The Sims 3 review (console)
- The Sims Studio
- The Sims 3
- The Sims
Formats: PS3, XBox 360, PC, iOS, Wii, Nintendo DS
Format reviewed: PS3
Developer: The Sims Studio
Made2Game The Sims 3 (console) review score: 7/10
Having no real desire to play PC games, I haven’t really spent much time with The Sims in the past. The franchise, which sees you control virtual people and make them live their lives as you see fit, all seems quite bizarre to me. Now the third game has arrived, and in a bid to have even more people controlling the virtual characters, EA has seen fit to release the game on PS3 and Xbox 360 for the first time, but at what cost?
The Sims is definitely a marmite game, if you don’t love it then I’m almost 100% sure that you won’t want to give it the time of day. As the game begins you are asked to create the person(s) you would like to control, and you are given a fairly extensive creation system to help you along the way.
When creating a new sim you can change almost everything, from their looks, weight, hair colour all the way to their personalities and life ambitions. During the creation part of the game you can choose to have a family living in the house, or like me you can choose to have two housemates who have conflicting personalities. Choosing the relationship between the people in the household is a very important part of the game as it will set the focus for your time controlling them.
Once you get started its easy to see why this game has the appeal it does, you can get a great job, buy the house of your dreams, have babies and then never sleep, and if you want to escape it all you can buy a great car and leave everyone else too it. Sims can also be developed, so you can learn new skills such as cooking or fixing appliances or you could just send them to the gym or shopping.
It’s a bit like real life really, everything you would do normally such as washing, cooking, cleaning, sleeping and working is replicated. While the above may seem a bit pointless, balancing the life of your Sim is a surprisingly addictive pastime. I personally found myself sitting thinking how bored I was and before I realised it five hours had went by as I tried in vain to get my Sim into a relationship with a neighbour. I have no doubt there will be plenty of people who see the Sims for what is, while others will avoid it at all costs.
Thanks to the excellent presentation of the game, one of the most fun parts of The Sims 3 is just watching how they all interact with each other. You can zoom in and watch as they have friendly chats, argue and fight, with the animation as they do all of this being a wonderful thing. Sims can interact in many ways, whether it’s by being friendly, being lovers or by hating each other, whatever way they react though, usually there is some amusement to be found.
Throughout the game - which is accompanied by, a handy in- game, on—screen, tutorial, you will notice that your Sims have certain wishes for you to fulfil, these can range from smaller things such as learning to cook etc, to larger lifetime wishes which take time and effort to achieve. As you complete each wish you will be given lifetime points and Karma, this in turn allows you to maximise your Sims needs or if you wish, cause havoc in their everyday life.
Every wish you fulfil gives you a Karma point, while you are also awarded Karma during the “midnight hour of reckoning.” The console version of Sims also introduces a new feature known as challenges, completing these awards you with trophies and medals, not only that but you also gain points which in turn allow you to purchase rewards.
Things you can buy with the points include new furniture, clothing and also Karma Powers. The challenges also help you to gain access to some of the games customisation features, which are also accessed via the My Studio option on the creation screen, here you can design your own clothes and such and then share them online with other people.
Unfortunately The Sims 3 on console is far from perfect, the town does seem a lot smaller than I expected it to be, although the various households are quite stretched out. To be honest I found it quite difficult because while I was wandering around the town with one Sim, trying to make friends and influence people, it was usually to the detriment of the other Sim I created, who would just go about her own thing. I was also expecting the Sims to provide a more bustling, busy environment with a lot going on, however to be honest the whole game feels quite empty. Outside of the main Living mode, you also have access to both a build and buy mode and the Land Sculpting mode.
The build and buy mode simply allows you to buy new furniture and equipment for your home, to make your Sims lives all the better. This is especially handy when one of them sets fire to the cooker and you need to buy a new one. The Landsculpting Mode is slightly different in that it allows you to change the terrain on your land, either by creating hills, water features or by doing something simpler like planting flowers. It’s fairly simple to use, but it helps add a bit of personality to your home.
One of the biggest worries about Sims 3 on consoles was no doubt the controls, thankfully though EA seems to have come up with a system that eliminates these worries. Thanks to the tutorials which run alongside your game it doesn’t take too long to figure out what you are doing, meaning this is one issue that isn’t a concern.
The main concern for me with The Sims 3 is that it just doesn’t seem to have the aura about it, the one which makes you think, “this is a hit,” instead the only vibe I get from the game is “this is mediocre.” Perhaps the Sims and consoles are just not meant to be, because in my opinion, they look much more at home on a PC.
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