“The Sims 3: Late Night” is the latest expansion in the Sims franchise to introduce a supernatural entity into the video game: Vampires. The expansion released on October 26th, 2010, and it closely resembles “The Sims 2: Nightlife” expansion pack from the previous series; read a full review of the expansion here. Both expansions to the Sims’ world introduced an active downtown area, new traits and hobbies; once again, one of the most highly anticipated features of the latest expansion was the addition of Vampire-Sims.
The “Sims 2” version generated a lot of hype, but ultimately the majority of players found the Vampire-Sims to be more trouble than they were worth. During the daytime hours, the Vampire-Sim would suffer rapidly decreasing motive bars; once the bars reached red, the Vampire-Sim was in immediate danger of dying. Game modifications (mods) quickly went live, which enabled players to “lock” Vampire-Sims in their coffins during the day, eliminating the frequent and unfortunate unplanned final death of their characters. However, this required players to be willing to use a game mod in order to effectively control Vampire-Sims-and many users opted to ignore the Vampire-Sim feature completely, instead of risking an unofficial, player-made mod. The Vampire-Sim idea was fantastic, but so poorly implemented that it ruined the enjoyment of the feature for many “The Sims 2” fans.
The announcement that “The Sims 3: Late Night” would also include Vampire-Sims had many fans both excited and concerned; would EA Games once again deliver a neat featured which failed to function properly? Fortunately, among the similarities between the “Sims 3” and “Sims 2” versions, the inability to actually enjoy Vampire-Sims did not carry into the upgraded edition. Vampire-Sims in “The Sims 3: Late Night” are a clever blend of traditional vampire lore and Sims-appropriate modifications. For example, Vampire-Sims can be “vegetarians,” eating “plasma fruit” which can be grown in the Sims’ garden. Alternatively, they can choose to bite friends for a meal, without afflicting them with vampirism in the process. In the “Sims 2” version, the Vampire-Sim was limited to the “Bite Neck” option, which turned their hapless victim into fellow Vampire-Sims.
In both the “Sims 2” and “Sims 3” video games, becoming a Vampire-Sim in the first place is something of a challenge. “The Sims 3: Late Night” is full of reasons for Sims to go downtown and socialize; among them is the chance to encounter a Vampire-Sim. These elusive creatures trigger the “Meet a Vampire” wish, though being in one’s presence creates the “Hunted” negative moodlet-unless the Sim has the Brave trait, that is. Finding a Vampire-Sim and developing a high enough relationship to request membership into the world of the undead certainly takes some time and dedication; without using a cheat, expect to make numerous trips into downtown with your Vampire-Sim wannabe.
The “Sims 3” version of Vampire-Sims are less obvious than the predecessor; instead of stalking around with their arm across their face, which made the “Sims 2” versions very easy to spot if you managed to overlook the Victorian clothing and pale complexion, the “Sims 3” Vampire-Sims are slightly pale with vivid, unnaturally bright eyes. The new generation of Vampire-Sims also has the option of producing Vampire-Sim offspring through the upgraded genetics, though the offspring will not manifest their extended Vampire-Sim abilities until they are teenagers.
Ultimately, “The Sims 3: Late Night” expansion is absolutely stuffed to the brim with new features, above and beyond the return of the Vampire-Sims. But the upgrades to the mechanics behind the mysterious, stalking undead really make them an enjoyable experience this time around. Without a doubt, EA Games improved upon the clever “Sims 2” predecessors, making Vampire-Sims a great feature to a fantastic video game series-and a much better version of playable undead.
EA Press, “The Sims 3: Late Night” Press Kit