When the Sims 3: World Adventures expansion pack was first announced, I was only moderately excited about it and when it came out, I ended up loving it. So if that’s the scale on which I can rate my excitement to enjoyment ratio on then based on the description for Sims 3: Ambitions it seems likely that it’ll be an amazing EP. Either that or it’ll somehow fall short but I’m going to give EA the benefit of the doubt for now because frankly, these added bits of information sound great.

GameSpot.com posted an interview with Associate producer Grant Rodiek as he talks a bit about what the Ambitions EP will have to offer Sims 3 players. Below are some quotes from the interview along with my thoughts on how this’ll affect general game-play. (And if you haven’t seen the trailer yet, view it here!)

“The Sims 3 Ambitions allows players to control their sims while they are at work in a variety of new careers. Instead of sending your sims off to work all day, The Sims 3 Ambitions lets you pick a career like firefighting, investigator, architect, ghost hunter, stylist, or doctor and then guide your sim to make choices and succeed (or fail) every step of the way. You can also make your sim a tattoo artist, sculptor, or inventor.”

Getting to be more hands-on with how Sims earn their livings is exciting in itself. Firefighting is the most exciting to me of the mentioned jobs as it finally lets us participate in a career that until now, only NPC Sims have been able to do. Currently in the game if you move a firefighter Sim in, they lose that career track. I’m hoping this means playable firefighters will acquire the “Pyro” trait, which allows them to set fire to things. On firefighting, Rodiek later says:

“Firefighters need to develop relationships and maintain their equipment while at the firehouse. But as soon as that alarm rings, they need to get to the fire, clear rubble piles, carry out children, stop gas leaks, put out the flames, and be the hero. Your town may fall victim to small fires, huge infernos, and even earthquakes.”

Chaos! Oh, we do love those chaotic moments in the Sim’s world and it sounds as though the firefighter aspect of the EP is going to introduce more of that into the game. It also sounds like this EP will be creating more neighborhood-altering features to the game. Meaning, you’re playing one household but things can happen on the job that could affect other households. As it stands now, it’s mainly the relationships that the Sims form with one another that are alterable, while everything else pertaining to the layout of the neighborhood and the houses themselves stands still. Does this mean if a fire breaks out at the house down the street and the Sim you’re playing opts not to put it out, that the house burns to the ground and needs to be rebuilt? If the house becomes unlivable, would the household pick up and move or would they contract someone to do the repairs (see further down for more info on that)? It’ll be very interesting to see how that works.

“Investigators will have cases to solve by any means necessary. Investigators are great for our more-deviant players. For example, if you need information, you can bribe a sim, convince them to give your sim the information, or even beat them up. You can break into homes for clues or other nefarious purposes, like stealing their items for "evidence." Many cases have a lot of humor within them--some "sims noir"--so there will still be lots of laughs. There's a lot of variety--and these are just three of our careers!”

This aspect of the EP reminds me a lot of the adventures in World Adventures. Solving crimes doesn’t sound all that different from solving the mysteries of the tombs in the various Worlds in WA. It is amusing to see that EA is catering to the players who love to make their Sims suffer. The evil trait currently allows Sims to steal candy from babies and take pleasure in the pain, discomfort and even the death of their fellow Sims but it appears Ambitions will give evil sims even more opportunities to smile. Plus, breaking into homes for “nefarious purposes” makes me think we’re now able to let our Sims become those nasty burglars that are always setting off alarms and getting into scuffles with the cops.

“Inventing is a fantastically huge skill that is full of content. Crafty sims can gather scrap from the junkyard, broken objects, or even by blowing stuff up with their handy detonation packs. They can then use this scrap to invent excellent objects like the floor hygienator (provides hygiene to sims who walk over it), toys, widgets, a personal drilling device, a time machine, and even a personal robot.”

Servos! The robots were featured in Sims 2: Open for Business as one of the things high-level robot builders could create. While Rodiek is vague in his mention of the “personal robot,” I do hope that like in S2, the robots created will be playable and of course, have some upgrades from the original Servos. Perhaps make them able to reproduce themselves or breed with humans to create hybrids or something. I’m also curious about this “personal drilling device” and what it’s used for.

“Architects will be hired by neighborhood sims to remodel their homes. For example, expecting parents may hire your sim to build a new baby room for them, or a sim who has just learned to paint may contract your sim to create an art studio. Before long your talented sim will have had a hand in many, if not all, of the homes in the town. We have dozens of different jobs based on story progression and your neighbors' desires--it's a very exciting feature.”

This is another exciting aspect of the EP. How many times have I had my Sim visit a friend’s or family member’s household only to find that the family’s new baby has been left lying on the floor or worse, the front yard because they don’t have a crib on the property. The only way to fix that is to exit out of the household I’m in and go to that Sim’s house to build them a nursery or at the very least, put a crib somewhere in the house so their baby isn’t sleeping on the floor all the time. Now, finally we can alter other Sim’s houses without having to make them the active household! From the way it’s worded though (and I could be taking this too literally), it seems you would have to be invited or “contracted” to make the alterations. All the same, it sounds like fun.

Rodiek also mentioned being able to alter the lots on the neighborhood. Meaning we will be able to edit, add or remove lots from the maps. This is something we were able to do in Sims 2 but has yet to be included in Sims 3. Only players with Create-A-World have the ability to decide where the lots are. For those of us on Macs or computers too slow to handle the Create-A-World program, we’re stuck with what they give us as far as lot placement goes. As both Riverview and Sunset Valley have plenty of room to grow, I’m eager to be able to make modifications to the lot placement in those two neighborhoods.

To read the full interview, including what Rodiek had to say about tattoo artistry and sculpture, as well as the addition of new objects (trampolines!), check out Gamespot.com’s site here.
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