If you're tired of having your sims live the quiet life in suburbia surrounded by a white picket fence and nosy neighbors, then pack your bags and head to the bustling city of Bridgeport, the city that sleeps only in the wee hours of the morning. In The Sims 3's latest expansion pack, Late Night, your sim can stay up all night long and party until the sun rises. New locations, furniture, objects, and wishes are just some of the things that have been added, and we got our first look when we went down to EA in Redwood Shores.
In Late Night, a new grouping mechanic has been added, which makes it easier to go out for a night on the town with your sim friends. Wherever you go, they'll go too, that is, unless you're in a group of three, and two of your sims start to get cozy, and then the third wheel will eventually leave in a huff. Vampires have been on the scene since Sims 2: Nightlife, but now they've gotten a bit of a Twilight makeover. These bloodsucking (or in this case, plasma-fruit-sucking) demons are now sexier and are part of the most elite group in town, so you'll be compelled to be in their bloodthirsty presence. To get into one of the most exclusive clubs in town, the Plasma 501--a vampire haunt--you must befriend a fellow vamp or you'll be left waiting outside. These intoxicatingly good-looking vampires can read minds along with being able to dash from one end of the neighborhood to the other with little effort. The downside is that they don't like the daylight (obviously) and will start to smoke a bit and complain about the heat. If you find yourself drawn to these creatures of the night, know that by befriending a vampire you can eventually ask him or her to turn you, or if you happen to mate, there's a chance that you may end up with a vampire baby. Consider yourself warned: There's no going back.
Other places to visit include dive bars, which we got a chance to hang out in to see what it was like to moonlight as a bartender--and order wings and nachos during happy hour! Your skills as a mixologist (a new gig that has been added) go up over time, but in the beginning you'll fumble around with the drinks and break a few glasses. We were told that eventually you can even come up with your own concoctions by doing a supermarket run. Another way to make some cash is to start a band. You'll start off with playing gigs during the day, but once your band gets better, you'll be invited to play at better venues. Instruments such as a bass, a drum set, and a keyboard have been added so you can jam in a subway if you want to--although you do have to worry about getting mugged.
If you prefer to take a more traditional job approach and start from the bottom, there's a film career to pursue that allows you to branch off on different paths as an actor or a director. You'll earn different rewards at the end, such as a director's chair or your very own trailer where you can throw star tantrums.
Late Night is primarily about living that VIP lifestyle by boosting your celebrity status and getting to know the bouncers so they'll let you in on sight. A new lifetime wish could be to own a penthouse, which you can then deck out with a hot tub on the balcony and tons of swanky furniture. A couple of character traits have been added as well: your sim can be shy or have star quality, which makes your sim more likely to gain fame and hog all the attention. However, during our demo we noticed that your sim doesn't need to have that quality to get up and dance on a bar (apparently that particular sim had the insane trait).
Other objects that are worth mentioning include a bubble bar, which is similar to an oxygen bar, where your sim can sit and blow different-colored bubbles. An effects machine can be added to spruce up the atmosphere with snow, lasers, or confetti. For a more low-key type of setting, there are shuffleboards, arcades, and dart boards to keep your sims busy. Everything we saw at the bars can be used in your own home, so you can have your own cocktail bar in that penthouse suite you've been eyeing. The city of Bridgeport is quite big, with landmark buildings and plenty of towering high-rises. A red dot on the map will indicate which club is particularly happening that evening, so it's worth checking out what's hot that night to make the most of your evening. Another way to find out where the party is at is to gossip with your fellow sims or read the newspaper.
It looks like Late Night lets you experience what a Hollywood starlet likes to do in the evenings. Not only do you get to mingle with other socialites and wannabe aspiring actors, but to blend in better, you can add muscle definition to your sim as well as augment your sim's assets. Live the life of a celebrity when The Sims 3 Late Night arrives on October 26.