Our Sims seem to lead exciting lives. Although they still have to do the more mundane things, they will mostly achieve more than the player themselves. In the last two expansion packs for the latest installment of The Sims, we have seen our little virtual personas and families be able to travel to exotic lands, where they are able to explore tombs and find treasure, and take on jobs that offer a little something more than the regular career paths. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be a Ghost Hunter?
But, in this latest expansion our Sims are offered something that most people covet more than anything else, fame. The chance to become a celebrity, to hobnob with the rich and famous, to be allowed access to the most exclusive clubs. Beware though, as with fame comes the scrutiny of your adoring public. They are a fickle lot and adoration can soon turn to outrage, should you be caught doing something wrong. Welcome to The Sims 3: Late Night.
Life in the city is far removed from that of the sleepy suburbs. Anyone making that transition will find the pace of life much faster and everything will seem alien for a while. In Late Night, that is not too far from the truth, but more on that later. The first thing to be noticed about moving to the city is the addition of Apartments. Sims will now be able to take on a penthouse in an apartment block and share the communal areas with other Sims. This puts the Sim at the centre of the action and having to take the elevator to your penthouse will open all sorts of possibilities for interesting interactions.
The city is filled with all manner of clubs and nightlife, and this expansion very much revolves around the social aspect of the game. Sims will be able to form groups with which to hit the town, where every night is a Friday night and sleeping is for wimps. The city is also filled with celebrities and to get the most from the night life, your Sim would do best to become one themselves. There are a number of ways to do this, through wealth or impressing celebrities themselves, and as the player increases in fame, they will receive stars to portray their fame status.
Being famous brings with it a host of benefits and pitfalls. The Sim will get discounts and gifts, be able to gain entrance to the most exclusive clubs and even be paid to attend parties. But the pitfalls include being hounded by the Paparazzi, who are waiting to expose your most embarrassing moments to the world, and being hassled by the general public wherever you go, having to give autographs and pose for photos. Still, in the big city you are no one if you are not famous.
Another way to achieve fame is through one of the new careers. You want to be a movie star or have your own band? Both options are now available, along with the chance to become a movie maker. Creating your own band is a bit more involved and will see the Sim teaming up with some NPCs and performing at gigs. The inclusion of some new instruments spices this up and if the bookings just aren’t coming in, why not just take to the streets and jam for a while. word will soon get around. A new skill that the player can build up in Late Night is Mixology, the art of mixing drinks and tending bar. If you want to be where the action is, but don’t have the fame, taking on some extra work as a bartender is always an option and, if your skill is high enough, some of those special drinks you make could have some interesting and most welcome effects.
You may have noticed, whilst enjoying all of this night life, some strange looking dudes hanging around. Keeping all of the Twi-hards happy, we welcome the vampire to the city. These creatures of the night are not so much the classic vampire that you may expect, but the much cooler modern vampire as seen in the abundance of vampire based tv shows and movies from recent years. Becoming a vampire is an option, should you wish to join the undead, and comes with a number of bonuses including the ability to run fast and a penchant for the night life. Besides not spending too much time in the sun and having an issue with garlic, they behave pretty much like any normal Sim.
So, new careers, living in an apartment, the chance to become famous or a vampire are all included in this expansion. But the new additions do not end there. The hot tubs finally make a return. There are new wishes and lifetime rewards. There is even a subway that can be used, as there should be in any city worth it’s salt. And of course oodles of new stuff for decorating and dressing up purposes. The only problem that I have with the game is the necessity to create a new family within the city, or go through the hassle of moving your current family. Although some of these new features will appear in your current sleepy suburb, most of the fun to be had is in the city and living there is the only way to access it. The option to travel to the city from your current town should really have been included, as it was in The Sims 2 expansion.
There is a lot of content here and any Sims fan will be in there element, being able to explore all of the new options and come up with new ways to integrate it within their own personal story. Whilst all of this new content is welcome, it does not change the dynamics of the game in a similar way to the last two expansions. If you are enjoying playing The Sims 3 then Late Night will be a must buy as it adds hours more gameplay time.