like me, then I would perfect it later. The rest of my time was spent trying to “win” the game by fulfilling all the life goals of all the characters in the neighborhood.

    As for expansions, get World Adventures but for the moment skip the rest. It does so much more than add items, in fact, I’d say it’s the most expansive and enjoyable Sims add-on I have ever played, and I’ve been playing for a decade now.

    It’s interesting that, as you point out, Sims is not considered a hardcore game. It seems no one can really figure out the definition of that word, but it seems to mean “not a puzzle game” and “has guns”. If you ask ME, in terms of how serious you have to get at the game and how tedious it can be, it has no business being considered a casual game, by any stretch of the imagination.

    Oh man, you make me want to play now!

  4. Holly says:

    OK, Ambitions is decent. Not gonna lie, being a Ghostbuster is just too fun.

  5. […] on Digital Eccentric, I said this: I still wonder at the replayability of this game – once my original sim has lived his life, I […]

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