This expansion doesn't radically alter the Sims gameplay you know and love, but it's got enough quality content to keep you partying late into the night.
- Captures the essence of a night out with friends
- You can play new musical instruments and jam with other sims
- It's cool and creepy to play as a vampire
- Lots of small but good additions, from butlers to elevators.
- Previous expansions in the series already went down this road
- To get the most out of the new content, you have to move or start over
- Lingering technical issues.
If you've ever wanted your little computer people of The Sims 3 to contemplate the dark corners of their lives, the Late Night expansion is your ticket to blood-pumping parties and blood-sucking brotherhoods. The latest add-on to the popular life simulation makes a number of tantalizing additions to the game, though they come with a few caveats. The most important one is that you must leave your cozy burb behind and start anew in the bustling city that comes with the package if you want to explore all The Sims 3: Late Night has to offer. Just like moving in real life, the prospect of leaving behind the spoils of your hard work and starting from scratch is a stressful one, but there are good reasons to be enticed. One of them is the way the expansion's charm captures the essence of a night out on the town. You gain celebrity, form bands, and visit dance clubs and dive bars with friends in tow. The other addition, vampirism, harks back to the old days when each Sims expansion introduced a new and kooky supernatural element to the mix. Late Night isn't as impactful as The Sims 3's previous expansion, and these are notions that the series has considered before (in The Sims 2 Nightlife), but what it lacks in inventiveness, it almost makes up for in pure verve.
Almost every major addition in The Sims 3: Late Night is a social one, with the focus on celebrity status at the top of the list. Many of the sims cavorting about the city of Bridgeport are labeled with up to five stars indicating their celebrity status, though you need to hover your mouse over them to seek this info. (How nice would it have been to see celebrity designation at a glance?) In any case, much like real celebrities, these sims won't just strike up a casual conversation with you; instead, they need to be impressed before you can socialize. You might start the process by asking for an autograph before trying to initiate a conversation aimed at winning them over. Celebrities are picky about their subjects of choice and bore easily, so you must pay attention to their reactions and change to subjects that appeal to them. If they tire of you, they'll dismiss you and walk away, but if you impress them, you can begin to socialize with them--and building relationships with celebrities will, in turn, make you a celebrity yourself.
Being a celebrity comes with certain benefits, and the more stars you earn, the more impactful the benefits become. You might receive a new oven or television out of the blue from a well-wishing corporation dazzled by your newfound fame. The paparazzi will show up and snap photos of you, as well as other celebrities, jabbering in front of the local diner. You will also be offered discounts at various businesses, including the bars, lounges, and clubs scattered about the city. You might appear at a local haunt and order a drink from the mixologist and be offered a 50 percent discount just for being you. Getting more famous means getting into nicer and nicer places, though you can sometimes sneak past bouncers that prevent you from entry, or you can bribe them. (But be careful--just giving them money doesn't mean they'll let you in!) Some of these lounges are also well worth the trouble of getting into, given their swanky party atmosphere. Machines spew bubbles and snow into the air, uppity celebrities in attention-getting fashions schmooze and slink about, and a pianist tinkles the ivories in the corner.
Simulating the buzz of a night out is what Late Night does best, and it gives you some good tools to enhance that buzz. One of them is the grouping mechanic. You can invite other sims to join your group, and suddenly, it's like having your own posse tagging along. If you show up at a club only to discover that it's deader than a doornail, you can drag your pals to a different hot spot, where you might dance together, flirt, play darts, or share a round of drinks or bar food. Or perhaps you might skinny dip in a pool, with that blurry grid covering up your naughty bits in that silly Sims way. You can also entertain yourselves and others with a bit of music, which is another aspect of the series that has received a nice bit of attention. No longer must you be content with strumming on a guitar. Now, you can also play the piano, pluck at a string bass, or hammer on a drum set. Each instrument comes with its own skill levels and can be purchased for use in your own home. More importantly, you can jam with your friends and even form a band. You can name it yourself, though some of the default names are so affectionately self-referential ("Bladder Failure") that you might be tempted to keep them. From here, various bars and clubs will invite your trio or quartet to play gigs for a nice chunk of simoleans.
- Player Reviews: 11
- Game Universe:
- The Sims (PC, PS2, MAC, GC, XBOX),
- The Sims Bustin' Out (PS2, XBOX, GC, GBA, NGE),
- The Urbz: Sims in the City (GC, PS2, XBOX, GBA, DS),
- The Sims: Hot Date (MAC, PC),
- The Sims: Superstar (PC, MAC),
- SimSafari (PC, MAC),
- The Sims 2 (PC, PS2, GBA, PSP, XBOX, GC, DS, MAC, WINM),
- The Sims 2: Pets (GBA, PC, DS, PSP, PS2, GC, WII),
- The Sims 3 (PC, IP, MAC, WINM, BB, PS3, X360, WII, DS, 3DS),
- MySims (WII, DS, PC)