The Sims 3: Into The Future Review

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Disclaimer: Due to a temporal paradox, the original disclaimer for this review is lost and the author cannot remember what it said. But this disclaimer was extremely important. If the disclaimer is found, please post a comment to let people know.

 

 

First Impressions

The first few announcements about this expansion pack left me leery. I was worried there would be an extremely heavy environmental theme to the expansion that would, ultimately, ruin the atmosphere of the game.

As time went on and I got more information, that impression changed. I was then curious about the expansion. It also became more obvious there wouldn’t be a heavy handed environmental message to the expansion, which helped lighten my mood.

I honestly just wasn’t as excited about this expansion, which shocked a lot of my friends; I love science fiction.

But as we got closer to release and as I got more information, I became more excited. And I began to wonder… What killed the ocean? Are plumbots superior to simbots? How will time travel work? How are descendants handled? And then, in time, I got excited.

And then I sat down and installed it. I have to admit I was impressed by the way they mixed technology and plant life and how some of the items looked. Overall, Into The Future made a good first impression once I had it installed.

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Oasis Landing

 

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The pictures go in this order: 3 for normal Oasis Landing, 3 for Dystopia, 1 for Utopia. The shiny spots in the first Dystopia shot are because I was using the Collection Helper to find insects… and, honestly, to make it less depressing.

Oasis Landing is pretty much set up so that the majority of what there is to do is on the central peninsula, with two sides having mountains (there’s a small mining community among them) and the third side having mostly residential homes. The fourth side is the wasteland.

Notably, the town’s changes when you go to Dystopia and Utopia are mostly aesthetic. However, Dystopia has piles of trash all over, trash you can fish from, holes to explore that open randomly (I didn’t find one during my brief stay there), and the new insects all over the place.

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Utopia, on the other hand, has everything much brighter in colors with a permanent rainbow in the sky, special flowers that give off dew, butterfly spawners all over the place, and special fish spawners that look like lily pads with rainbow flowers. There have also been references to rainbows you can dig at, but I did not stay long enough to see any.

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I will admit I am not as big a fan of the Dystopia and Utopia futures. Dystopia is depressing and Utopia is… well, Utopia comes across as all of the happiness being forced upon people. Doing the relevant quests for these two futures further highlights that the Utopians may have gained their futuristic society at the cost of part of their free will.

In any case, here are the portals for the alternate futures, with Dystopia first:

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Decor

 

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In general, the decor tends to focus on being streamlined, with a heavy focus on also including plant life, and the houses tend to be modern in style. It is not uncommon at all for a house in Oasis Landing to have an indoor pond or trees growing indoors. Or both, if they can manage it. Controls tend to be holographic, in a way reminiscent of Mass Effect, or feature semi-holographic touch screen interfaces that wouldn’t look out of place in Star Trek. In fact, the Food Synthesizer looks like a Star Trek replicator with some minor alterations.

Notably, the television appears to have come straight out of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The way sims interact with it is very, very similar to the paragraph in which Zaphod Beeblebrox is watching television and the narrator explains why he is focusing on sitting still. So, overall, there appears to be a mixture of different science fiction sources that served as inspirations for this expansion pack.

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Notably, much of the decor for this expansion is actually lower in quality, stat-wise, than decor from other expansions or even Store content. Add that to how monochrome a lot of the new items are, as well as a lot of the existing houses, and it tends to invite one to do a bit of redecorating. So, I produced this result:

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The original:

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And this is the inside:

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The house was actually recommended to me by my artist friend. She’s aware of my particular tastes for decorating and how much space that requires and thought I would love the bedrooms. I definitely agree with her assessment; I did and do love how easily the bedrooms were modified into activity centers. She is also using it, though her modifications are different from mine.

In case you’re wondering, the plantsim is Aiur WhipperWhirl while the blonde is Char WhipperWhirl. Tarsonis WhipperWhirl, the plumbot member of the family, isn’t pictured anywhere in this review because he’s still in the design phase.

The one thing left to discuss for decor is sprites. And these may wear you out if you try to get them all. There are 13 sprites in total; 6 from buying and trading, 4 from leveling advanced technology, 2 from careers, and 1 gained when you’ve got all of the ones from advanced technology and from buying and trading.

Overall, sprites don’t do much. They can be interacted with to raise the advanced technology skill, they can make an interesting decoration on a coffee table, they can be kept around just to watch them interact with others, and… that’s pretty much it. On the other hand, some of the forms look really interesting and are ones that would make for lovely decorations.

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CAS

CAS this time had me smiling. I did briefly check out the male outfits, and chuckled at some of them, but decided to stick with the female outfits so I could avoid any issues that might crop up from playing around with my sim’s gender and age. I did make it a point to play around with the outfits a lot more, and the pictures below contain the images I took during that time. And, yes, one of the hairs uses a different outfit; my artist friend made me retake that picture.

I will say the outfits fit the world. Some of them are not to my taste for various reasons, but overall they are nice and actually belong in the future. The jewelry matches some of what’s currently on the market, the hair styles are sometimes a bit bizarre, and the make-up I am avoiding like the plague. They really let their future creativity flow with that make-up and it definitely goes far beyond my personal preferences; I would have to play around with it more before I am ready to deal with it in-game.

I will say my artist friend did use the make-up on a genie, and the result of what she did was outstanding!

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Quantum Power Pack

 

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The Quantum Power Pack limited-edition content is both the Hibernation Chamber and the Power Suit, shown in the pics. A sim can enter and end up effectively frozen, for as long as you want, without aging a single day. The power suit, on the other hand, allows your sim to balance out their motives, scan for and force spawners, and teleport via jumping through a wormhole. This makes the suit desirable as a replacement for the teleporters and zeneport, though it does not have the exactness the teleporters and zeneport can achieve.

The Power Suit was also obviously inspired by Mass Effect, given how its arm hologram resembles an omni-tool.

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As is probably obvious from the pictures in this review, I happen to like this item a lot.

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Time Travel For Fun And Profit

Pictures are at the bottom due to sheer number.

Despite what the developers hinted at and how the expansion pack starts out, this is actually not a quest-based expansion pack. While Emit does give you quests, pretty much the objectives of the quest are to instantly make you his best friend and then introduce you to Oasis Landing and some of the features of the expansion pack. Beyond those introductory quests, the player is pretty much on their own, and pretty much everything you do is up to you. You can safely ignore Emit and not miss a single piece of content.

Despite the fact that Emit can be ignored, I recommend going ahead with his quests. The quest rewards themselves are not much in the way of high quality, and most of those are items you can buy yourself in buy mode, but the quests offer an additional reward that makes them worth it: Advanced Technology skill experience. His quests are the fastest way to level the Advanced Technology skill, and some of them reward multiple levels in that skill. So while you can ignore him, not ignoring him is actually worth it.

One of Emit’s questlines also tells you how to open the door to the crashed spaceship, but it’s easy to figure out on your own and you don’t really need him for it. But, if you’re having trouble, he will definitely guide you in the right direction.

Beyond that, if you are looking for guidance on more to do, there are the legacy statues. Each one has its own challenge associated with it, and managing all five can take some serious time. There’s also the careers, some of which reward items and both of which reward sprites, and the bot-building skill. Of course, there’s also skill challenges, which do take some time to complete…

And, speaking of plumbots, say hello to one I made:

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Trait Chips: Sentience, Limitless Learning, Sinister Circuits, Efficient, Solar Powered, Office Drone, Holo Projector
Name: Skynet
I sold it, so Skynet is on the loose! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Overall, the ability to focus on what you want helps make the future less of a directed place which you only visit a few times and then drop, as many do with World Adventures. The lack of a limit on how long you can stay also helps, as you can make it a home. It actually feels more like an extension of the base neighborhood, not just some distance place you visit briefly.

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Final Thoughts

This expansion is one of the ones I’ve had the most fun with, but sadly I did have to cut some things short; the review was already severely late and there was a lot more to do. And it’s surprising how much you find to keep you busy with this expansion.

So, overall, I would recommend it. Don’t let yourself be turned off by any future aspects; you may be surprised at how fun this expansion can be.

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WhipperWhirl is the illegitimate child of Bella Goth's third clone and the guy she caught trying to rob Mortimer. Thanks to a series of incidents involving time travel, alien abductions, nectar abuse, and getting the Grim Reaper to do kegstands he is now trapped in our world, trying to figure out exactly which simmer is responsible for his life.