The Sims 3: World Adventures

What more could EA possibly do with a Sims 3 expansion that hasn't already been done in the numerous Sims 1 and 2 packs? Apparently, quite a bit.

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EA Games The Sims 3: World Adventures
  • EA Games The Sims 3: World Adventures
  • EA Games The Sims 3: World Adventures
  • EA Games The Sims 3: World Adventures

Pros

  • New gameplay mechanics while exploring tombs, hours of new story-based objectives, tonnes of new internationally themed items

Cons

  • Just when you thought you were out (of Sims 3) World Adventures pulls you back in, prepare to lose a lot of hours

Bottom Line

Overall, World Adventures adds so much new content and gameplay that it feels more like a sequel than an expansion pack.

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In The Sims 3: World Adventures, your Sim is given the exclusive ability to travel to real-world locales such as China, Egypt and France. This is no ordinary "vacation" pack, however; in past expansions, Sims would visit areas that were little more than freshly re-skinned stages with hardly anything new to do from a gameplay perspective. Here, players will actually investigate underground tombs, solve puzzles, and find hidden treasures, all the while exploring a variety of beautiful backdrops. Of course, this is still The Sims we're talking about, so you'll still be able to stock up on new decor, furniture, clothing, and themes -- all with an international flair.

When you first arrive at a new location you are taken to a "base camp" where all of your essential needs (grab a bite to eat, sit on the potty for a bit, etc.) can be taken care of. The game will then alert you to check out the local notice board, and prompt your Sim to undertake an assortment of adventures in that country. Someone may need you to retrieve a lost item from an abandoned tomb, or perhaps locate some rare rocks that are scattered about near different landmarks - the variety is pretty outstanding, and it doesn't hurt that these missions are pretty fun.

The tomb-raiding mechanics are much more interactive than the simplistic gameplay Sims players are used to. Beyond just sliding boxes over pressure-sensitive floor panels, you have to see if your skills will allow you to evaluate or disarm certain traps and hazards. Mess up and it could be a face full of fire for your Sim (which you could avoid if you made him wet ahead of time). It's all a little Indiana Jones, a little RPG even -- definitely a welcome departure from the mindless "click-and-click-some-more" gameplay prevalent in previous expansions. The rewards -- ancient artifacts, gems and gold -- are worth it, but beware: Not all treasure chests are filled with riches. (You know what they say about old tombs and curses...)

By completing different objectives your Sim will earn Visa points that allow him or her to stay in each country for longer periods of time, get access to new unlocked items and even purchase a vacation home. Everything in World Adventures is internationally flavoured, of course: French goodies look like they came from an old-country winery, but if you like your stuff black and gold and gaudy, try visiting Egypt. It's all very stereotypically themed, down to every last detail, but it's nothing offensive (unless that term "gaudy" doesn't sit well with some folks).

Each location also offers shops filled with new items that may help you get through long adventures inside the tombs, such as tents, dried food, and shower-in-a-can. Other goods include books, new recipes and even more decorations to give your home a bit of an exotic flair.

The developers added a new skill to World Adventures, too: photography. Once you buy a camera, your Sim can start snapping photos during their travels of both the sights they visit and the people they meet. The game offers in-game goodies for meeting your photography objectives, and a scavenger-hunt checklist will let you know whether to take a picture of some wildflowers, or perhaps just the flower pot in your Sim's living room.

Overall, World Adventures adds so much new content and gameplay that it feels more like a sequel than an expansion pack. Sims fans everywhere, from the casual to the hardcore, will absolutely love all of the new additions that are packed in here. World Adventures is guaranteed to impress -- it may just be the most ambitious expansion in the franchise yet -- and it will add hours upon hours of new areas to explore and new Sims to meet.

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