The Sims 3: Ambitions Exclusive Hands-On - Ghost Hunting, Inventing, New Career Content

We get our hands on this career-minded expansion for The Sims 3.


By now, you know The Sims 3 and the story of The Sims in general--a series of games that lets you control the lives, loves, and potty breaks of little computer people who live in little computer houses and go to little computer jobs every day. While your sims' jobs typically take them out of play for several in-game hours, the upcoming Ambitions expansion actually adds several new careers that you can play through all day long, plus new career-related gameplay features that add a lot more variety and choice to the daily grind. We got our hands on an early version of the game to try out and have much to report.

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Ambitions' new features run through the entire base game of The Sims 3, including new traits that play into the new career. For example, "eccentric" makes your sims handier inventors and "perceptive" makes your sims better at sniffing out clues when working as private investigators. The expansion also adds an entirely new (and huge) neighborhood called Twinbrook, a backwater bayou town with plenty of amenities in the center of the city. And, perhaps in keeping with some of the new professions, like ghost hunter and PI, the town has lots of weird, backwoods swamps on the outskirts.

While we've covered the other professions in some detail, we haven't focused in on the ghost hunter or the inventor until now. The ghost hunter profession benefits greatly from logic skill (to work the experimental Ghostbusters-like contraptions that capture loose spirits), so it helps to pick logic-based traits like "genius" and "computer whiz" to aid your performance.

Like with all of Ambitions' professions, you can sign up for the career path straightaway by picking up the nearest newspaper (and using the "find a profession" option rather than the "find a job" option), which will immediately get you started on your career path. Better still, even though professions do have set work hours each day, they don't always require you to start an hour beforehand by jumping into that pesky carpool car. Instead, you'll get an onscreen pop-up alert that lets you know it's time for work, and you can get started on your own time. Early on in your career path, you can actually take your time, but as you gradually get promoted, your job will become more time consuming and you'll be better off if you hurry to your job.

As you might expect, bustin' ghosts requires you to work odd hours (you'll start off at about 5:00 p.m. in game time and work until the wee hours of the morning). The meat and potatoes of the profession are "spirit collecting" jobs that require you to don your ectoplasm-stained jumpsuit, hop into a cab, and travel across town to an infested house. Once you arrive, you'll be given an onscreen meter that keeps track of how many loose ghosts are on the premises, and you must head into the building to capture them, which you can do simply by clicking on a ghost to interact and choosing the "capture" option.

I ain't afraid of no ghost.
I ain't afraid of no ghost.

Ghosts appear as glowing blobs of varying colors and have different ages (such as young or old) and different temperaments (lower-level ghosts are "kind" or "nice," while higher-level ghosts will put up much more of a fight). They also have a monetary value attached to capturing them. Once you've sucked up every specter, you'll receive a cash bounty for clearing out the property and have the spirits in your inventory, which you can then donate to science. Interestingly, while you'd figure that working the graveyard shift as a ghost hunter would be a lonely and isolating job that cuts deeply into your sim's need to socialize, it turns out that several of the jobs you'll take will actually be in the inhabited homes of other sims across town. You can interact before and after you've taken care of their ghost problem, so you can still make friends, chat, and get to know their traits. However, these other sims won't feel like talking when there's a ghost within sight range--they'll be too busy running in terror.

On the other hand, if you decide to take a more hands-off profession, you might try the inventor career, which benefits greatly from both the logic and handiness skills. This profession is a much less social gig that requires your sim to make frequent trips to the local junkyard to hunt down piles of scrap from the trash heaps. You must then invest in a pricey workbench for your home and then spend hours hammering away until you can invent something useful. You might start with less-than-useful tchotchkes like a dipping llama (similar to the dipping bird…but with a llama) and move on up to more-powerful stuff like a tunnel that goes directly to the beach or the ever-popular time machine.

In all cases, you have different choices for advancing in your profession (rather than simply performing one and only one task). While there are jobs that are directly related to your gig that contribute to your advancement (which is measured in a meter in your profession tab), you can also perform other tasks that will advance your profession level and earn you extra cash. For example, there's a riddle contest downtown that tests your logic skill as a ghost hunter and earns you a nice chunk of change for your trouble. All professions have built-in money makers that will let you pursue them full time and keep your sims supplied with all the delivered pizza they want.

You can set this guy…but you'd best not forget him.
You can set this guy…but you'd best not forget him.

Ambitions' profession system is a much more flexible, much more open-ended and lenient way for your sims to earn some extra scratch. Each one has clearly been designed to be self-contained enterprises that ensure your sims can meet their basic needs of health, wealth, and social interaction without having to constantly come to a jarring stop to take that urgent bathroom break. Ambitions is scheduled for release on June 1.

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Avatar image for Nahchito


Avatar image for ctgamer565

This looks fun and all but it just looks like they are focusing just on the new careers and being able to go to their work places but im not sure if you will be allowed to go to the workplaces from the other jobs like going to the little corsican bistro and seeing what your'e doing as a waiter. :(

Avatar image for derris27

I might get it.... It looks like enough to get me back into it...

Avatar image for M_TM_L

I know i'm double posting But i just saw the demo That car just went through the character!!!!

Avatar image for M_TM_L

Cool more updates for My Sims... I would actually like choosing what my sims do during their jobs

Avatar image for reeree746

I just can't wait for it to come out on consoles. Let's hope they won't screw it up!

Avatar image for Gigawattblade

I can't wait to get this! I just hope the next expansion is pets.

Avatar image for SuperSaltySlug

Looks cool, will definetly get it at some point

Avatar image for lilgamer05

hmm, although I do like this addition, I really want pets, university, and open for business. Also apartment life should be included in university :)

Avatar image for LionBeast

Um i have a question can a ghost sim become a ghost buster? :D That will be funny. :)

Avatar image for wahyudil

will buy

Avatar image for Sagacious_Tien

Me wants some pets!

Avatar image for dark_rage864

this expansion really buids on the core gameplay which is really what we need. I want a business expansion and to open all rabit holes plus nightclubing plz :)

Avatar image for consigliere94

i wish i can exorcise people with this EP. lol the exorcist: the sims edition..

Avatar image for keren_man

Quite good, but i really want an expansion like university in the sims 2

Avatar image for zaiderules

i will probably have fun with this

Avatar image for baxwam

AGAIN The Sims is just a big cash cow

Avatar image for viper66621

i guess ill have to wait another 5-10 expansions to get the old Seasons/University/Pets stuff :(

Avatar image for RostamDastan

guys, if u can hlp me , i want to install the WA expansion , but it seems i have to update the Sims 3 to a higher version to do so , pls if you have any patch just tell me the links but send n a lot because some might be filtered in my country My game's version is 1.0.631.107

Avatar image for XDoggLegacy

Its cool you can do more with the "new jobs" but what about the old ones? I would be cool to be a cop and arrest criminals and stuff or a doctor and fix people... but I think this only applies to the new jobs which will be ok for a while. Plus the town looks new, so how will this effect players that already have a great setup? I suppose you could always save your house.

Avatar image for bodylotion

@ st3yr : i've found different things to keep her entertained ;)

Avatar image for St3yr

Hooray! More content to keep the missus amused while I play BFBC2 :)

Avatar image for siimsa

i cant deside on wich career to trie first:D

Avatar image for RedWave247

I skipped on the world adventures expansion, but this one is really calling to me. Now then, how about a new University and Pets expansion? Especially University, my favourite Sims expansion of all time?

Avatar image for jellophax

This looks awsome!!!

Avatar image for JasonGamer101

this game is goin to be awesome

Avatar image for Kapsoulas

oh.. this is gonna be amazing!! can't wait to play it!! The add of new gameplay,stuff and realism will make sims 3 more fun and addicting.. :)))))

Avatar image for dipdish

A washing machine, finally! =)

Avatar image for hiepghe

i really love the robot, hope i to get hand on this game soon

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

There's always new stuff for The Sims IP.

Avatar image for severe_009

I really like World Adventures I hope this game adds more feature to the game looking forward to it

Avatar image for randhill932

Wow, this looks awesome XD. This one is going to be a nice edition to the game :p. (We seriously need some All-in-one package sometime soon :P)

Avatar image for nicolelux

Cool! they finally added a washer and dryer. make it more realistic:) this is one expansion I wanna purchace for the gameplay not just the stuff!!

Avatar image for eternal_blade3

Can't wait, looks epic. Ghosthunter and PI FTW? Though I wish they'd made it so you can now interactively do the original jobs and remove those rabbit holes, as well. Nonetheless, can't wait!

Avatar image for consigliere94

2:11 woops... glitch... lol