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After even more hours of playing the Sims 3: Ambitions expansion pack, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a very hands-on EP that requires dedication on the part of the player in order to make advancements in the new professions. Read on for more conclusions and a few more screenshots from the game!
World Adventures definitely required more mental effort on the player’s part than the base game if your Sim went on vacation and wanted to do more than just shop and meet the locals. But with WA, most of what the EP had to offer didn’t apply to everyday Sim-life. Sure, you could bring back new skills, recipes, fish, songs and stories from faraway lands but when all was said and done, your Sim went back to working, making babies, having tawdry liaisons with other Sims or whatever else you were doing to keep them busy and satisfied. With Ambitions, everyday life is altered quite a bit for any Sim looking to advance in one of the new professions.
In some respects, I think some of the professions are going to get old after a while. I had one of my Sims work as an architect but by the time she got to about level five of the profession track, I’d grown tired of the game pausing while I renovated someone’s gym or reading room. She was even called back to places she'd already renovated to do a similar renovation on the house.
The firefighters career track was a bit quicker to work through but I found that if I neglected to make the Sim respond to emergencies, he either wouldn’t or he’d only do part of it before giving up and returning home. I think that has something to do with the large house fires requiring doors being broken down and Sims being convinced to run. If neglecting the profession kept my Sim at a stand-still in their career track, I might not mind but incomplete assignments resulted in lost job experience, so I’m not sure how I feel about that.
On the other side of things, this EP gives players a lot of new things to do. And advancing can yield some pretty cool rewards. For example, when Sam reached the top of the firefighter track and achieved his lifetime wish of saving 30 Sims from disasters, he was thrown a party by the Mayor at City Hall and given the key to the city, which he now has displayed at home near the firefighters jacket and axe he was awarded previously.
He was also given his own fire alarm and truck, which he parked in the kitchen as it was the only place big enough for it. His girlfriend Karen isn’t happy with that and they’re most likely going to have to move to better accommodate the large parking space necessary to house the truck. (The truck can be kept in his inventory but he can’t maintain it or upgrade it while it’s in his pocket).
While Sam’s the Fire Chief, Karen was working as an architect and then a stylist. As a stylist, she gets to do make-overs for people based on what they want. The issue with this, as I mentioned previously, is that in order for her to advance significantly in her career, I have to get her out there, talking to people and doing make-overs every day. It’s hard to do that and maintain Sam’s job as a firefighter at the same time, so players with households containing more than one working Sim might consider sticking one of their Sims in one of the base-game’s rabbit-hole careers while they’re devoting their time to moving their other Sim up.
None of the career responsibilities are particularly challenging. If anything, they add a new layer of fun and purpose to the game. And the necessary effort it takes to help the Sim advance in their career is definitely going to appease those who have been complaining that the job-aspect of the game is boring. As Ambitions doesn’t do-away with the base game careers, the EP is now the best of both worlds. Those players who prefer not to have to run around after their Sims constantly as they try to get them to move up in their careers can simply put their Sims in one of the rabit-hole jobs, while those who want to micromanage their Sims have a whole new set of job options available.
As for glitches, I’ve encountered two. The first was when my Sim was living in Riverview and her washing machine stopped functioning. It didn’t break. She just didn’t have the option to remove the clothes from the washer, nor could she add anything to it. That issue was fixed when I moved her lot to Twinbrook, so I’m not sure if it’s a glitch in the old worlds or if was just a random thing that fixed itself.
The other issue I’m having involves Sam’s celebration at City Hall. He went, accepted his key, got confetti thrown at him and went home. No issues there. Then later when I played a different household, I found that my Sim couldn’t complete her job opportunity to interview Karen about a hacking investigation she was working on. When she searched for Karen, she found her at the City Hall, still celebrating Sam’s Award. A whole crop of people was still there throwing confetti, including Sam. They won’t leave. I’ve reset Sam using the “resetSim” code, which sent him and his family home but they continue to come back and the party never ends. I expect people to start dropping dead soon as their meters run down. Hopefully EA will come up with a patch to fix this as I’ve seen other people complain of the same issue.
Final Verdict: Ambitions adds a lot to the game in terms of new activities and job professions. That said, it’s definitely going to appeal more to players who want their Sims to advance professionally. For those who prefer their Sims to spend less time working and more time with their families, building relationships, throwing parties and wandering the neighborhood, Ambitions won’t really get in the way of that but you might find yourself neglecting the personal aspects of your Sims’ lives as you devote your efforts to helping them along in their careers.
Unlike World Adventures, which I felt I’d gotten a pretty good feel for after playing it for a few hours each day over the course of a few days, Ambitions is still growing on me and I have a feeling it’s going to take more than a few sittings with it for me to truly know how I feel about it. There are still professions I haven’t really explored past the first few assignments and added opportunities that I need to check out (for example, I’ve heard you can become a professional gardener). I suspect that after a while I’ll tire of having my Sims fight fires, catch ghosts, renovate houses and make-over their neighbors and go back to letting the game do their jobs, while my Sims enjoy some of the other additions to the game, including the Simbots, sculpting and inventing. Over all though, for die-hard Sims fans and players who are looking for something new to do with their Sims, the EP’s worth owning.
Below are some more screenshots from the game. For even more pictures and impressions on Ambitions, click here and here.
When a Sim is called to respond to an earthquake, they find Sims trapped under rubble. They also have to extinguish fires and fix gas leaks.
When they use the drilling tool (made with the workshop by invention), they can dig for gems, metals, gnomes and other things. Sometimes the hole glows gold and after moving the drill, they can explore it. It can also sometimes turn into a tunnel, which can be named. I put a tunnel in the front yard of one Sim's house and one in the junkyard. Now the Sim can travel underground to the junkyard. (Don't expect to see them do it though. They disappear down the hole and then eventually come out the other side.)
Sims in the medical career sometimes get opportunities to work off-hours around town. Deidra, the Simbot is a doctor and she was called to vaccinate at the town square. This woman looks like she needs a makeover more than she needs a vaccination. Then again, if a virus breaks out, she might be the only one safe as the rest of the town couldn't be vaccinated, since everyone who comes to the town square ends up at the never ending City Hall Party.
Ghost hunting Sims can banish ghosts that look like cartoon ghosts (as opposed to the ghosts we're used to seeing in the game, who are based on actual people)
They are also called to exorcise poltergeists from furniture:
The captured ghosts are in their inventory after that. They can put them on display...
Captured ghosts can also be sold through the inventory or they can be set free (they disappear and are "at peace"):