by Howie Howard
previewed on PC
Back in the year 2000 game creating genius Will Wright developed and released a little people simulation game called The Sims. I remember the numerous media reports at the time asking why anyone would want to play a game that simulated everyday life. Why would you want to take control of a person and control every aspect of what could be a very mundane existence? Would it really be fun to play a game that required the game player to lead a character through everyday tasks such as needing to wash dishes, do house work, take out the garbage, go to work and yes, be required to perform the basic bodily functions. Why would we want to do them in a game when we do these things already during our everyday lives? I didn’t think a game with a subject matter such as The Sims would be very good at all.
But after dozens of expansions, a sequel and an online community unrivaled by any -and- with over 98 million copies sold we can safely say that The Sims is a very successful game franchise indeed.
When The Sims was released I thought to myself that there was no way I would ever play a game that simulated a person’s life. Now, over eight years later I find myself counting the days until I can get my hands on the new The Sims 3.
The good news is that The Sims 3 is in development as we speak. The bad news is that it is slated for a 2009 release date. That’s a very long time to wait but from the rumblings I have heard on the net this long wait will be worth it.
Many people feel that the absence of the game’s original creator Will Wright will hurt this new incarnation. But as Will Wright is busy working on Spore, Sims studio’s head honcho Rod Humble and his very capable team have been handed this assignment. I’m not worried because The Sims with its long history of success is being given a top priority and EA isn’t going to settle for a second rate title. This franchise is after all one of the biggest cash cows in the history of computer gaming, only behind the Mario arcade games. So it better be good.
Many of us have played the original The Sims with its numerous expansions and The Sims 2 and its equally impressive number of add-ons and web content, so what can The Sims 3 give us? Of course we can expect more of the same but greatly enhanced. Graphics and sound will be upgraded, but then those aspects of computer gaming these days always are. The best news is that The Sims 3 is going to come complete with an entirely new game engine.