The Sims 3: Pets Updated Preview

Want a belly rub? Now you can get one as a furry canine in the upcoming pet expansion for The Sims 3.

While owning a virtual pet could never compare to the real thing, The Sims 3: Pets lets you explore the other side of pet ownership--from the animal's point of view. In this new expansion, you can fully control a horse, dog, or cat, as well as interact with other animals and sims. The new location is set in a beautiful Midwestern ranching town nestled between lush green hills, where you can let your dogs and cats run loose in the park or spend time riding horses at the equestrian center. We recently got a tour of the town and went over the highlights of pet ownership.

So easily amused…

We were told that all of the new buildings were created from scratch, so you'll have a school, grocery store, and other new venues to explore. Carefully groomed parks are available for your canine friends to explore, or you can choose to play as a dog and frolic in the fountain. If dogs aren't your thing or you're more partial to a feline companion, you can explore the elaborate jungle gym built for the curious kitties. As much as some of you may like to abuse your sims, you can't do any harm to the animals, but they will eventually die of old age. Dogs have the unique ability of digging for treasure, whereas cats can go hunting for other small critters and bring them back home so you can set up terrariums for them. Turtles, lizards, and rats are just some of the creatures you can keep in a terrarium, but you can also have a pet bird that can mimic and play tricks on unsuspecting sims. As we saw in our demo, cats can also get into trouble when unattended. They'll scratch at the furniture or start counter surfing, diving into your leftovers on the table.

Outside of the charming town, you'll find oversized billboards, dinosaur bones, and a potential tourist hot spot once the game is complete. Because horses are the big addition to this expansion, you'll likely want to spend your time on the flood plains riding horses and perhaps even taking them over to the equestrian center so you can take part in competitions or even get into horse breeding. You can set up your own courses for the horses, teaching them to jump over gates that get progressively more elaborate. There's even a pyrotechnic one that shoots off fireworks if you manage to get over it. You'll have to train your sim and horse in tandem, raising the sim's riding skill, as well as the horse's racing or jumping ability. If not, your sim could get knocked off or the horse may refuse to go over the gate.

To go with the whole ranching theme, your sims will have access to a variety of Western-styled outfits like cowboy hats, plaid shirts, jeans, or cut-off shorts. There will likely be other new objects and items that you can play with, along with the terrariums, but we'll find out once the expansion is released on October 18 for the PC.

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Discussion

5 comments
brunod_f
brunod_f

i hope there will be new jobs

YEPEE00
YEPEE00

kinda agree with you there but the thing i dislike is the fact that it looks like the consoles took most of the development effort.

j0abell
j0abell

My biggest problem with TS3 (after the blah graphics) is that after all these xpacs, it takes so ridiculously long to load. By the time its done, I never feel like playing it anymore. I wish they'd focus on optimizing the code and streamlining everything they've been piling on since release.

elementalrings
elementalrings

Hey Jaga, that's exactly how I'm feeling right now. First off, Hot Tubs and Pool tables weren't a part of the base game which is just stupid because they purposely held them back to put in later Stuff packs. I accept the fact that Seasons was an expansion simply because it was something they never tried before. But now that they know it works (and works well) weather should have been something that was included in The Sims 3. The only reason I'm not upset that Pets is its own expansion again is because the others have been crap (Late Night, Generations, Ambitions). Yeah, it's my own opinion but Maxis is making so much money and it pisses me off that no matter how sub-par their products are, people will keep buying them. I've actually deleted my TS3 files and redownloaded TS2. It's just a better game to me. The music, the gameplay (TS3 really screwed up how shopping works), even the way the Sims look. In TS3 they all look realistic and, ironically, similar to one another. I hope I'm not the only one mad at how EA has taken this franchise since Will Wright left.

Jaga_Telesin
Jaga_Telesin

You've got to be kidding. The *entire* focus and content of this expansion pack is merely pets? They should have been in the game to begin with, in my opinion. EA is piecemealing this game to death. What's next, a weather expansion pack that adds weather patterns for $19?