On October 26th, 2010, EA Games released the third highly anticipated expansion to their overwhelmingly popular simulation video game, The Sims 3: Late Night. With heavy promotion, including videos, teaser screenshots and an abundance of Facebook and Twitter posts from the official The Sims 3 accounts, there was never a question that “Late Night” would be a tremendous flood of purchases-including Pre-Order, which came with a special set of downloadable content from the Sims 3 store.
The question is always whether or not the heavily promoted, highly anticipated $39.95 expansion is worth purchasing. Fortunately for EA Games, the answer is almost always a resounding “Yes,” and has been since the launch of The Sims franchise. I began my addiction to the fantastic, highly customizable world of The Sims during the reign of The Sims 2, with the launch of “Night Life;” to be honest, when I first read the blogs and announcements about TheSims 3: Late Night I was certain this expansion was merely “Night Life” reloaded and improved for the new engine. Both games featured vampires, the first supernatural creature-which was followed by werewolves, plant Sims, witches and more in the Sims 2 legacy-but the difference is that this time vampire-Sims don’t seem to be a colossal flop.
Now, while I could argue that allowing “vegetarian Vampire-Sims” is a bit too Twilight-esque for my tastes, to does lend more flexibility; Vampire-Sims can also feed off of their friends without afflicting them with vampirism in the new version within The Sims 3 “Late Night.” For a full comparison and review, please check out my “Sims 3 Vampires Review: New Bite versus Old Bite” article.
One feature of the Sims 3 “Late Night” expansion which shocked me was the implementation of breast sliders during Sim creation-that’s right, you can now adjust the bust size of your female Sims, from A to roughly DDD. Although I imagine that female The Sims fans have asked for this feature in addition to male players, I am greatly offended at the objectification of the female Sims; where are the sliders for the male’s package size? Can’t we opt for a huge bulge in their Speedos, EA Games? I don’t like a double-standard, whether it comes packaged as a video game or elsewhere. The fact that they opted to implement adjustable breast size over heightdoesn’t sit well with me. And while yes, I realize that every woman is created different and are uniquely beautiful-we all have a different height, too! I would have greatly preferred the Sims 3 team working on additional items and less bugs, instead of DDD cleavage.
Another crucial, recycled feature arriving with “Late Night” for The Sims 3 is the return of multiple instruments and the Sim band. In Sims 2, players could instruct members of the same household to play together, raising the social and fun bars, plus learning the instruments as they played. In The Sims 3, the conversion to the new abilities, traits and skills allows Sims to master the guitar plus the bass, drums and piano. Sims can now form an actual band, which is part of the new “group” feature which boosts moodlets and provides new objectives for your Sims. The loss of multiple instruments and this band feature was one of the most disappointing reversions for me when I moved from Sims 2 to Sims 3.
As with almost all The Sims expansions, “Late Night” has its fair share of new features. The return of Sim Astrology is one of my favorites, which was implemented in The Sims 2 “Night Life” expansion thanks to the “chemistry” calculations. Sims could summon a Gypsy woman to arrange a blind date, and Astrology was one of the factors in determining compatibility. Unfortunately, the Sims version of Astrology is fairly inaccurate when compared to real Astrology-something I am fascinated by, and write about frequently. In the Sims 3, the Astrological sign has a two signs it is attracted to, plus two signs it is disgusted by. I have not tested these effects at-length in the same as of yet, but for example Taurus is attracted to Aries and Libra, but is disgusted by Virgo and Cancer-the latter two signs typically working well with Earthy Taurus, especially Virgo. But then again, what video game-or fashion magazine, for that matter-has ever gotten Astrology correct?
Sims can also learn Mixology, allowing them to concoct a variety of drinks and moonlight at local bars. Several new cooking recipes keep the Sims 3 culinary enthusiasts happy and as-always new clothing, décor and hair styles lend more variety to the Sims 3 world. With “Late Night,” players have a few new careers choices, including different branches along the same chain; actor or director, for example. Or, your Sim can aspire to become a local Celebrity, and the built-in Celebrity meter and aspirations related to the Sim-Stars gives your Sims new reasons to get out of the house and out on the town. The new traits “Stair Quality” and “Shy” are polar-opposites, but each is a great new addition to the traits library. Another great change to Sim creation is the ability to select a Lifetime Aspiration from any of the choices; previously, Sims 3 players had a pool based on trait selections. “Late Night” added several new options, including “Distinguished Director,” “One Sim Band” and “Superstar Actor.”
Ultimately, The Sims 3: Late Night is more than just a reloaded version of the Sims 2 “Night Life” expansion. More importantly, it adds a considerable amount of new content to your Sim-world, with a whole lot of bang for your buck. New traits, careers, items and a new urban world full of nightclubs, bars and other hangouts gives your Sims more options for how to spent their time. “Late Night” brought back the perfect mixture of the old while introducing the new, and it is easy to spend way too much time on just one of the features-like becoming a local celebrity or a vampire-that this third expansion adds a tremendous amount of hours to the Sims 3 video game clock. It’s a steal at $39.95 in the official EA Store, and you can purchase either the downloadable version or the physical copy. It is rated T for Teens by the ESRB for crude humor, sexual themes and violence.
EA Games, “EA Press: The Sims 3 Late Night”
EA Games, “EA Store (US) Online Store”