The Sims 3: Generations Impressions Preview - First Look

The next expansion pack for The Sims 3 will add new play options for sims at all stages of their lives. We take our first look.

By now, you're familiar with The Sims, a series of strategy games that lets you lead the lives of little computer people as they love, laugh, and otherwise lead their little computer lives in little computer communities. The most recent game in the series, The Sims 3, added personality traits and other features to let players make characters with even more detailed quirks and behavior. The next expansion pack will let you lead a deeper and richer life with sims of all age groups--not just ambitious young adults on the career path, but also small children and teenagers.

Tee-hee! Stopping up a toilet is just one of the many pranks you'll be able to pull off in this new expansion pack.

While other expansions have focused on adding new gameplay systems, such as global travel in World Adventures and new career paths in Ambitions, Generations takes a different tack by fleshing out the gameplay for each age group to which your sims can belong. While infants won't get a ton of new gameplay options, children and teenagers will get lots of new options and abilities. These include unique new ways to fill out their "motives," which are the personal needs that each sim must fulfill to remain healthy and sane.

Small children in The Sims generally haven't had all that much to do. While they have had some unique social options and can play with children's toys, they can't go to work or engage in some of the more "adult" pastimes in the series (like the infamous "woohoo," which is where babies come from in The Sims). However, in Generations, they'll have access to many more activities by way of unique new items that have been requested by the Sims 3 fan community, such as a costume chest and the long-awaited tree fort. The costume chest lets children change into a variety of different costumes, which then lets children play-act different fantasy scenarios. For instance, one costume is of a giant, Godzilla-like monster and lets children go on a mock rampage, smashing their blocks like imaginary city buildings. Children can climb into their tree forts to give blustery speeches to their imaginary royal subjects or toss very real water balloons at their very real older siblings.

However, the most interesting new feature in this expansion seems to be the imaginary friend; a character that your child creates after ordering a specific type of mail-order doll. After giving the doll a name, your child sim can summon an imaginary, child-sized version of the doll to be a playmate who will happily hop onto the opposite end of a seesaw and even run minor errands for you if you have a decent enough social relationship with it. Playing with your imaginary friend fills up your child sim's social motive in the same way as socializing with real people would. Even more interestingly (and more than a little weirdly), as children grow into teenagers, they can not only keep their imaginary friends around, but they can also develop a romantic interest in their make-believe buddies. So…yes. There's that.

Teens who aren't romancing their favorite childhood dolls can busy themselves with the new prank system in Generations, which lets young hooligans express their disregard for authority by way of such dastardly gags as the old doorbell dash (ringing a neighbor's doorbell and running away before anyone can answer), covering a neighbor's house in toilet paper (or TP'ing), and leaving a flaming bag of something or other on the doorstep of a neighbor you just know owns a brand-new pair of penny loafers. Pranks can contribute to your teen's social standing and will actually let you build up a reputation as a master prankster and local legend to the other kids at school. But if you get caught, your teens can be grounded, which means revoked privileges and negative "moodlets" (The Sims 3's system of minor mood-changing conditions that can either boost or detract from your character's overall well-being).

Generations will add memorable new moments for sims of all ages.

In addition to fleshing out gameplay for the younger members of your virtual household, Generations will include new events for adults intended to let players create even more memorable events to be photographed and shared via the expansion's built-in social media functionality, which will let you upload your favorite cherished moments directly to Facebook. These adult events include a rated-T-for-teen bachelor party, during which you can hire a female "dancer" to pop out of a wedding cake and spray the lucky bachelor with a bottle of "nectar" (the adult beverage of choice in The Sims, bottled from grapes in the finest vineyards of France in The Sims 3: World Adventures). At an event like this, it's also entirely possible for the best man (or the jealous fiancee) to sneak in a few incriminating photos and nail the groom with them later, which is just one example of the kind of new memorable moments that Generations will provide. The expansion will be released this May.

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Discussion

47 comments
Inuzan
Inuzan

Bought a digital copy of the game today. Downloaded & Installed it: Decent EP but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone. I must say that this EP is better than the few before it, how ever the EP is still no where near as good as it could have been.

toshineon
toshineon

I always get all expansions for The Sims games. Of course I can understand why alot of people don't, but honestly, sure, some things should have been in the base game, but maybe EA didn't think of including it and got the idea afterwards. I don't think the expansions are released JUST to rip us off, maybe a little, but not only.

kpuff
kpuff

I hope there's more there adding in that they haven't told anyone about...cause this really doesn't seem like much.

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

It sounds like they are fleshing the game out a bit, but it still sounds like this is really the kind of content that could have made it into the base game. Instead, they have made it into an expansion. I'd have rathered they added a new element to the game, such as pets.

garathe_den
garathe_den

Honestly EA, you could have included this stuff in the BASE game...of course, stretching the content across multiple, costly expansion packs is the only way to go, isn't it? Oo

spoofrice11
spoofrice11

I just buy the original game. I already bought the game and am not going to keep on wasting money for each "little" update they make for the game to rip people off.

western077
western077

I read an interview on SimVIP with one of the developers of this EP, and it sounds like is has very little new content. Most of the answers were "No, that's not in this EP but let me repeat the handful of things that are in it". Don't get me wrong, I'll still buy it, but when the price drops as I don't think it will have $40 worth of new content. This is the problem when there's no market competition, EA can churn out crap and know that we'll still buy it as we have no where else to go for a similar game.

naomeh
naomeh

Is it bad that every time I see a new expansion pack I just wonder what the bugs will be? Kids getting the wish to / playing with the costume chest every five seconds, anyone?

TXMostWanted
TXMostWanted

This is an expansion pack? C'mon EA, I know you don't want to just repackage previous iterations from past generations but "Generations?"

NL_GHOST
NL_GHOST

i go with irithayllistira... i too have playd the sims since i was little so i will buy it anyway....

iThinkApple
iThinkApple

I think that this expansion will rule but I do agree with @IrithAyllistira , it needs more content!

IrithAyllistira
IrithAyllistira

I think this expansion doesn't have that much content.... I will buy because I always buy all the expansions for the sims since I have been playing the series since I was 3... But I guess that this time, they aren't offering us enough.

DeadManRollin
DeadManRollin

Where is the Sims 2 ultimate edition? I'd rather play that one than these half baked, non-contributing expansions for Sims 3.

twistyanddark
twistyanddark

OMG! Can not wait to imaginary buy it for my imaginary friend. Sorry EA I do not buy content that should already be ingame.

LokiHero
LokiHero

It's good to see they've figured out that maker a deeper gameplay experience is more important than making an immensely broad one. I think that's a problem they've been suffering since The Sims 2 in only tacking on new features to the periphery of the game, which only leaves individual aspects falling flat.

spidermanmon
spidermanmon

I think this expansion pack well make the sims 3 less boring and more fun.

horiah
horiah

nothing new. the same grow up your sims, make babies, grow up children, make new babies etc

ydnarrewop
ydnarrewop

I actually like Sims 2 better than Sims 3.

Ceraby
Ceraby

Lol u can romance your imaginary buddy...

RedWave247
RedWave247

Sounds like a lot of fun, but I was hoping for a Sims 3 version of University (Sims 2).

Xroalia
Xroalia

I hope there will be a WHOLE lot of items with this expansion because there doesn't seem to be much added to gameplay.

mbashour
mbashour

what's weird about doing ur imaginary friend? i've been happily married to Rhonda the Adventurer for 15 years.

Mausolus
Mausolus

Maybe they should call this an 'expansion stuff' pack. Seems to be somewhere between 'stuff' and 'expansion'. Either this article is badly researched or this is going to disappoint.

alejandroprieto
alejandroprieto

Not enough for an expansion pack. I'm very disappointed. I'm a big sims fan but I don't think i'm buying this ep anytime soon. It just seems boring. Maybe i'm wrong and i just need to read future reviews. But i don't think so.

DoomRider13
DoomRider13

I have one question: Is better to look some SIMS having fun in a video game OR having fun yourself in doing what SIMS can do, in the real life? Ask yourself this question and after that you'll see what kind of life you want to live! The pathetic one or the awsome one?

sexyweapons
sexyweapons

This seems to be expanding the core sims experince.And it looks pretty cool

SFCHoot
SFCHoot

One huge money machine lol with a lot of stuff that should have been in from the start....

_GRIM420_
_GRIM420_

sounds like stuff that should have ben in the game alrdy....

Kirtai
Kirtai

Sounds like the "Let's make Sims3 more like Sims2 because it didn't suck" expansion. Half the stuff they are adding with this expansion was core gameplay in sims 2. Especially the memories.

chuamishael
chuamishael

wow this sucks!, except the tree house and a imaginary friend, I don't think this is any fun, oh by the way (sims 3: Unleashed Pets) expansion is coming out this october 2011. combining both forest animals and house pets in one expansion.

suburbancactus
suburbancactus

I'm disappointed. This doesn't sound anywhere near substantial enough for a full expansion pack. Definitely going to have to wait for reviews before I consider buying it.

iThinkApple
iThinkApple

I can not wait until this comes out!!

FriendBear
FriendBear

How about fixes to the original Sims 3 first? The game still crashes, save games get corrupted and worse, and each expansion hasn't done nothing to fix them /sigh I'll still end up getting this expansion but please EA.....fix your game.

jessicarr2005
jessicarr2005

this ep means their bringing memories back to the game like in TS2....im super uber excited!!!

WiredDreemz
WiredDreemz

This expansion pack doesn't sound like it will really add much to the overall gameplay. So far, World Adventures has been the best expansion for me, but since then everything has seemed to go downhill!!!

apolloooo
apolloooo

the sims are always repetitively fun and addicting!! ^^

wesam987
wesam987

(the adult beverage of choice in The Sims, bottled from grapes in the finest vineyards of France in The Sims 3: Ambitions). **World Adventures :)

Angel_Belial
Angel_Belial

Damn, I always get addicted to these Sims games but haven't even bought The Sims 3 yet (due to my old PC). This and Medieval sound so awesome, though.

jlybomber
jlybomber

There is already a leaked trailer footage from both Generations and Pets. Basically, there will be a pets expansion available sometime late this year. Check youtube to see them.

sircyrus
sircyrus

Sounds like it could be neat. The imaginary friend is quite cool, at least until I got to the weird romance thing. Just what kind of "doll" is this? I have to say though... this is the 4th expansion, and still no pets or seasons. If they aren't going to bring those to Sims 3 they should just say so. A lot of fans are waiting. Myself included.

Skins-Crimson22
Skins-Crimson22

Sound's great. I have PS3 version but it's not enough =(. I need 2 buy PC version quick!