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Not quite Utopia, but getting there...
on 26 October 2013
Currently the #1 Best Seller in Simulation on Amazon - Into The Future is the final expansion pack from The Sims 3 franchise, before the launch of the hotly anticipated Sims 4.
- There are 3 new future-themed versions of the new sub-neighbourhood (Oasis Landing) to explore. Normal, Utopia and Dystopia. Utopia gives you rainbows and colourful plants, dystopia brings you meteor showers... you get the idea. The world is neatly designed, fully functional, and is a great addition to the game. My only criticism is that it looks a little sparse, and I'd have liked more houses.
- The objects and furniture are designed with a very consistent futuristic style. For the completest in me, this is great for creating matching interiors. There's a great range of stuff, and much of it could easily be used in your present day households too.
- There's a good selection of stuff. Sometimes I think the Sims can be a little stingy with this, but there's seems to be a fair amount here. Also, don't forget to check the Sims 3 website as some weekends they give away free stuff (at time of writing there are two futuristic items for free).
- The clothing and hairstyles are both plentiful and reasonably tasteful. It's nice to see the Sims franchise have been generous here. There's a few wacky designs as you'd expect, but it's a nice collection.
- The artwork is really cool. Sometimes I find the wall décor to be a bit naff, but this stuff all seems quite pleasant to me. The wall holograms are really cool, as you can project a choice of 5 moving landscape scenes onto your walls. There are also holographic televisions and plants which you can customise the colours of. There's also some really neat new ways to travel like the hoverboard.
- There's the typical new stuff that comes with any EP: new traits, new favourites, new skills (Advanced Technology, Bot Building, Laser Rhythm-a-con), new lifetime wishes (High Tech Collector, More Than A Machine, Made The Most Of My Time), new lifetime rewards (most interestingly the Time Remote Control which offers the power to control time with the click of a button), new careers (Astronomer, Bot Arena, Plumbot Dealer) and various new things to collect around the world.
- There's a new life state - the Plumbot. These can be created when you have amassed sufficient skill or may be purchased in Oasis Landing. The more bot building skill you have, the more functional and specialist the Plumbot becomes. You can do quite a bit with the bots, depending on their specialist traits, such as perform tasks and enter competitions.
- There is a new Time Almanac area in the Sim inventory which has 3 tabs: the events tab lets you choose your futuristic landscape (ie: travel to an apocalyptic dystopia), the descendants tab lets you view the different generations of your Sim family (and shows how past relatives' traits and characteristics influences the future), and the legacy tab lets you explore how actions in the present can influence your status in the future.
- Travelling to the future is rather messy. I could not find the Time Almanac tab, and was confused about how to travel to Oasis Landing. I bought a portal, chose to travel to the future, and the Almanac then appeared. It didn't offer me the dystopia / utopia options, and I got plonked in a landing house rather than offered a choice of accommodation. I've read a lot of people have noted bugs with the Almanac on the forums, and that it has a habit of "disappearing". The whole setup seems quite messy. Hopefully this will be patched properly, in the future (if you'll pardon the pun).
- You cannot take your pets into the future. If you're like me, pets are part of the family.
- As if the game doesn't take long enough to load anyway, you now get a "spot the object" game to amuse you in the loading frame. If you find the things they ask for, you get extra happiness points. Only trouble is they don't seem to account for repetitions of the item in the picture. It's a bit poorly commissioned, but you can opt out of this, apparently.
- The new careers don't do a lot. Astronomer and Bot Arena are both "rabbit hole careers" which do not allow much interaction. Given that most Sims fans enjoy the power and control of the game, this seems a disappointment. Imagine if the Sims could have been real astronauts in Space? How cool would that have been?
- The limited edition contains a Quantum Power Pack. This contains a hibernation chamber and a multi-function power suit which can help you to teleport around the world and bio-stabilise your Sims' needs. This seems pretty useful to the game to me, so a shame that it's an added extra that only comes with the pricier limited edition of the game. I suppose you could argue it's nice to get something more worthwhile from the limited ed. though.