World Adventures Explored: B.K., Tomb Raider

So, I haven’t exactly been keeping up with The Sims 3 news at all lately.  It’s November, too, and that means I’ve also been busy with NaNoWriMo 2009.  Anyway, the other day I was trolling facebook and I saw an advertisement for World Adventures followed by the tag–”out now!”  I remember thinking, that’s out already?  While I worked on acquiring it, I checked out reviews and was horrified.  Have none of these people ever touched the franchise before?  Traveling is not exactly new, people.  At all.  So, I just thought I’d post some impressions and my exploration through the expansion.

I had to create a brand new neighborhood because Awesomemod does not function with the expansion yet.  Removing Awesomemod will also cause your neighborhoods to explode, so yeah, you were warned.  I popped open CAS and ended up with… a sim.  One that I didn’t expect.  I went in, just intending to create a completely random sim.  Unfortunately, folks had other intentions…

But first, I’ll mention there’s several new outfits and loose articles to better fit the new areas.  None of them are that great, but hey, we’ll take what we can at this point.  There are two new female hairstyles, not sure about guys, and a bunch of remakes of hats/etc for the new areas, too.  There’s even some decent eyeliner!  Perhaps most importantly, there are three new characteristics your sim can now have:

  • Adventurous
  • Disciplined
  • Photographer’s Eye

With those come several brand new Lifetime wishes that correlate with the traits above.  Of course, most of these involve vacationing and whatever else.  Still, new wishes and traits are always welcome!

This is our soon-to-be wayward explorer.  Despite the traits not fitting who she seems to think she is (and trust me, she has no business in The Sims 3, period), I picked them to try out the three new ones.  Along with those, she has a Green Thumb and she’s Athletic.

I’ve chosen not to immediately expose her face for dramatic value.  That, and I just liked the idea of her struggling with a dresser drawer.

If you’re familiar with my more serious endeavors with sims 2 storytelling, you may just recognize this red haired, green eyed lady as Beryl Cross.  I don’t know how or why, but when I finished with CAS, I looked at her and went, “oh crap, that looks almost exactly like Beryl would if she were a TS3 sim.”  And so, we have Beryl.  She will be aiding us along in this endeavor.  She is also wearing one of the new hair styles and outfits included with World Adventures.

To travel, you need to first use a phone and set up where you want to go.  Pretty standard fare for the The Sims franchise.  You get a dialogue box with options.

At first, you’re limited to three days at any of the three locations.  You have to raise your “visa level” to stay longer and eventually purchase a swank vacation pad.  This is a big departure from Vacation and Bon Voyage where the only limitation was how much money you had to spend.  I choose France because Beryl spun up a wish to go there.  Go figure.

As soon as you click the checkmark in the box, your sim rushes off to a taxi and literally just… drives off.  The screen fades and the vacation area begins loading.  Well, that was anti-climatic.  What, no sim airport??

"Is this where I'm supposed to be impressed?"

Arriving at Champs Les Sims, France I’m about as impressed as Beryl here.  It really isn’t that exotic.  It’s almost like they just change the color palette from extremely vibrant to muted browns and tans.  I’ve never been to France myself, so maybe it really doesn’t look that different.  I’d like to think it does, though.  The streets are plain and there’s a nice little park, but compared to Sunset Valley’s?  It’s kind of disappointing.

You’re dropped off at a Base Camp, which looks like a halfway house.  There’s no maid staff and you’re pretty much on your own food/etc wise… which kind of sucks.  I was hoping for dump motels and swanky hotels.  I actually enjoyed those.

The entire point to vacationing seems to be “adventures” which are essentially just vacation opportunities.  You get a nifty little “Adventure Journal” for your troubles that tracks all necessary info; a log, list of relics, collections, and your visa levels, too.  In addition to that, anytime you ‘activate’ or ‘accept’ an Adventure, you get a little tracker above your sim’s wish panel.  You can simply click on it to initiate whatever action is necessary, in case you get lost.

"Oui, oui! These deck chairs are fabulous!"

Of course, you can ignore the Adventures entirely and just explore.  Granted, you won’t build Visa points and you’ll be perpetually stuck in three day vacations, but hey.  Sometimes, you just gotta look around.  The French Market essentially acts as a “base hub” for the shops and whatnot.  You can purchase traveling essentials and everything else here.  There’s also locals and fellow tourists to meet, too, if you’re the social type.  Here, Beryl seems a bit more preoccupied with the pretty patio furniture.  Go figure.

After the jaunt in the park, I send Beryl over to meet the guy I’m supposed to talk to for my first Adventure.  He’s sending me off to a tomb.  A tomb, really?  Well, I guess I don’t have a choice.  You can just run to the tomb, but having played my share of video games throughout my life, I know that’s probably not wise.  So, it’s off to do some shopping!

You can actually enter shops now, even though you can’t buy anything without clicking on a cash register and prompting a dialogue box, ala the base game.  Still, better than the ‘rabbit hole’ stores!  The tutorial text warns you that adventuring is hard work and long, too.  You want to bring food and definitely a tent, perhaps a shower in a can, too, if you’re the hygienically concerned type.

I’ll mention right now that the whole ‘tomb exploration’ is a total departure from core Sims gameplay.  Even the designers seemed to realize this, providing you with shower cans, tents, and food.  I wish they would have found a better way to integrate it into the game.

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9 comments to World Adventures Explored: B.K., Tomb Raider

  • I haven’t bought this yet (which is a first for me for the Sims franchise, apart from Makin’ Magic) and I’m not quite sure if I will. I don’t know if I play enough to justify the cost.

    But you got some cool pics! Beryl pushing the wall was great.

    That Vespa is pretty nifty! I like that and you’ve got me curious about the constipation face now!

    I…would not drink that “grape juice”. I’d love to see what kind of grapes make neon pink juice. Eww.

    I kind of want a shower in a can for my TS2 game! It’d be handy for community lots!

    Which leads me to ask, can you use any of this stuff in the regular hood? Can Sims buy a Vespa or a shower in a can and use them at home?

    • Mao

      I am not too sure about the vespa at home. You can buy one in France and so far, that’s the only place you use one constantly to get around as default. Maybe if you buy one, you can use it at home, too. :D Will have to try that.

      The grape juice gives them a moodlet, but I totally think they should stumble around and act goofy, hehe!

      As for the travel stuff, I think you can use some of it. I’ve heard people say it’s pretty random what you can and can’t use, though.

  • Not so odd, but we came away with the same feeling. :) This is what I said:

    “Unless there’s a lot of randomness to this, however, I can see it getting to be the same old same old quickly.”

    Love Beryl, your captions are hilarious. I only went to Egypt so far, and not the same tomb as you. I did wonder about that Nectar, though, and I do love the scooter. Fortunately, I never looked at his face. Yikes. :)

    Entertaining, but I’ll still take Sims 2.

    • Mao

      LOL, you and me both, sister. It’s a fun diversion, but ultimately? It’s a play and toss sort of mechanic. Really tired of console game stuff seeping into this franchise. Sigh.

  • OMG, a Sims 3 Beryl! She totally needs a Sims 3 Christian, lol! Oh, come on, you know you thought about making him ;)

    Buying supplies, solving puzzles… Wow, it’s like Final Fantasy in the Sims, lol! I don’t know, I might get a kick out of that, for like, a minute…

    I like the idea of photography!

    So can you modify any of the vacation destinations? Where am I going to send my college kids on spring break? Into the tombs? LOL!

    As always though, pretty scenery! Oh, and ditto Carla’s question, how much of this new stuff can be used in the main hood?

    • Mao

      Of course, you know Beryl’s social went down as soon as she got home, so she needed a friend. I won’t be displaying him–his chin needs re-done, but rest assured, he is there.

      Yeah, it’s kind of neat until you figure out that it’s also kind of shallow.

      Modification in The Sims 3 is virtually nonexistant. You can’t add new empty lots and integrating the same functionality as pre-existing lots can be tricky. They’ve really screwed the pooch with customization.

  • Awww, that disappoints me. I was hoping for….well, much more. So no hotels?…sucky. And so help me, if scooters are not available in the main hood I’ll stamp a foot. It really is the only reason I’m getting the ep…I WANT a scooter!!.

    It’s pretty sucky that you can’t build up visa points unless you do the opportunities. In my opinion, visa points should be given for just going on vacation.

    And lol, your subconscious misses Beryl. It does look remarkably like her.

    • Mao

      I know, I really miss the feel of the other vacation expansions. This just feels like a mad dash to get things done.

      I think you get a very small amount for visiting, but that may only be a “first time” thing.

      LOL! I think this is her way of getting a happy AU… though I don’t think she’s realized she WILL grow old and die here. ;)

  • Christina

    I was wondering where did you get the shower-in-a can?
    And loved your photography (:
    This is really nicely set up!!!

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