Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Sims 3 Expansion Pack "Generations"

The Generations expansion pack was
released May 31st, 2011
The Sims 3: Generations is latest expansion pack in the 22-title Sims empire. Released on May 31st, 2011, the expansion focused on bringing the social experience of your Sims more to the forefront of game play. The tagline is "Live your life to the fullest," which is exactly what the game is designed to help your Sims do. This expansion pack expands social options for every generation, from imaginative play for children to cane-shaking anger at the world as an elder. There are a few other upgrades that come with it as well, such as the ability to adjust Sim's body hair in the Sim creator, new sliders that specifically adjust the life cycle length, the return of the "memories" system that more or less gets in the way and, of course, a myriad of new objects.

Included in the object list is the life-saving spiral staircase, taking a small square footprint instead of the long rectangle of the standard stairs. Also added is the camcorder, which allows you to record as the active Sim and watch these home movies later on. One final object addition that I think needs mentioning is the return of the good old chemistry set that makes all sorts of potions which, just as before, have a variety of positive and negative effects. This, however, is not a stuff pack and the expansion pack's real forte is its social interactions, which are ramped up to epic levels.

For instance, teens can now have rebellious streaks, playing pranks and generally torturing the neighborhood. However, such behavior may or may not incur the wrath of the parents, who are now able to ground the petulant youths. If the situation worsens, there's all sorts of boarding schools to choose from, ranging from military academies to art schools. Of course, all stages of life have these new social constructs, children engage in imaginative play, whether through costumes or the new treehouse objects. Children may even go so far as to create imaginary friends, visible only to themselves, who can freely interact with their environment.

From toddlers being pushed in prams, through teenage ennui, the onset of middle age (and its associated crises) ending with cane-shaking rants in the park, The Sims 3: Generations expands upon the social aspect of the game in nearly every way imaginable. The objects and interactions I've explained are barely scratching the surface of a highly complex social structure that this expansion pack delivers. By adding unique twists to classic features from The Sims 2 (and its associated expansion packs) as well as developing some really excellent changes to game mechanics, EA has stepped up the monolith that is the Sims franchise. If you're a fan of the series, I enthusiastically recommend this as a worthwhile monetary investment. Of course, we have to wait until Fall to ride horses.

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