The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
When The Sims 3 released last June, it quickly became the most
successful week one PC launch in EA’s long and venerable history,
leaving sizable standards for its console brethren to live up to. While
the core functionality of the game remains unchanged, noteworthy
additions give Sims 3 on console new gleam – enough to merit a bit of
envy from PC loyalists.
The console edition of Sims 3 plays just
like its PC predecessor – a deviation from past ports that constrained
players to modified linear play. EA did a fantastic job of addressing
control issues, making navigation as organic as possible without a mouse
and keyboard. Commands are intuitively mapped and the streamlined
interface is easy to use. Selecting objects isn’t as precise as with a
pointer, but a popup menu will present you with options if several items
are in close proximity.
The Karma system is the most intriguing
addition, and one I found myself exploiting often, even to the detriment
of my little tenant. Using “super satisfy” to max out my sim’s needs
allowed her to power through a night of reading unhindered, but after
using the boost several times, karma came back to bite me. A localized
quake broke pipes in both my bath and sink, but the bad luck didn’t
deter me from using that karma ability again. Karma’s applications to
both good and evil ends are an exciting variable for those who tend to
play carefully and controlled.
If karma ushers in the unexpected,
challenges – personal, career-oriented, or otherwise – help to focus the
player. Completing a challenge rewards your sim with challenge points,
which can be exchanged for karma powers, new outfits, household objects,
and more. Some challenges are simple, such as attending a sporting
event in Moonlight Bay. Others are more complex, like having twins.
However, all challenges facilitate exploration and guide you to
experience everything Sims 3 has to offer.
The new exchange system
is sure to sate players with an endless supply of user-generated
content. From the exchange hub you can customize a personal profile,
search for products that meet your needs, favorite items, manage your
own custom content, and more. Its usefulness ultimately depends on the
creativity of the community, but that has never been a problem for the
series in the past.
With Sims 3, console gamers finally get a true
translation of the gameplay that has made the PC entries such a hit.
Engaging new content and intuitive design makes picking up the console
port of EA’s digital dollhouse a no-brainer.