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First impressions

So far I'm a big fan of the game. My only real complaint is the poor camera, but it hasn't really affected my gameplay, it's just made it hard to take up close screenshots at the perfect angle. Here are my thoughts on the game, and some explanations about what is different.

The graphics on the sims and their interiors are stellar! Hair looks like hair, with fullness, clothes look like realistic clothes with fullness as well. The overall world graphics are good, maybe great, but not as stellar as the sims and their interiors. The design of the world however is pretty cool, it feels realistically laid out and spaced out, and I love that there are strolls along very windy and natural forest roads/cliff roads, instead of straight perfect roads. Though I do hope you can upgrade the roads at some point.

I love the traits and the flaws, there are less of them but I feel they add far more personality to my characters than in TS3. I've also felt like I've spent a lot less time messing with decorations (there is not a huge amount of customization here)--even though that's always been something I've really loved, there's enough of a game that I haven't really found myself caring. My Sims feel a lot more unique and individual than in TS3 thanks to the personality traits, as I mentioned, and the ability to turn flaws into positive traits is pretty cool. I also feel like there is a lot more room for unique looking sims in this game, usually I end up with all my sims looking the same if I bother putting any work into them. Now, all of my heroes look radically different and without having to have crazy noses or something. They look far more realistic as people, instead of chubby faced clones, even though their faces are not perfect.

I have not had any performance problems on max graphics.

The quests are all pretty fun, I wish they were a bit more involved, but for a Sims game they are very involved. I like that my Sims still have "jobs" but they're things that I have to do (instead of a rabbit hole) and they get changed up every day.

The interactions, animations, etc, have all been genuinely entertaining. Though they would probably be more if not for the camera.

Overall: Love it!

Here are some of the major differences...you can only create Heroes, you can create one each time you make a building. You can only play the hero during a quest, however you can always choose which heroes to take on a quest, which quests to do, how to do them, etc. Traits make a bigger difference. The game feels a bit like a very cool dollhouse, as far as how the buildings cut away and show each room side by side. There are only two "needs", energy and hunger. Each hero's profession (for example, physician or merchant) replaces their job that you would expect from TS3. So instead of sending them off (rarely do you send them off, and even then it is pretty quick) you are playing out the two duties they have to perform for the day. Once you complete a quest, you start a new one and the game takes over that character. They don't really change while you're gone, but they go on with their day and you can interact with them while playing other Sims. The game is much more "gameplay involved", as mention there's not much time spent in rabbit holes, the game *constantly* keeps you doing things. This game is a lot less about micromanagement and more about management. Your Sims level up by completing quests, carrying out their duties, practicing, and doing things related to their profession, but you can't choose or level up specific skills. IE there's no skill grinding cooking or repair, you are just focusing on the profession. Performance on your quests improves your kingdom as a whole, and is determined by both completing objectives, and completing them while focused. Moodlets that make you lose focus replace "bad moodlets" from TS3, and focus is sort of like your mood or aspiration level in that it makes it hard to get things done until you've fixed your focus. But it's not much of a problem. Only not taking care of your needs or duties really affects your focus, aside from the fatal flaw. The fatal flaw is essentially something that harms your character in some specific ways (for example being Cruel will make you have bad relationships with a lot of people) AND from time to time causes a loss of focus moodlet that you need to attend to before it goes away. So for example my character's parents were eaten by whales, so once in a while my Sim needs to go and deal with her whale rage by screaming at the ocean or hunting whales. Then it goes away and her focus is fixed.

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Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
gheez
Mar. 23rd, 2011 03:58 am (UTC)
Good to read your review. Amused by the 'whale rage' and reasons for it.

Was hoping for some screenshots... pretty please.

Do you think that you will be able to do your legacy - or is it too quest based to allow free play?

So envious that you have your copy and are playing already. It doesn't come out until the 25th over here :(
periodic_toxic
Mar. 23rd, 2011 04:11 am (UTC)
Sorry to hear that it'll take so long to get over there... :( With digital distribution possible, I really don't understand why other countries get so ripped off and have to wait so long. Especially Australia.

Well, I've been working on my first legacy post--I'll link to it once I am finished. However, I will post some more generic screenshots after I am done with it. :) Suffice to say, the game is pretty! The screenshots look nice but they don't do it justice.

As for my legacy...I think it will take a lot of work to make a coherent legacy. It already is taking more work than it did in Sims 3. I think I will need to fake it--apparently Sim children *don't* replace their parents when their parents die, which is a damn shame. Not that I have confirmed this myself. However, anyone who does want to make a legacy-type story, or any other type of generational story, could fake it enough for the pictures. For example, each new game, I am planning on using my saved sims versions of the current sims I am playing, aging them up slightly (it's purely aesthetic, but you can make Sims look varying degrees of old!), trying to make what were the children, as adults look as young as possible, etc. And simply pretend that they are genetically related, even though the game wouldn't recognize that. For the purpose of the story, they would be.

So...long answer short, technically legacies are not at all possible, but you can still make legacy stories if you really want to. I really want to. :3
scorpiosims
Mar. 25th, 2011 11:49 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the read. I've seen lots of screen-shots and really want to play.

Reading your review and seeing your pics really makes me want to play more too. I love my CC as much as the next person but I think because this is the olden days way before mobile phones and stuff, that the CC won't be too much of a problem.

I'm surprised at how realistic the faces look too!
periodic_toxic
Mar. 26th, 2011 12:23 am (UTC)
Yeah, I'm really in love with the faces. I think they got the right mix of slight pudding face vs definition, graininess, etc. More than anything I am liking that the actual face shapes can be really varied, unlike TS3 or TS2, and still look good/realistic.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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