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Kimberley Ellis
25 Nov, 2010

The Sims 3 Review

PS3 Review | A true console realisation of the popular PC title.
As with many PC-based franchises that have been ported to home consoles, Electronic Arts’ iconic simulation title, The Sims hasn't yielded great success on the console front due to a number of factors; namely a sloppy control scheme and a lack of content which sees gamers commanding a much more watered down experience when compared to its PC counterpart. While we picked up our copy of The Sims 3 on the PlayStation 3 with much trepidation, we were surprised to find that this iteration of the title was a much well-rounded experience compared to its console predecessors, as not only has it done away with the ghastly load times and sloppy controls, it contains all of the content of the PC title – giving console players their first full Sims. To top it off, the title even comes packed with a couple of console exclusive features that would work well if they were implemented on the PC version.

For those unfamiliar with the long-running simulation franchise, the purpose of The Sims 3 is to create a family of virtual people (who are referred to as Sims) and set about seeing them through their short virtual lives. As with previous titles in the series, gameplay in The Sims 3 will allow players to see out the lives of their virtual people from the cradle to the grave, taking control of the mundane aspects of life (such as cleaning the kitchen sink or making a sandwich) right through to the life altering decisions of choosing a career, starting a family or deciding whether or not it’s a good idea to sleep with the maid. What’s great about the ultimate sandbox that is The Sims is that you can choose to micromanage to your hearts content or for those not suffering from megalomania, you can choose to give your Sims more free will so they will look after their day-to-day needs without requiring much assistance, leaving you, their omnipotent creator, the opportunity to delve into the more rewarding aspects of the game.

You might wanna let him win...

You might wanna let him win...
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Players will find that the most joy in The Sims 3 comes from creating your own stories. The game comes packed with a pre-built neighbourhood which is populated by a number of eccentric types, but the ability to mold your Sim into whatever you want him/her to be is where the true fun in the title lies. Want you Sim to be the town trouble maker? Done. How about making your Sim into the ultimate gym junkie? You can. Whether it’s making your Sim an evil genius hell bent on rising through the ranks of the seedy underbelly of the criminal career track or turning your Sim into the town menace, there are a number of opportunities for players to pursue. Because it’s these choices which keep the gameplay fresh and give the title a great replay value.

While you can get lost in the sandbox of The Sims 3 for hours, those that prefer more goal-focused gameplay get a taste of that too – and the payoff results in some great rewards for your characters. As your characters become involved with more activities, they'll start to produce wishes, which are essentially small goals that you can help them complete over time. They can be as basic as making the bed or more involved like reaching the maximum level of a particular skill (such as learning how to cook). These wishes occur randomly and completing them yields you with karma points, which ties into the game’s newest feature. The karma system is an interesting feature which leads to some pretty fun and silly situations, allowing for you to create some divine intervention on behalf of your Sims. By collecting karma points and completing particular goals, players can unlock a number of good and bad karma acts. If you’re feeling a little evil, you can unleash a storm or fire and brimstone which is sure to scare the bejesus out of the townsfolk, while on the other side of the spectrum you can access good karma awards which will allow you to replenish your Sims needs meters, allowing you to be able to invest more time into developing your characters' goals. To prevent you from using and abusing the system (and we’re sure you will at least attempt to abuse it), the game will attempt to balance out your overuse of a particular spectrum of karma awards by creating random acts from the opposite end of the spectrum. For instance, if you are the type to continuously bestow sunshine and rainbows of good karma awards to your character, the AI will generate random acts of bad karma in an effort to balance out the cosmos and generally ruin your Sim's good day.

The park, the park, the park is on fire.

The park, the park, the park is on fire.
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The final new feature for the console set is ‘The Exchange’, a feature that most PC players would be long familiar with. The Exchange is a community-driven feature where players become the creators, adding new clothing, furniture and faces to their Sims to create a custom look.This feature isn’t quite robust at the moment, but that’s sure to change as more people tackle the creative side of the game. There is also a game store available (which remains empty for the time being) but this area of The Exchange will surely hold a plethora of DLC as it becomes available. The final feature of The Exchange will keep the social networking crowd happy, with the title coming complete with integrated Facebook and Twitter update options for you to annoy your friends with.

The great gameplay is all well and good if the game has a fluid control scheme, which is fortunately one of the biggest issues that has been addressed in this console iteration of The Sims. Those who have experienced the title on the PC would know that the PC’s mouse makes controlling the game a breeze. In the past, the console editions of the game were always a victim of a silly control set up, but this time around the developer has done its homework and mapped commands to the controller in a way which make the game as painless as it could possibly be on a console. At the end of the day, the cursor is still sluggish when compared to its PC counterpart, but following the quick introductory tutorial, everything falls into place and the control scheme is quite effortless that you’d almost go as far as question the need for a mouse and keyboard in The Sims at all – that’s how well it works.

What is really great about this new control system is that the game gradually introduces new concepts as the need arises, ensuring that the player is never overloaded with too much information when learning the ropes. Even veterans of the series will be able to appreciate the fact that these tutorials don’t pop up too frequently to become a nuisance, nor do they take a long time to get off-screen. One simple button press will ensure that any unwanted tutorial disappears from your sight in an instant – a concept which is really win-win for both types of Sims player.

Not everyone in the nursing home appreciated his stripping skills.

Not everyone in the nursing home appreciated his stripping skills.
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Graphically, the console iterations of The Sims 3 are slightly worse off than the PC edition of the title. If you’re actively scouring the screen for differences, you’ll notice that it is a slightly more jagged affair but the generally smooth frame rates and bright, attractive visuals show off a well polished product. That being said, the title does suffer from the occasional laggy menu screen and some may also find the load times annoyingly long. But ultimately when you take into account the achievement that has been made in translating a fully-functioning port of the title, one may be forgiven for overlooking these minor hiccups.

If you're a gamer that has been put off by the lackluster ports of The Sims in the past we definitely urge you to give The Sims 3 a fair go. More than just an meager entree, The Sims 3 is proof that a great simulation title can make the transition from the PC to the home console without any of its core gameplay being sacrificed. Whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart, The Sim 3 is fun for the whole family that will easily provide you with hours upon hours of great gameplay to enjoy.
The Score
It’s everything you’ve come to love about the PC title re-imagined for the console set. Featuring the same addictive gameplay and a number of new features The Sims 3 is sure to please even the biggest skeptic.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

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5 Comments
3 years ago
Ive had a problem with the exchange saying error code 800700E3 all the time.icon_sad.gif hope they fix it soon
3 years ago
Better than the problem I have where most of the time the game crashes when I save.Because of that problem I no longer play the game which is a shame as I planned on Platinuming it.
3 years ago
Gamesta wrote
Better than the problem I have where most of the time the game crashes when I save.Because of that problem I no longer play the game which is a shame as I planned on Platinuming it.
Man that sucks have you tried installing it to the harddrive?
3 years ago
G J FLAME wrote
Man that sucks have you tried installing it to the harddrive?
I'm on PS3 where there is only a mandatory data install.
3 years ago
Damn I got nothing sos bro wish I could help
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