Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Electronic Arts
I’ll freely admit to having not played a whole lot of EA’s The Sims 3 at this point, outside of the console ports that I reviewed. But when I was offered the chance to check out the latest PC expansion, Supernatural, I thought this would make a pretty good point to jump in. The concept of an expansion themed around Vampires, Werewolves, Fairies, and Witches sounded like a lot of fun, and is close enough to October to feel wholly appropriate.
And overall, it feels a plays like a pretty fun add-on to the core game. Like other expansions, this introduces a new town to play around in, and new character building options themed around the four creature types mentioned above. Being a Sims title, this never gets particularly evil or gruesome, so while I was able to recreate the vampire family from Near Dark, I was unable to go around gleefully massacring my fellow Sims.
But there’s some fun elements tied into the Supernatural theme of the game that aren’t present elsewhere in the previous expansions, and if you’re like me and haven’t really kept up with the releases, there’s a number of general additions and improvements made since the core game released.
From the onset, you’ll build either a single Sim or entire family. As stated above, I went the vampire route, since Twilight still hasn’t ruined them for me just yet. But the other new class/creature types are available options, and each has their own set of perks. Werewolves can transform during a full moon, with a lunar cycle displayed on-screen at all times to give you an idea of when they’ll turn. They can also bite other Sims to turn them, create their own pack, and go hunting for collectibles and other items throughout the town.
Fairies and Witches are a bit similar to each other, in that both use a magic meter to perform tricks and bestow boons upon other citizens, depending on whether you want to play a good witch, or a bad witch. These witches are a little less Wizard of Oz, and a bit more Harry Potter, which I guess is current enough to get the kids interested. Fairies definitely resemble the sprite-like variety, with fluttering translucent wings and bright neon like colors accompanying them. Still, the Sim creator is in full affect here, so if you want to make your fairy look like a fat, 40 plus year old slob, you can totally do that, and it’s kind of fun to play around with the concept.
Once you create your individual Sim or family, it’s time to properly join society. This doesn’t break too much from the core game, in that it will constantly bombard you with tooltips and tutorials teaching you how to satisfy Sim wishes, boost their mood, get a job, pay bills, outfit your home with new furniture, and so on. The game certainly has a large number of objectives to fulfill, and a bunch of new locations to check out all with some type of supernatural flair to them. While the core Sims 3 experience definitely had some otherworldly stuff going on with ghost, Supernatural ups that with full on zombie invasions and other goofy stuff, most of which is tied into the lunar cycle system that also affects werewolves.
Besides checking out new locations and going on little adventures and item hunts, Supernatural introduces an alchemy system that’ll allow you to concoct potions, both beneficial and harmful. Potions can even turn other Sims into zombies, which is actually fun to play around with. These potions typically require a series of ingredients, some of which can be bought, while others might take a little bit of searching to find. Either way, it adds just one more thing to the overall experience, giving you a little more to do.
Overall, Supernatural feels like a fun expansion to the core Sims 3 experience, and something that’s worth checking out even if you’re not super vested in the series, like me. It’s a far enough departure from the norm that I found it to be a lot of fun to toy around with. I do wish that it broke away from the mold a little more than it does; after all, getting a 9-5 as a vampire isn’t all that exciting, and having to pay bills and keep up with the Joneses, along with venturing out in the daytime, isn’t quite what I’d expect a member of the undead to do. But the additional content, new town, and new character types are certainly enough to warrant a look.