Sims 3: Generations preview

Anthony Valva

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I sneak up to my neighbor's house and peer inside to see if they're home. Then I ring the doorbell and quickly hide in the bushes. Meanwhile, my little brother is pretending to be a prince in the backyard, hosting a grand feast inside his mead hall. Joining him at the banquet is his imaginary friend, who helps him clean the dishes at night.

Youth is a wondrous thing in the right hands. My playtime with The Sims 3 Generations showed off some of the new content for younger characters--bunk beds, childhood imagination, outdoor activities as well as kids costumes--but the expansion will feature updates for all ages, including adults and elderly.

The children were the main focus of this demo. My son, Timmy was using the new costume chest to roleplay different characters. As a red dinosaur he can stomp around the house, roaring and destroying doll houses. As a prince, he's a nobleman who protects the backyard. More clever, however, is the imaginary friend. As a baby, you can be given a doll to play with that you grow attached to. As you get older, it goes from a simple doll to an invisible Sim, who only the child can see. The imaginary friend can play games with you and interact in the real-world in minor ways like as cleaning your room or getting you a snack. But if you click on another Sim at any time, you'll just see the dishes cleaning themselves or your child having a pillow fight with nobody.

We can't stop here. This is bat country!

But wait, it gets even crazier for your kid. If they grow up to be a Chemist, they can create a formula that will transform their imaginary friend become a living, breathing Sim that everyone sees. This means you can eventually marry and even "woo-hoo" with your now non-imaginary friend. You dirty, dirty Sim.

Another addition (and my personal favorite) is the ability to make teens way more rebellious. This enables them to play pranks (ding-dong ditch, put hair dye in shampoo, rig a sink faucet, egg houses) and overall, just stick it to the man. Get caught by your parents, and you'll be automatically disciplined. Get caught in public, and the police might get involved. Doing pranks will change the way people in the city treat you, but not necessarily always in a negative way. Some Sims will think that the pranks are just as funny as you do. Others will get angry.

Egging your neighbor's house isn't the best way to make new friends.

While I didn't get to see much of the adult side, I did get to see a bachelor party (in which I was able to make the Sim's wife take a camcorder and document some of the festivities to use as blackmail later) and the new cosmetic touch for men: body hair. Yes, now you can make you Sim as hairy as Robin Williams. Another touch, following-up on the added promiscuity of other Sims 3 expansions: if your Sim likes to get around with the opposite sex, they will be known as a "player," and it'll be extremely difficult for them to get into a long-term relationship.

Little known fact: body hair increases cell reception.

For aged Sims, you can now create the stereotypical cranky old person with the introduction of the cane. Yes, now your Sim can shake their cane at younger generations and nobody can stop you. Be old, hate the youth, and become a Scooby-Doo villain (EA, can you add that as DLC? I think Hanna-Barbera would be up for it.)

The Sims 3: Generations releases on May 31.

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