As the second expansion for the Sims 3, Ambitions packs quite a punch, adding in oodles of content for the Sims player. Finally, the Sims can be followed not only at home, but at work. With the addition of Ambitions to the base game, Sims players have a fully immersive, interactive experience for their little creations, being able to control every single aspect of their lives from when they wake, to when they go to sleep at night.
The major selling point of this expansion is the ability to follow your Sims to work. No longer do players watch their Sims disappear into their respective job buildings, now you can interact with them on the job and direct them to complete activities unique to their job experience. Players can now be Architectural Designers, Firefighters, Ghost Hunters, Investigators and Stylists. Also, players who have at least one point in certain skills can register as self-employed at City Hall. There are self-employed painters, gardeners and inventing to name a few. There's even a new Educator career that is one of the traditional careers, but that can be joined into at the school. Inventing, Sculpting and Tattooing are new skills introduced in the game. There are also new traits, lifetime wishes, rewards and objects.
Ambitions has such an incredible simple concept that was done in such a remarkably entertaining way; controlling your Sims at work. When players choose a profession for their Sims, they embark on a career journey that has them completing different tasks to advance their sims' career. For example, Firefighters have to go to fires that pop up over town and put them out. They have a certain amount of time to put out the blaze, earning them a grade depending on how well they did. Ghost hunters get the opportunity to go to houses and exorcise ghosts, using their nifty device to scoop them up and stop them from haunting their neighbor's homes.
One of the more interesting professions in the game is Architectural Design. Your sim is able to go to a house in the neighborhood and is given an assignment. One of the first assignments I completed was to make a computer room for a home. The player is actually able to go into another sims' home and modify it. You can add rooms, buy and delete windows, arrange furniture, buy objects. All of this is with the intention of completing the renovation project requested of you. You are given a budget to work with and if you go over, the extra funds come from your household funds. You can even get to know your client, finding out what traits they have that may impact the project. For example, a sim that Hates Art will not be happy if you add art objects to improve the room quality when remaking their dream dining room. For those sim players who enjoy decorating and designing homes (a huge portion out there), this job is a huge plus all around. The renovations are permanent ones as well, meaning that your sim will impact the living quality of many of the houses in the neighborhood.
And being self-employed means that your sim can have the enjoyment of actually proceeding along a career path while staying at home and making their own hours. My self-employed painter was able to make paintings at home at her own pace, getting cash bonuses when she reached certain levels of her career.
New lots such as the junkyard help 'fuel the fire' for skills such as inventing, giving your sim the ability to make objects out of junk. Those objects can be sold at the new consignment store, or kept for home usage. And some of the objects that can be made are very amusing, such as the Time Machine. Sims can bring back little objects and even new clothing as they travel to the past or future. The new traits and lifetime rewards help enhance the expansion; such as the Born Salesman/woman trait and Efficient Inventor reward. Efficient Inventor use less scrap when making objects and Born Salespeople can sell their invented items for more at the consignment shop, making the whole experience much more profitable for the sim involved.
There's also even a new laundry system. Players can purchase washers, dryers and clotheslines for their sims along with laundry baskets. When they change clothes, they create dirty laundry. And when the laundry is done, it creates a happy moodlet that lasts for a good long while. And for those real estate moguls, Ambitions upgrades the existing real estate system. Previously, players were able to become partners at several businesses around town as well as buy out the other partners and fully take over the business. Now, any building that players can buy and actually enter to interact with (such as the new Laundromat), can also be upgraded. Players have the option to buy objects to improve the value of the lot itself.
The biggest and only real complaint about Ambitions is that it is very difficult to control multiple Sims on Ambitions careers. For instance, when trying to play my Firefighter, I also shifted back and forth between him and his stay at home gardener wife. It was very disorienting trying to switch back and forth between the two, managing his response to fires and making sure she was taking care of her needs at home while tending to her garden. Other than that, this expansion is a definite must have for Sims 3 players, expanding and enhancing the game experience in some remarkable ways.