Yep, The Sims 3 is still going. It’s been three years since the game first arrived on PC but they just keep on expanding it, and the latest injection of new content is spookily different from the base game.
If you’ve been keeping up with the expansions thus far, then your neighbourhood is probably starting to closely resemble a chaotic menagerie of odd furniture and unicorns. But despite the variety of new features the expansions have added to the core game, they’ve always been very well streamlined with the overall Sims 3 experience – adding to it rather than changing it. The same cannot be said for Supernatural, because it brings a lot of new features to the in no-way-realistically-feasible coffee table. Some of them are pretty cool. Some of them are just annoying.
The big draw of Supernatural is that it adds new types of Sim to the mix. That’s right, you can now turn your miniature version of yourself/your favourite celebrity/your worst enemy into a vampire, a werewolf, a fairy, or a ghost. Obviously each of these have new traits and interactions that accompany the transformations, and you can do some cool stuff like become the alpha of your werewolf pack and search for rare materials (Which is really just a reiteration of previously introduced features) and grind your spellcasting abilities up to play havoc with other Sims. But here’s when Supernatural becomes a little intrusive.
The wandering Supernatural Sims in the new town of Moonlight Falls can come and directly interrupt your everyday actions with their own spells or distractions. It adds a whole new layer of babysitting beyond just making sure they go to the toilet before they wet themselves or feed themselves before they starve to death. It’s mad – but there’s no method to the madness. A lot of what happens in Supernatural is chaotic for the sake of it, and the addition of zombies in particular seems excessive. They aren’t a problem for your Sims directly – in fact, that would probably be less annoying – but they appear in packs alongside the growth rate of your plants and destroy them, meaning you need to spend a good deal of Simoleons to protect them and keep farming as a viable career choice. Thankfully you have the option to control the population, preventing the game from flooding your neighbourhoods with vampires and fairies and making your regular humans a small fraction of the population. Otherwise, your neighbourhood is going to get very, very cluttered with a lot of silly stuff.
If you love the silliness, then by all means, this is the game for you, but your neighbourhood is going to lose a lot of focus and change a lot of the game from a life simulator into an exercise in sheer madness. Expansions are meant to augment the original game experience, not intrude on it, and there’s so many intrusive elements packed into Supernatural that it can result in maps you’ve worked long and hard on becoming messy and unrecognisable. Sure, it might bring a few cool new things, and the gimmick of having werewolves and vampires will appeal to the more fan-fiction oriented fans, but otherwise it all seems a bit pointless. Things like magic mirrors, broomsticks, and alchemy are all nice additions, but it doesn’t cancel out some of the game’s other obnoxious features. You can just disable some of the features to put a tighter focus on your game, but what would be the point of that? It’s fruitless to buy an expansion and then have to remove some of its features just to keep enjoying the game.
The kooky, chaotic nature of the game could be forgiven if it didn’t bring a whole host of new technical problems with it. The simple mass of content running at once – especially if you have each expansion and the Stuff Packs – causes a lot of AI conflicts and save games are so big they corrupt themselves pretty easily. It takes a toll on the efficiency of the game and if you’ve got an out of date gaming rig or not enough RAM, you’re going to experience a lot of instability. EA are aware of the problem as of the time of writing, but a fix has yet to manifest.
In conclusion, it was a good idea poorly implemented. There’s enough new content here to keep Sims fanatics and completionists happy but if you want your Sims 3 game to stay like The Sims 3, it’s best giving this one a miss entirely – the technical problems alone make it one to avoid.
We can at least be thankful that the vampires don’t sparkle.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.