Review: The Sims 3 Fast Lane Stuff Pack

By Kelly West 2010-09-14 20:58:18 discussion comments
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When it comes to Sims Stuff Packs, I’d still consider myself somewhat of a newbie. I’ve been playing The Sims since the original came out, however High End Loft was the first Stuff Pack I’ve owned and I have to say, I was pleased with it. My Sims were due for some fancy new furnishings and the pack freshened up the game nicely. I’m not so sure I can be as enthusiastic about Fast Lane.

It should be said that I’m not much of a car person. Sure, I can appreciate a classic car if I spot one on the road, but you won’t catch me at an auto-show anytime soon. So the theme of this latest Stuff Pack didn’t exactly jump out and grab me from the start, but considering High End Loft offered some new and interesting options for home décor, I thought the same might be said for Fast Lane and to an extent, it is. For fans of cars, the Stuff Pack includes twelve new vehicles for Sims to drive, including some classic looking cars, a scooter similar (but not identical) to the one in the World Adventures Expansion Pack, and a motorcycle.

Stylin’...

There are four “Styles” that break up the items offered in the pack, each of which offer a number of cars set to that theme. Some of the Styles also offer some car-themed furnishings for your Sim’s home or garage. Given that garage-décor has been somewhat limited, this is actually a nice addition to the game, especially for those who love to fill each room with plenty of decorations and trinkets to make their Sim’s home feel real.

The Racing Style includes traffic cones, flashing lights, a trophy case and some amusing wall-mountable road signs, including one for gnome crossing. There’s also a tool-chest, a workstation and hammer.

The Intrigue Style offers three sleek and sporty looking cars. The Rockabilly Style takes it old school and will have you wishing your Sims could jump onto the hood of their classic car and sing “Grease Lightening”. The Style includes a neon wall sign, a vintage looking gas pump and a funky bar with license plates all over the front of it. I also noted that there’s an option to play Rockabilly music on the radio, which definitely adds to the atmosphere.

And finally, the Classic Luxury Style offers a new couch and love-seat, as well as a desk, floor lamp and fancy clock thingy. The design for these items are simple and would actually work nicely for Sims who aren’t looking to make their living room look like the interior of a mechanics garage. Among the cars offered in this style is a fancy looking convertible.

Getting Friendly With Your Car…

In terms of game play, there’s a new trait offered called Vehicle Enthusiast, which allows the Sim to name their vehicle right away (without having to spend time with it first) and their relationship with the car improves faster. That’s about all it does, as far as I can tell.

Sims In The Fast Lane

I played the game a little bit after installing the game and as I’ve done with previous EPs and High End Loft, I started with a fresh set of Sims, giving one of them the Vehicle Enthusiast trait. I dressed them in vintage-looking clothing and used the new hairstyles offered. For the girls, there are a couple of curly, semi-teased hairstyles and for the guys, an Elvis-like pompadour. It’s silly looking but it looks great with the fifties-style outfit.

As I was planning to make Shelly and Tommy Toolbox boyfriend and girlfriend, I didn’t bother to select a relationship for them as “Roommate” has always been the default, but when the game reminded me to pick the relationship, I saw that there were added options. Now, newly made Sims can be set as fiancé or boyfriend/girlfriend from the start. So I didn’t need to make Shelly and Tommy married in order to have them start off romantically involved, nor did I have to spend the first ten minutes of the game forcing them to socialize enough to start dating, so that was a plus.



They settled on this cozy two-bedroom home, which also happened to come with a three-story garage. I doubt Shelly was happy to see their fortune go toward funding Tommy’s car-addiction, while she settled for dated décor and mismatched furnishings…



But she brushed it off. She’s a green-thumb and spends most of her time outside gardening and fishing for fertilizer, so she can make a little money on the side selling produce.



Sometimes she takes her scooter out for a spin…



Meanwhile, Tommy didn’t exactly organize his garage, other than to combine the Racing and Rockabilly Styles for the main floor, and putting the fancier items on the second floor or down in the basement.












Where The Pack Falls Short…

The Relationship Between Sim and Car - What exactly is the point of this? Other than the Sim being able to achieve best-friend status with their car after driving it enough times, there doesn’t appear to be any perk to this. They can’t talk to the car, nor does driving it give them any positive moodlet.

Nothing New To Do With The Car Besides Name It - That might seem like a random complaint but in The Sims 2, Sims could sit in their car with other Sims and listen to music, install an alarm in their car and even Woohoo in them. They also had the option to drive them to school or work as opposed to car-pooling. At what point are these features going to be included in the game, because I really thought if ever there were a time to squeeze them in, it would be with this Stuff Pack. Perhaps they’re holding out for the Late Night EP but adding in at least one new action to perform with the cars would’ve been nice and definitely would've given people who aren't necessarily car-fanatics more of a reason to purchase this Stuff Pack. I'd even settled for the “Tinker” option to improve handiness and give my Sim the opportunity get under the hood of his BFF-Car. Or, to get a little fancier, maybe have the cars require maintenance in order to stay clean and shiny. Poorly maintained cars could fall apart or become un-drivable in time.

No New Eco-Friendly Option - Alright, not a huge complaint here but how about a skateboard or some rollerblades or a horse and buggy. Anything non-gas-reliant to get our environmentally-friendly Sims around would be nice. In the meantime, they'll have to make due with the bike.

Over all, I’ll be honest and say that not being a huge car fan, I could live without this Stuff Pack. But if you love cars and have been waiting for your Sims to have more options on what they can drive, the Pack delivers.
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