Ambitions: B.K., Private Eye

The life of a P.I. can lead you to some seriously spooky places!

Being a Private Investigator is a dubious business.  A good private eye usually has the Perceptive trait, but it’s not required.  Any sim can decide to uncover the truth (or cover it up) by using their phone, the computer, or even the newspaper and selecting it as their new-found profession.

Private Investigators like Logic, Stake Outs, and Solving Cases.  The life of a Private Investigator is mostly conducted outside of the home, trolling the streets, chatting up possible suspects, and even staking out various locations in hopes of finding crooks.  Private Investigator can even lend a hand to the local, overworked police department if they’re feeling especially altruistic (and in need of a few extra bucks!)

Don’t think being a Private Investigator means you get to sit around on your laurels.  It’s an actual job.  That’s right, any profession you choose shows up on your job tab and has functioning hours in which you’ve gotta get stuff done to bolster your experience meter and advance.  You get a weekly stipend, too, to keep things running.  Your Responsibilities are listed at all times and partaking of them will also help you boost your experience, even off the clock!

It’s worth mentioning that if you feel you need a few days off, you can choose to do so through the phone.  You can choose how many days you’ll be off the job.

You’ll get a special outfit to wear while you’re out doing investigative things.  Your sim will automatically don it before or during its duties.  In the early days, you’ll have to dig up your own cases using the computer, but later on, as you become more famous, sims will come to you wanting things done.  You’ll even be rewarded with a few things to spruce up your office, if you so choose to make one.

Most cases will involve you seeking out clues or talking to people.  To me, the actions of a PI seem to function very much like the “adventures” from World Adventures. You even get the little pop-up near your sims head on the UI that says “interrogate” or other contextually relevant things.  You click and your sim automatically runs to the person.  They’re also marked on your map.

It’s a bit sketchy when your employer is a child, though.  You’ll get bum cases like missing mouthwash, but hey… it’s all green in the end, right?  Watch out for child scammers, though!

Much like World Adventures, you’ll need to get friendly if you want to find the truth!  Of course, there’s also the new option of simply bribing people.  If you bid too low, you’ll be out the cash and out the answers…

For the athletic sims, there’s also the ability to beat people up for answers!

The cases show up in a “new” pop-up style indicated above.  You can see your reward, the initial requirements and even the location before choosing to accept the case.  There’s a variety of cases and the difficulty varies as you get further along in your career.

(It’s worth noting that opportunities also use this new window.)

Of course, the life of a Private Investigator is not always clean and glamorous.  You’ll be expected to rifle through suspect’s mail and not get caught.  I haven’t had issue with any residents running out to accost my sim, but I wouldn’t guarantee that it won’t happen.  Remember, peeking in windows can get you chased off the lot if you linger too long!

There’s also the option to “break in” to a house, but I haven’t had to use that yet.

CloneBeryl doesn't like it when someone sneaks up on her while she's rifling through trash.

If you played the police career in the base game, then you’re already familiar with going through the trash.  You’ll be expected to do this bit of dirty work, as well.  One man’s trash is another one’s treasure, you know!

You can also blackmail people outside of cases with the information that you find.  What?  Being a PI means not riding a moral high horse.  ;)

As you move through the ranks, you’ll get new gadgets and gizmos to sniff out the truth with.  You can use your magnifying glass to look for clues in a certain area pertaining to a case or even your finger printing kit if something has been stolen.  I don’t want to ruin everything about this profession for you, but I will say you do get perks as you move along through it.  You can also stop off at the town center to get a medal, trophy, or some other accolade for your “community service”.

Hardened investigator or foliage cheerleader... you be the judge.

Stakeouts are relatively easy and something you might find yourself doing quite a bit.  Unlike the rest of the profession, performing a stakeout is autonomous and will complete after a set amount of sim time passes.  Your sim will then be required to submit a report to the police.  It’s exactly like report writing for the police career.  There are a lot of parallels with the police career, except for the whole working 9 to 5 thing.

All in all, without ruining too much, I like this career.  It borrows heavily from the World Adventures methodology and it can seem tedious at times, but it’s still a step outside of the norm.  It isn’t exactly like going to work with your sim and for that, I am thankful.  I have a job, I prefer my sims to do their jobs without my henpecking, thanks.

I think my biggest issue so far, with this expansion, is the fact that it touts “going to work with your sim” and you never actually do.  Before you think I’m complaining, I’m not.  See above.  I’m not into that whole business, at all.  Instead, it seems to add a new angle to the game and encourages “freelance” work.  Even sculpting or painting are considered working professions now!  I’m just saying, maybe they should be a bit more upfront about what they’re doing.  It’s not necessarily what people have asked for, but I think it’s well done so far.

Honestly, I think it’s a step in the right direction.  This is just one profession, however, and each profession has its own learning curve and formula to it (not to mention tedium).  You’ll see that when we go through Ghost Hunting.

Until then, I offer you this little side bar… digital frames!  DIGITAL FRAMES! ‘What’s that?’ you ask… well, it’s the most wonderful thing EVER!  They come in various sizes and you hang them like any picture.  Any painting, picture (phone or camera), any image at all, can be placed into the digital picture’s “inventory” and displayed!  Got an awesome shot but it’s so tiny because your camera skill was low?  Not a problem, buy a huge frame and pop that sucker in there!

The picture I have above was taken with the phone camera and we all know how crappy that thing is.

I have to say, this expansion is surprising me.

8 comments to Ambitions: B.K., Private Eye

  • Ohhh!!! I splurged and brought it but I have to wait until Awesome mode is updated to play!:( Anyways, this sounds really awesome Mao! Thanks for the overview! I popped over here when I got off of work because I figured you might have more tidbits!:P

    • Mao

      LOL, Phoenix! I didn’t think you’d be able to wait. ;) Unlike WA, though, this one might actually be worth the money… even if I think what they’re charging is a bit ridiculous!

  • I like the first picture. Did I see fogs there? I haven’t installed Ambitions yet, because I keep on getting an error code.
    I think the PI profession is almost the same like doing challenges in WA. Do your sims have to figure out things in the end?
    Some of the animations are the same with the base game. The new ones are bribing, checking out mails, using magnifying glass, and the stakeout that, Lol, looks funny. I am curious now about the rest of the careers. I will check on your next update :)

    • Mao

      The swampy area of the new hood has this awesome effect at night! It gets all foggy and creepy looking, I love it. ;)

      The PI profession is a lot like adventuring, just at home. I don’t think there’s really any puzzle parts to it, unfortunately.

      Yeah, leave it to EA to reuse animations. It’s just like the contextually sensitive options that have no real effect, like reveal pregnancy/etc. Ah well, it’s all fluff. ;)

  • I wondered if the PI track would be kind of like WA in structure. I guess I was right! What do you think of the replayability factor? I know eventually, you’ll get the same cases popping up but are they a bit more random than the WA adventures? With the adventures, they pop up in exactly the same order, for every single Sim.

    But this does seem like fun! I’m not really one who’s ever wanted to follow my Sim to work either (I fake that sometimes, if I want pics for Sullivan, but the Sims are only ever there for a couple of hours, not a whole work day). I didn’t think I’d bother with the PI profession at first but maybe I’ll give it a shot anyway. When I actually get this expansion, that is!

    • Mao

      The profession itself is actually kind of neat and it has some perks you can’t get otherwise, like blackmailing! It works a lot like WA, but the cases are pretty diverse and I think randomized, depending on how far up the ladder you are.

      Advancing also nets you some neat things like a case board and a frosted door, too. As for re-playability… I think it’s doable, but it’ll probably be something someone picks to do only if their sim seems suited towards it, it’s a LTW, or they have an itch.

  • Ooooooh! This is the first thing other than the “open” neighborhood that I am really envious about in sims 3. I wouldn’t want to “go to work with my sims” either, but this freelancey sort of thing is pretty bada$$! I think the P.I. one would make me simply laugh my head off most of the time. Especially if I saw some pom-fronds [sic].

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