The Sims 3

Sims Secure Good Karma on Consoles
by Meagan Marie on Oct 25, 2010 at 07:01 PM
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: The Sims Studio
Rating: Teen
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Also on: PlayStation 3, Wii, 3DS, DS, PC

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.

The Sims 3 cover
The Sims 3

ged, noteworthy additions give Sims 3 on console new gleam – enough to merit a bit of envy from PC loyalists.

Game Informer's Review System
Concept Ship The Sims 3 to consoles with engaging new features such as karma powers, challenges, and a seamless exchange system
Graphics From the cityscape to the scum on your sim’s toilet, the visual presentation continues to impress
Sound While the success of the sound design largely depends on your tolerance of Simlish, the music is as charming as ever
Playability The Sims Studio did a fantastic job translating controls for consoles, implementing a refined interface and simplified menus
Entertainment Augmenting an already impressive game with new features makes The Sims 3 more compelling than ever
Replay High