October 2, 2009 - With the release of The Sims 3 this past June, the franchise's massive player base got the opportunity to dive into a less rigid, more open world than ever before. Judging by reviews and subsequent sales, pretty much everyone is happy with what Electronic Arts did to push the franchise forward while maintaining the key elements that make The Sims such a distinct gaming experience. It's true when you say there really isn't anything else like it.
How EA cashes in on all this success is no secret – by releasing an avalanche of expansion packs. The world of the Sims 2 was officially expanded upon eight times in three years, and the first in what we can assume will be a long chain of releases tied to The Sims 3 is coming this November. Called World Adventures, the expansion will of course enhance the virtual doll house appeal of the game with tons of new items and collectibles, but also offer players the opportunity to travel to China, Egypt, and France to dig through dungeons for treasure.
Many of these treasures can be brought back to homes and displayed there, but there appears to be a lot of gameplay packed into each dungeon section. You won't be able to spend an unlimited amount of time in these new spaces, as you'll be limited by your current visa level that determines the duration of your visit. Once you're able to bump up your visa to level three you'll be able to spend quite a bit of time abroad, as well as purchase vacation homes that should facilitate fostering new friendships or even marriages. Not hindered by such visa restrictions, I had a chance to try out a few challenge sections in Egyptian tombs, navigating past traps, investigating hidden areas, and even avoiding undead threats in the interest of uncovering treasure chests.
When you first arrive in one of these added areas, you'll find detailed new lots to wander around. In Egypt, for instance, there are NPC Sims standing around markets in a base camp, some who offer goods and services and some who can point you to the starting level dungeons, much like in a role-playing game. There's a progression to the challenges, so you can't just dive into the highest level dungeon immediately. In fact, you'll basically be questing, or adventuring as it's called at EA, for some of the Sims standing around, and the quests are chained together, giving the progression through World Adventures more of a structured flow. You have to start small, solving simple puzzles in beginner areas that acquaint you with the types of challenges the game has in store.
What kinds of challenges? Well, let's say you enter into a dungeon and there's no clear way forward. There are, however, piles of debris stacked against the far walls and a statue parked in a corner. By hovering your mouse over particular spaces onscreen you'll find all these can be interacted with. Perhaps you'll need to grab hold of the statue and push it on to a pressure plate, or dig away the debris and reveal staircases or switches that trigger hidden doors. Uncovering the event trigger chains that eventually unlock a way forward is up to you (do you pass by or swim to the bottom of that curious looking pool?), and multiple paths of progression have been built into some of the harder dungeons.
If there's an easily identifiable switch that opens a door, you might want to look around more carefully. By mousing over a particular section of wall, you might find it can be pushed aside to reveal a secret entrance to a treasure room. Naturally, the treasure should be collected, but rushing in all wide-eyed and overeager could result in a painful death. Any game space worthy of being called a dungeon isn't complete without its share of dangers.
Fire traps, lightning traps, and more will block your way in many instances or be positioned around items of worth. In general there'll be a method to deactivate them, but if you're feeling particularly adventurous it's possible to try and leap over. This isn't recommended, as your Sim may very well wind up getting zapped or fried (as eventually happened to me), but such is the irresistible draw of valuable baubles, which can range from trash and busted bowls to coins and gems to invaluable antiques. Keeping these in your collection can activate moodlets, or you could just sell them off.
A Sims expansion wouldn't be the same without a supernatural element, so fans should be happy to hear mummies have been included in World Adventures. They're likely to pop out in dungeons, and if they manage to catch up with you, it's possible to get hit with a curse. Visiting the Sphinx in Egypt can remove this, but otherwise an unfortunate death may be in your future. It's also possible to turn into a mummy if you decide to take a nap in a cursed sarcophagus, a transformation I was told would be permanent.
Early dungeon experiences can be fairly brief, but the longer and more challenging ones will require you to bring along tents and dried food to keep your Sim happy. The tent can also function elsewhere in the world, allowing your Sim to rest on the road. Of course you can bring all this back to home with you, including other new stuff like motorized scooters, martial arts equipment, nectar-making gear, and photography items.
On the subject of photography, in World Adventures you can snap pictures and make a career out of it, selling the photos or using them as decorative objects. As you take photos, the game notes the situation, tagging shots of certain scenes with subtitles. For instance, if you can capture an image of a deathfish and an angelfish in an aquarium at midnight, the subject line will read "Midnight in the Aquarium of Good and Evil." Each level of the photography skill will offer up new challenges, so the hope at EA is that players will be excited by the opportunity to try and collect as many shots as possible.
While visiting China you can check out a martial arts academy and practice against training dummies or break everything from wooden boards to space rocks (or so say my notes). If this isn't an aspect of the game you're thinking would be interesting to spend time with, consider that it's possible to beat up and fight off mummies with enough practice. There's a sparring tournament here as well, and to prepare maybe you're the type of player who would want to meditate. I was told if you manage to mediate for long enough you're even given the convenient option to teleport around, which may make it easier to bring home some fireworks, which when set off can activate powerful moodlets. I didn't get any hands-on time with China, but I did get an overview of the area, which is quite different in appearance from the sandy Egyptian sprawl with lush forests and some creative dungeon entrance designs, including a giant dragon head with coulds of smoke emanating from around the front door.
A nectar-making mechanic is also included with this expansion, which EA described as an extension of the gardening system. There'll be new fruits and vegetables in World Adventures that can be grown in each location, along with six new grape types that tie into the nectar-making. Full sets of objects with French, Egyptian, and Chinese themes will be made available for those interested in new furniture, so if you want a fancy Egyptian couch, you'll get it in World Adventures. Maybe you can set that up in your basement, which can extend four levels underground. If you don't feel like filling that extra space with chairs and everyday accessories, you can set up your own dungeons and trap chains using the build tool.
I didn't get a chance to see much of France, but was told there are still tombs there, though comparatively less than in Egypt or China. Overall it seems like this should be a welcome addition for any franchise fan who took the plunge and picked up The Sims 3 earlier this year. It's especially interesting to see how the series as a whole appears to be continuing the trend of incorporating more and more traditional gameplay elements, such as the dungeon exploration, questing, and treasure hunting, into its distinct brand of accessible, light-hearted simulation
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Create and share your own unique worlds for The Sims 3 POSTED ON 10/29/09 08:36 PMCreate your own worlds for The Sims 3
Create and share unique new worlds for your Sims with The Sims™ 3 Create a World Tool – BETA. Step into the shoes of The Sims 3 development team and use the same robust world-building tool they use to create your own Sims world and then share your world online.
More info to come!!
Live Updates from SIMPOSIUM Fan Event POSTED ON 10/29/09 05:50 PMThe SIMPOSIUM Fan Event is finally here! We have some of our top custom content creators and top fansites here to preview The Sims 3 World Adventures expansion pack and other exclusive demos!
They're blogging, Tweeting, and Flickr'ing live from the event! Share in the fun and see their exclusive updates.
Halloween Showcase Highlights! POSTED ON 10/29/09 01:29 AMWe've acquainted ourselves with your scary Sims, crept through your creepiest lots, shivered through the most spine-tingling stories, and screamed while watching suspenseful machinima. These showcase highlights are now up and they are freakishly fantastic!
Check out the highlights
France has been revealed for The Sims 3 World Adventures POSTED ON 10/28/09 04:41 PMChamps Les Sims, France
Learn Nectar Making or Explore Photography in France
The Good Life - Champs Les Sims, France offers the cultural elite some of the finer things in life. Sims can learn the fine culinary art of nectar making, or flash over with a camera to learn the Photography Skill. This beautiful country town is sure to please the senses and invigorate the soul. Civilized Folk - Settled towards the end of the Medieval Period, Champs Les Sims has a rich history and culture. From the arts to delicious culinary delights, this small French town has everything Sims need to live a comfortable life. Try Your Feet at Nectar Making! Sims fascinated by Gardening and the culinary arts can now refine their talents by learning the nectar making skill. Combine your own fruits with new types of grapes or other fruits to create unique Nectar combinations. After stomping the fruit, the nectar maker processes the juice into delicious nectar. Sell, trade or enjoy these new flavors! Sims can learn all about nectar making by using the nectar maker from the Nectary or by reading books bought in France. The Nectary in Champs Les Sims should be visited by any Sims interested in nectar making or for purchasing nectar making equipment! But, Beware - The Nectary isn’t just a tourist location for those who enjoy the flavors of nectar, but the site of one of the deadliest and most expansive tombs in the world. Exploration - The Celtic Burial Mound is a relatively safe tomb for new travelers to explore. Look for it in the far corner of town – it’s the large mound covered with ancient, mystical looking stones. The Faerie Tomb has long been hidden, though it’s just waiting for a new explorer to discover its secrets. Complete the first section to gain access to the vast riches tucked away on the island. Café - The Champs Les Sims marketplace is a great place to purchase new French Recipes and Nectar Making equipment! It’s also a great place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee or delicious local crepe. Solve the Case - Think you’re up to the task of solving the mystery of the wily Jean Necteaux? Take on an adventure in France and see where it leads! Tour Time - Take a tour of the local museum, which showcases relics and artifacts from all around the world. The Museum is a great place to look for treasures that inspire you to adventure and explore. Creatures! - Collect new local wildlife like Frogs and Snails and take them home as pets. Not by Foot - Zip around town on a cool new scooter and take in the sights and the fresh country air! Learn more about the game
See the new screenshots
The Sims 3 SIMPOSIUM is almost here! POSTED ON 10/28/09 05:24 AMOn October 29-30, 2009, we’ll be hosting our first SIMPOSIUM Fan Event to preview The Sims 3 World Adventures expansion pack – and we want you to share in the fun!
We'll have a special page starting tomorrow where you can watch our real-time updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr live from the event! Get the exclusive scoop from the game team and attendees as they come in!
Stay tuned for more info.
Get In Touch With Your Wild Side! POSTED ON 10/26/09 05:17 PMSimAnimals™ Africa NOW IN STORES - Tame African Animals, Discover Their Secrets, & Control The Wild Kingdom!
Discover More! One week only Set Sale! POSTED ON 10/20/09 11:45 PMVisit The Sims 3 Store to find huge savings on the Hewnsman and Storybook Sets! The Sale ends Thursday, October 29th so shop quickly!
Shop Now! The Sims 3 World Adventures Grim Reaper Bloopers POSTED ON 10/20/09 08:55 PMHere are some random blooper screenshots from The Sims 3 World Adventures that the development team captured this week. Death has always been a key figure in The Sims games—dark, yet amusing! In Egypt, he watches on as a ghost Sim battles against a mummy and eagerly awaits the end results.
Check them out!
The Sims 3 World Adventures Exclusive Extra Game Content* and Bonus SimPoints*! POSTED ON 10/19/09 11:38 PMReceive exclusive extra game content and bonus SimPoints when you register World Adventures! Register your copy of The Sims 3 World Adventures and log onto TheSims3.com to download exclusive, new Explorer’s Loot content for your Sims, plus get 1,000 SimPoints to purchase items on The Sims 3 Store.
Secret hints and clues to adventures, exclusively available in Explorer’s Loot Set. Get exclusive, all-new content when you register your game! Prepare your Sims for adventure with the Explorer’s Loot download. Unlock the secrets of tombs, catacombs and caves with mysterious maps. Deck out your Sims homes with exotic Egyptian furniture, Chinese décor, and more!
Get 1,000 SimPoints to customize your game with additional in-game items from The Sims 3 Store. The Sims 3 Store includes hundreds of all-new items for you to download into the game. The Sims 3 Store features a variety of new outfits, hairstyles, furniture, home décor, and architectural items to customize your Sims appearance and houses in all-new ways. Enrich your Sims lives with popular sets such as Steampunk, UltraLounge or Jet Set.
* SIMPOINTS HAVE $10 VALUE AS OF DATE SIMPOINTS ARE AWARDED. LOOT AND SIMPOINTS INCLUDED WITH FULL RETAIL PURCHASE, EA ONLINE ACCOUNT AND PRODUCT REGISTRATION WITH SERIAL CODE ENCLOSED WITH THE SIMS 3 FULL PRODUCT SOFTWARE. INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED. ONLY ONE EA ONLINE ACCOUNT HOLDER IS ENTITLED TO REDEEM INCLUDED LOOT AND SIMPOINTS. YOU MUST ACCEPT THE SIMS 3 STORE DIGITAL SERVICES AGREEMENT TO RECEIVE SIMPOINTS. SIMPOINTS CAN BE EXCHANGED FOR VIRTUAL ITEMS AT THE SIMS 3 STORE, ARE NOT TRANSFERABLE AND ARE NOT REDEEMABLE FOR CASH.
View the Screenshots
Artists are revealed for the World Adventures soundtrack POSTED ON 10/14/09 04:31 PMLeann Rimes, Fefe Dobson, Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head and more each sing a tune in Simlish for EA’s The Sims 3 World Adventures
Read the Press Release
Mastering Kung Fu in World Adventures POSTED ON 10/12/09 05:06 PMLEARN HOW TO MASTER KUNG FU FIGHTING IN SHANG SIMLA, CHINA
For the first time ever, Sims can now spar and master Martial Arts when they travel to Shang Simla, China! We’ve offered some tips below to help you on your path to Kung fu greatness.
TRAIN - The Phoenix Academy of Martial Arts in Shang Simla, China is the best place to begin the path of the righteous. However, those who wish to train outside of China may purchase the Training Dummy, Board Breaker, and books to take home. Only after much practice with the training dummies, and the breaking of many boards will your Sim be on the path to righteous victory! To truly master the discipline of Martial Arts in The Sims 3 World Adventures, your Sim must defeat several worthy opponents in the Grand Tournament of China.
PRACTICE - Martial Artists love to spar and hone their skills in friendly combat. As a reward, Martial Artists receive new training outfits with colorful belts to denote their skill and aptitude in the craft. Sparring is a great way to develop your Sims skills, build friendships, and show off cool new belts obtained as reward!
CENTER - Meditation is key to obtaining focus and mental peace of mind. A powerful fist is nothing without a stronger mind. Focused Martial Artists are able to teleport, making them incredibly powerful. MASTER - Master Martial Artists are so powerful they can summon the magical elements from nature itself to aid them in their battles against evil!
TEACH - Top Level Martial Artists may train others, further strengthening the ranks of disciplined martial artists throughout the world.
Learn more about The Sims 3 World Adventures One Week Only - Animals Abound Set Sneak Peak Sale! POSTED ON 10/07/09 06:51 PMFor ONE WEEK ONLY, the Animals Abound Set is on SALE for only 850 SimPoints!
Unleash the whimsy of the wild with this complete set of bedroom furniture where animals and imaginations run amok.
Be sure to get this hot NEW Exclusive set during the Sneak Peak Sale before it goes to regular price on October 16th!
Get a FREE ITEM when you purchase your NEXT SimPoint bundle! POSTED ON 10/07/09 04:47 PMA Perfect Promotion for The Sims 3 Store Shoppers!
Purchase another SimPoint bundle and get a FREE hot item!
Hurry, this promotion ends November 30th! New EXCLUSIVE Sets at The Sims 3 Store! POSTED ON 10/05/09 11:48 PMYou Sims’ will love the new sets we’ve added to The Sims 3 Store!
Steampunk is back with even more! And don’t forget to spice up your Sims’ wardrobe with the Steampunk Savvy set! Celebrate the joys of autumn with the FREE Harvest Bounty Set!
Preview : Gamespot posts hands-on preview of China POSTED ON 10/05/09 05:59 PMGamespot has posted their exclusive hands-on preview of China within The Sims 3 World Adventures
Read the Article
China has been revealed for The Sims 3 World Adventures POSTED ON 10/01/09 06:35 AMCheck out the first reveal of Shang Simla, China, the second location in The Sims 3 World Adventures with screenshots and a gameplay trailer!
Watch the Video Check out the Screenshots
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