When I first heard of the latest Sims 3 expansion, I was fairly excited. An expansion that would allow players to finally get in the meat of their Sims jobs and allow them to take part and have more direct control. Included with it were several new jobs to really take advantage of the new system. What could go wrong?
One of the more common requests from players has been to let them work the jobs. The new professions in Ambitions works much like the traveling did in World Adventures. You choose your job and then you are given little mini-missions based on your profession level.
For my first Sim I chose to be an architect as I thought that was a fairly interesting choice. EA pegged this profession as someone who could change the face of your town and I liked the idea of really changing the world I lived in. Quickly I find out that the profession isn’t with its importance. The job mostly consists of running around and putting in different furniture. You enter build mode in someone else’s house and get a check list of things that need to be bought. Doesn’t seem to matter what, where, or how. The only thing that matters is that you do it under budget and in a timely manner. I have yet to not get a standard bonus and have the person say it is ok. I have tried to match the sim’s style in the house but that doesn’t help with my pay, it’s just standard. Job to job doesn’t really change all that much. Basically the same thing every time except you do bedroom one time, study next, and gym the next. Same basic idea though.
Another issue is that you really don’t want to be using great ideas for house design on other people’s houses. So you really are just burning through the designs just to finish and move onto the next one. You certainly don’t want to spend an hour on this really terrific room only to never really see it again because it isn’t in your house.
From what I’ve heard in other professions, all the professions suffer from similar problems where the job is just overly repetitive and not worth doing most of the time. My roommate said she tried the Fireman career and found similar problems. She’d go from house to house clicking on random burning objects to put them out and done. She also was disappointed that when it came time to save someone’s life, she had little control over it and thus got little satisfaction. She had imagined it’d be similar to exploring dungeons in World Adventures but it really wasn’t.
I do still want to try out some of the other professions. I am particularly interested in the inventor and the ghost hunter which I think could be fairly interesting. However, I was very disappointed that they didn’t do the update with all the careers. I felt they missed a huge opportunity here. Instead of having work that you can do you basically have two different types of jobs to do. In fact, I thought it was rather awkward when you sit down with the paper and have to choose either “Find a career” or “Find a Profession” because they are so wildly different. Honestly I think I would have taken no new careers if it meant they just updated the ones they had to be more interactive.
Now I am left feeling they need an expansion to update old professions just to have some unity in the game. This is actually a fairly big problem with me. One of the issues I had in Sims 2 was the lack of expansions crossing. They would introduce a new concept in one and then never touch it again. I totally thought it’d be worth doing that they introduced a new vacation destination in future expansions that yes you could access without World Adventures but perhaps would be better if you had it. Sims 2 ended up with far too many panels because of this. I thought World Adventures did a great job of not introducing new functionality that wasn’t universal, but here it isn’t universal and I bet they never touch it again.
Of course, as with any expansion the professions aren’t the only new things in this expansion they have… ummm… well… maybe they didn’t really add much more than that. They did add laundry functionality so that you have to wash your clothes which is cute. It is optional, thank god, and only really seems to effect you if you buy a washer and dryer. But the last thing anyone really needs to do is another task such as laundry.
They also added some rather plain new items, nothing particularly special which I found amazing as World Adventures just had some astonishing items, but this one really did have rather lame basic things like a couch that looked like an every day couch. Nothing flashy, no sets or themes or anything, and really not even much. I’m still hoping that by going down the Architect line that I will somehow unlock some new stuff but I think I’m destined to be disappointed.
They also added a new town map which incorporates all the new places that they needed for Ambitions (like a junkyard for the inventor) and is generally a good map I must say. Though I have found that everyone in it is rich, and otherwise more of the same with some new styles and different layout. Isn’t exotic or anything. You aren’t going to feel much different here than the standard. But at least it was functionally usable unlike the one they offered for free on their website which didn’t have rocks or seeds to find throughout the map.
Lastly, and perhaps my favorite new feature of Sims 3: Ambitions is the addition of tattoos to character creator. It is pretty well fleshed out which i was impressed with. I loved it actually. You can choose where to put the tatoo in several positions (forearm, upper arm, shoulder, upper back, lower back, mid back, whole back, etc), change the size and color and rotation of the tattoo. Import your own design, or put a couple different ones on the same spot to get a new style. You could probably spend a ton of time on the tattoo alone. And I love tattoos so I love this new addition.
It is too bad that the tattoo is really the main reason to get this game. I kinda wish they added the functionality for $5 on their store. It certainly isn’t worth the full price of the expansion they usually do.
It was amazing how bad and incomplete this expansion was coming off of World Adventures. I get the feeling that WA didn’t sell nearly as well as they anticipated and EA slashed the budget of Ambitions and then rushed it out the door. Ambitions wasn’t even half the expansion that WA was and I think this is odd because a lot of the tech they used to allow players to do their professions was tech from World Adventures. Because they were re-using they really could have given players a ton of content here, but they didn’t. It was incomplete and buggy instead and just not worth the buy.