The Sims 3: Late Night Updated Hands-On - Star Power, Building the Band, Going Full Vampire

We get our hands all over the next expansion pack for The Sims 3 and dig into the exhausting work of becoming a vampire celebrity rock star. Damn you, paparazzo!

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Late Night will be the next expansion for The Sims 3, and while this new addition adds tons of minor features, there are a handful of major ones that we'll focus on in this update: the ability to become a vampire, the ability to form a hip rock-and-roll combo, and the ability to become a celebrity. We did our best to achieve all three of these lofty new goals, and we have to tell you…it was really hard, you guys. It's almost like you're not meant to become a brilliantly skilled musician who has a popular music group and is also a high-profile celebrity who rubs elbows with showbiz elite and is also a powerful vampire with a close-knit network of bloodsucking buddies in just five minutes flat. Becoming America's next top bloodsucking rock band talent takes time in The Sims 3: Late Night, just like it does in real life. (Wait…what?)

In any case, we'll chronicle the rise of our ambitious young starlet/rock group leader/would-be-vampire. In order to increase our chances of success, we picked the lucky, artistic, and virtuoso traits to increase our chances of having runs of good luck in our endeavors, as well as to improve our skill as a musician (in a purely artistic sense and to gain the ability to play any instrument well). Late Night has three new instruments--the piano, the bass violin, and the drums (to go with the guitar, which has been in the game since the beginning)--and faster than you can enter the "motherlode" cheat code (which still works) to get 50,000 simoleans, we had purchased a keyboard for ourselves. Soon, we had embarked on the laborious and lonely process of grinding away at the piano to become a better musician, all by our lonesome.

Turn around, bright eyes. You just got a new member for the band.

Although we'd also given our sim the "excitable" trait (so that she'd find even the simple act of tickling the ivories to be enjoyable enough to fill her "motive" need for fun), it was a lonely job and we had a band to form and a name to make for ourselves--as well as a social interaction motive to fill up. So, we hit the happening new town of Bridgeport in search of some bandmates and a low-ranking celebrity or two who'd be willing to rub off a little star power on us. Fortunately, finding prospective musicians is pretty easy in Late Night. One of the first "socials" (dialogue interactions) you can choose when meeting someone is to ask them to join your band. Within moments, we had a few eager beavers in our band, and we were all set to play a gig…which doesn't happen until you get that happy phone call (and it can be a matter of in-game days before that phone rings, let us tell you).

Fortunately, while cruising for bandmates, we also ran into our fair share of low-ranking and high-ranking celebrities--indicated by the five-star meter that hovers above their heads. Here's a tip: In Late Night, celebrity performers often put on shows in the park and play for tips. While you can choose to join in on a jam session with celebrity musicians, you won't really break the ice until you formally introduce yourself, either by taking the commoner's route of asking for an autograph and just being an adoring fan, or by boldly attempting to impress them with a whole new series of dialogue options, such as name-dropping any celebrities you may have met previously. Once you get over that initial threshold, you can interact with the celebrity as you would a normal friend, and with enough brownnosing and maybe a lucky shoot with one of those pesky photographers, your sims can increase their own star levels until they, too, become headliners and can ignore bouncers at the trendiest nightclubs and go right on in.

Yes, what an interesting vocal accompaniment you've chosen to add to our song, Mr. Drummer.

As it turns out, you can also gain fame (and earn extra cash) by performing successful gigs at various clubs throughout town by way of The Sims 3's opportunities system, which still pops up opt-in jobs that you can take or leave. If you do get a gig, you must make sure you arrive within the appointed time window at the appointed club, call in your bandmates, and get cracking. If your band consists of talented musicians with high musical skills, you'll put on dynamite performances that wow the crowds and lead to higher payoffs. If your band isn't that great, you'll get uninterested sims that might bother to briefly express their disgust as they pass by the bandstand. Fortunately, while it was a heartache, our studious young musician's frequent (and lonely) days and nights helped lead her otherwise inept band to a few decent paydays. But because of all those studious days and evenings spent at home honing her craft on the ivory keys, every now and then she got a little bit lonely--and she definitely had trouble making friends of the undead kind.

Late Night's vampires, as we've discussed in previous coverage, aren't your average bloodthirsty monstrosities, nor are they the clean-cut, dreamy, sparkly kind that all the young people seem to like these days. In many cases, they're extremely hip, hard-body sims who hang out at the best clubs and set every non-vampire in the room aquiver (seriously, if you're in the same room with an unfriendly vampire, you get a negative "moodlet" because of how terrified you are). However, becoming a bloodsucker isn't simply a matter of being the right prey at the right time. You need to find actual vampires who hang out at exclusive clubs (meaning you somehow have to get in to said clubs, whether that be through your own star power or a well-placed bribe to the doorman) and get to know them well enough, whether that be through dancing with them at a club, watching some stories on the TV, or giving them a call on your cell phone to chat.

Once you do succeed in making a new vampire friend, you can choose the "ask to turn" social option, which will, after a brief embrace with your vampire buddy, turn you into one of the living dead. Being a vampire has its perks, since you can travel quickly and are far, far less beholden to your personal needs (such as the need to rest). But it does mean that you have to feed regularly, and to do so, you need to acquire the consent of friendly sims who know you well enough, and like you well enough, to allow you to sink your teeth into them. In other words, leading a prosperous unlife in Late Night will definitely require your sims to be extremely popular--or to at least have a few very close friends. It also means you can't really go out during the day, so if you do plan to join the ranks of the Nosferatu, you'll probably want to make a career choice that will let you work 'til the end of the night (while you're holdin' out for a hero).

The best way to make friends with vampires? Watch lots of TV with them.

Late Night's new features seem really interesting and seem to add a lot of variety in the form of new goal-oriented gameplay (new rock-star career paths, achieving fame, starting a band, and becoming a vampire) as well as plenty of new social situations for weird, open-ended events to happen. The expansion will be released later this month.

Discussion

49 comments
cool5845
cool5845

To let people know: EA developed this EP so the more powerful your computer is the more people come intro your club. - Cheers

Cookies214
Cookies214

I prefer ambitions to this, and the original sims 3 has so much content already that the creators really have to find new ways of making EP's more worthwhile, so this EP is a bit like the baby of the original superstar, nightlife and hot date, which means more variety in gameplay in one EP! I didnt like in Nightlife that the clubs were a bit...empty, so im glad that these are much more lively. I think this is pretty darn awesome!

consigliere94
consigliere94

wow! here's hoping the next EP after late night is pets.. loved the pets EP for sims 2..

Silvis121
Silvis121

Looks and sounds great. One of my favorites from Sims 2 as well. Looking forward to future releases. Gonna pick it up for the wife on the release date, so maybe I will have time to finish Fallout: New Vegas before she gets tired of playing it.

jonomatt
jonomatt

As we all know, Sims 3 is a lot different to Sims 2. Those who read the comments made by sims when sims 3 came out will know that they are brining the best of sims 2 and sims 1 into this game and adding new things. That is where all this comes into play. Now i LOVED the wizards and whichs in sims 2 with all the spells and I'm glad that they are back now. This should be really interesting and me and my girlfriend will defo try to buy!

xKeLtix
xKeLtix

I wont be too Suprised when we so see, so much, twilight Legacies, stories. And all that bull-poopie. But i am so Happy and excited, just the thought of becomming one. Then there might so be, Werewolfs....Perhaps Witches! Oooh ohh! wouldnt that be cool? flying around town on your broom? Yeah! Thumbs-up just for the thought.

Farshid07
Farshid07

ok, the sims is good game.....

luckydog3
luckydog3

Pets and weather would have been better than getting stupid vampires. Or at least give us the ability to hunt and kill the vamps.

fadi_mekki
fadi_mekki

This is gonna be interesting. I must agree with you there.

DeadManRollin
DeadManRollin

they are releasing so little content ineach Sims 3 that it is infuriating. I'd love to get a Sims 2 collector's edition (with all the stuff and expansions) instead of feeding this money making behemoth.

icebox98
icebox98

this is cool but ill get medieval b4 this

eternal_blade3
eternal_blade3

I can't wait! This looks great. Although, I'll be buying Fable III first because of the lack of pre-order bonuses for the Sims 3. And I only have so much moolah to spend on video games. But yeah. Looks amazing. Bridgeport seems superior to the other places, and combining it with Ambitions? Mmm, tasty.

3116porter
3116porter

wait hands on means video right? i only see a commercial so wheres the video!!!????????

Kastigador
Kastigador

The whole expansion/DLC status quo really has me worried about the future of gaming as a whole. Suddenly the whole industry is forcing us into a highly commoditized version of what used to be a feature complete entertainment experience. Now we are expected line up to pay for a trimmed down version of a game only to pay a la carte for everything that should and would have been in the final release if producers weren't focused on pumping up their revenue streams. Low and behold, as DLC content has gone up, features and play time for the initial releases have gone down drastically while prices have stayed the same.

osama99
osama99

Hey that's kinda cool, so now players will be able to have underage people drink alcohol, smoke dubious substances and go about at late hours in the night practicing acts of vandalism and disturbing the population, and from those screenshots it seems it'll be possible to get young women drugged up and drag them to public bathrooms, too. Simulating a brave new world for a brave new generation, through a brave new game! Right on !!!

brainstew0
brainstew0

@Muddyoioi right you are! I miss that expansion. :/ Talking about it makes me want to play again...*goes to dig out old game cds* mwahaha.

IbuDreamer
IbuDreamer

Oh I missed celebs in The Sims 2 ;D, I can't wait, Well people don't complain, don't like it don't buy it, and better just wait for an expansion that fit your needs better, as I know The Sims 2 had plenty of expansions to choose from, I have no doubt The Sims 3 will have that too.

Muddyoioi
Muddyoioi

The best sims expansion pack ever made was Makin Magic. Why? Because it was something different.

masterlu
masterlu

Oh boy... hello, EA? Some of us who play your games are actually adults. You know, the ones with an income and who may not be like totally infatuated with the idea of vampires (because we already went through that phase in the nineties). Seriously though, stop with the bandwagon already.

XBlade1X
XBlade1X

Its good that the celebs are back and all, but owning a pet is a lot more common then becoming a celeb. EA should really give us some more essentials before adding all this extra stuff that really isn't as important as some of the other features that we need. I hope they focus more on stuff like that after this expansion, because I'm starting to get really tired of waiting months and months for a damn pets expansion only to find that they are adding more Vampires and Mummies to the game : /

DavidsoMatic
DavidsoMatic

PvtFreddy if its not worth 20 or 26 bucks just do like many people do... Download it and that's it. Im in favor of supporting the companies who make good games but if you dont agree with the schemes they are making just for money dont support them. I dont know how can you people complain, this game looks awsome and has a lot of new features!

PvtFreddy
PvtFreddy

@gugler990 I must agree with you there. I understand its all money-making and that is all what seems to count, especially with the economy the way it is. Yet, it just seems like you're buying the Sims 2 expanison packs with the Sims 3 logo and a few extra features. Is it really worth £19.99 to £25.99?

wisnu_slayer
wisnu_slayer

where is the werewolf?! gonna be cool if they add the werewolf also.

itchyflop
itchyflop

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

gugler990
gugler990

It sucks that they all this late night, apartment life, city life, superstar, super hero, and whatever it is expansions on the first game, and when you buy the next game in the series all of it is not there, instead its another Expansion. I mean Common

dottyduke
dottyduke

Love vampires in the sims other than that there everywhere taking over the world.

TXMostWanted
TXMostWanted

Can't wait for this! I'm so tired of playing in suburbia, the city life will bring about new dynamics to the gameplay. Plus, Nightlife (Sims 2) and Superstar (Sims) were some of my all time favorite expansion packs, so this is a ++

Stereoparalax
Stereoparalax

Is there a reason everyone is so attached to the Sims 1+2 expansions? I'd like to see something new rather than get back the game that the Sims 3 is replacing. If you all want pets so badly then just pop in your TS2 disk

JorundJ
JorundJ

"vampire celebrity rock star" And there it ends.

AnimeNutJill
AnimeNutJill

I cannot wait to own this, it sounds like hours of fueling my addiction to this game. xD lol But I really hope the next expansion pack will be pets or seasons. "/

Vampire_mahdi
Vampire_mahdi

"or are they the clean-cut, dreamy, sparkly kind that all the young people seem to like these days." lol

reneetruss
reneetruss

I want the sims medieval as well but who wants to see their sims open cars doors?? what a waste of time with aging and all the other stuff you have to manage in the game. I can't believe there are people out who want this animation back, and think it's a set backward for the series and thinks it adds to the enjoyment of the game. The Sims 3 is 10x better than the Sims 2, and If you don't like it, you don't have to play it, do you?

kerrman
kerrman

Vampire Celebrities? Well.. can't say they don't know their target audience I guess.. twelve year old girls rejoice!

eva89
eva89

i want medieval

LordDmek
LordDmek

This Game IS So Close Now!! I Want It Now :)

DanteDelacoix
DanteDelacoix

does anyone know if this would be available for consoles as well? I don't see why not considering the ease of downloading updates for consoles this gen

badman11226
badman11226

@fzd88 there where a ton of expansion for sims 2 so expect the same for sims 3. But sims 3 went backwards because in sims 2 there is way more stuff to do even on the base game alone. I mean i cant believe you cant open ur car door. You magically just go in ur car without opening the door.

Jaga_Telesin
Jaga_Telesin

I just can't come to terms with being a vampire who has to ASK to feed on a human (or converse with them at all). That kinda goes against everything we know about classic vamps. Probably a restriction they had to enforce to keep it viable for the younger crowd, but it is a shame nonetheless. We still have yet to see many of the really great expansion packs they released for the first two Sims games, and Sims 3 is fading off the radar. Its a shame to see the creative direction deviate so much from the first two.

fzd88
fzd88

Man, how many freakin' expansions are there for this game? Seems like every 2 weeks something comes out and of course GS will make it into a headline article. GS should just have a section on top like HOME | PC | XBOX360 | SIMS |

DavidsoMatic
DavidsoMatic

Stankmuffin because those features will only come out when the game is out on the stores. It will come with an aditional patch that will add those features

kpuff
kpuff

I like the way these vampires are...not all sparkly like the Twilight ones, but still not like Dracula. It's weird that they need to be friends with someone to suck their "plasma" though...

corpsefool
corpsefool

These graphics definitely do not stand the test of time!

Palmer1967
Palmer1967

Why does Gamespot have the walls down in every screen shot? Nice bushes...

Stankmuffin
Stankmuffin

I'm really looking forward to this.... I wonder why they didn't mention the breast/muscle sliders when they made their sim.....