Preview

The Sims 3: Ambitions

Sims Work Hard For Their Money
by Joe Juba on May 10, 2010 at 08:30 AM
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: The Sims Studio
Release:
Rating: Teen
Platform: PC



The Sims franchise has granted players control over the smallest details in the lives of their sims. Entertainment, self-improvement, and romance can all be managed down to the smallest interaction, but one area of sim-existence has traditionally happened off-screen: work. With the Ambitions expansion for The Sims 3, you’ll finally be able to take a more active role in careers that complement your personal playstyle.

To get some hands-on experience with Ambitions’ new investigator profession, I created a sim with a striking resemblance to TV sleuth Lieutenant Columbo, Unlike most other jobs, investigators work their own hours; no carpools arrive to whisk them away at dawn. To bring home the bacon, you need to be self-motivated. I had Columbo stake out various public gathering places like the pool and park – where he disguised himself by holding a conspicuous shrub in each hand. After that, he stopped by the police department to pick up an open case, which he solved by following a quest-like trail of clues.

In Ambitions, performing tasks related to your job grants job XP, which is how you get promotions in the new careers. As an investigator, any time Columbo spent improving his logic skill granted job XP, as did his stakeout and the case he solved. The more time you spend working, the more XP you receive, and the faster you advance. As a trade-off, I found that I had to be more attentive my sim’s job as an investigator; you don’t reap the benefits if you don’t do the legwork.

Not all of the new jobs are as freeform as the investigator. Quitting the detective gig, I made Columbo join the ranks of the firefighters. He showed up at the fire station during normal work hours, then spent his shifts maintaining the fire engine, working out, and socializing with co-workers. In the event of a fire (which didn’t even happen every shift), he rolled out to quell the flames. Being a hero is great, but the most entertaining benefit to this career is the “I’m a firefighter” pick-up line it adds to your romantic repertoire. It pretty much works every time.

I spent the most time checking out the investigator and firefighter paths, but Ambitions adds other jobs, too. The stylist and architect allow you to use the in-game customization tools to perform makeovers or home renovations for your clients, and the ghost hunter is a good choice for more eccentric sims. No matter how you prefer to play The Sims 3, it looks like Ambitions will have something to add to your virtual life.