Mark from "Game Hunters" shares his first impressions of the soon to be smash hit, "Sims 3" for Consoles.
One of the highest-rated computer games in recent memory is making its way to consoles. Electronic Arts' The Sims 3 will be available on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii on October 26.
Can EA take a "lean in" experience, where you micromanage the lives of little people, and make it appeal to a more "lean back" gamer? From what we've seen at a recent press event in New York City, they've figured out how to do it.
First off, The Sims 3
for consoles has everything the PC version has, says EA, but with tweaked controls, a better suited user interface and fun extras such as karma powers and a reward system.
If you've ever played the computer version, you're well aware of how the game mechanics work: you take care of the needs and desires of your customizable Sims, mingle with the neighbors, excel in your career and decorate your home with unlockable items.
The Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, which mark the first time The Sims has appeared on next-generation consoles, also lets you exchange items with friends over the Internet, while the Nintendo Wii game has its own unique town and careers, a 4-player minigame, and the ability to swim in the ocean or go windsurfing.
One of the coolest new features of The Sims 3 on consoles is "karma powers," where you can cast a spell, of sorts, to help your sim out in a number of ways. For example, does a pretty Sim like someone other than your own Sim? Use "Cosmic Curse" to the take out the competition by giving her suitor some serious flatulence. Is your Sim feeling down and needs a "Best Day Ever"? Everything will go right for your Sim as they go to work and get a promotion, and then come home to find an attractive neighbor at their doorstep. Each power only lasts a couple of hours, so be selective when and how you use it.
There could be side effects, too, such as morphing you into a monster at midnight by abusing the "Instant Beauty" power or taking away all your money after a successful day at the office.
The Sims 3
for consoles also offer Challenges, such as "make a BFF" (befriend someone in the game), "get a promotion at work" or "have woo hoo" (sexual relations) with a Sim. By completing each of the 35 or so challenges, you'll earn karma powers (evil and good), rewards (like building upgrades, furniture, clothing and hair styles) and Xbox 360 achievements/PlayStation 3 trophies (which you can post to Facebook). You'll also earn points every day, to be used towards upgrades and powers.
EA says you can rain down natural disasters in a Sims game for the first time. For example, if you don't like your neighbor you can inflict a firestorm on their house. It's fun to see how they'll handle the disaster, such as put out fires (if the Sims have bravery as a character trait) or pull the fire alarm in your house (if you have one) to summon the fire department. Or the Sims could catch fire.
As with The Sims 3 for computers, this console version features an angled top-town "isometric" view, but has a closer camera and easier controls that let you move the "cursor" around by pushing the analog sticks on the controller (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3) or pointing at the screen with the Wii Remote.
Whether or not EA can duplicate the success of The Sims 3
on consoles is yet to be determined, but from what we've seen so far it looks like a winner.
: Game Hunters
360-HQ Games Database
: The Sims 3 for Xbox 360