The Sims 3

8.0 Overall Score

Written by on November 8, 2010 in

Ever since the original Sims game was released for the PC back in February, 2000, I have been a huge fan of the series.  I don’t consider myself a PC gamer, but every time a new Sims game is released, I must have it.  Since I prefer console gaming, it has been a dream of mine to have a Sims game on a console that was capable of capturing the magic of it’s PC counterpart.  Although it’s taken 10 years since the series’ release, my dream of a worthy console Sims game is finally realized in The Sims 3 for the Xbox 360.

OVERVIEW

The Sims 3 is developed by Visceral Games and published by EA.  For those who don’t know, the concept of The Sims is that of a simulation game such as Sim City, but instead of designing and maintaining a city, you are controlling the actions of people called Sims.  In the game, it’s your job to care for the needs of your Sims including their hunger, fun, and bladder among others.  You also can help your Sims gain the necessary skills needed to move up the ladder in their desired career (only if real life was this simple).  Like every Sims game to come before it, there is no real goal to shoot for while playing The Sims 3, just have fun and do whatever you want.

The Sims 3 was released on the PC last year and it is regarded by many as the  best in the series so far.  I must say that The Sims 3 on the 360 is amazing and should be experienced.  This has not been the first attempt of a Sims game on a gaming console.  Back in 2003, The Sims was released for the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube, but in my opinion they were a mere shadow of the original PC game.  That is not the case here with The Sims 3, the developer really did a good job emulating the magic of the PC version.

GAMEPLAY

Everything that The Sims 3 has on the PC can be found on the 360 version with the addition of the karma system.  The karma system can be best described as powers that your Sim can use once he or she have saved up enough karma points.  You can have a maximum of 100 karma points on reserve, but when you spend the points, you will have to earn them back.  You can earn more points by completing challenges and wishes, as well as earning some points at the end of every day.  There are different kinds of karma powers, some to help and others to punish your Sims.  Now, I don’t know why you would want to punish your Sims, but if that’s how you fly, then the option is available to you.  As far as the good karma powers, you will be able to max out all your Sim’s life meters, allow your Sims to learn skills faster, receive a large sum of money or even bring a dead loved one back to life.  This karma system is great and the powers can really help you out of a pinch, I can’t imagine a sim game without them now.

VISUALS

The visual quality of The Sims 3 is OK and it works well with the 360, however it’s far from perfect.  Although the game is incredibly fun, it does suffer from graphical slowdown and long loading times.  To rectify this, it is recommended that you load the game onto your HDD, but it would have been nice if the game ran smoother without having to do that.

CONTROLS

Whenever a PC game is ported over to a console, controls become a concern, but thankfully, The Sims 3 excels in it’s control scheme.  At first, you may be overwhelmed by the complexity, but after a few hours of playing, you will be able to control a family of 4 with no problems whatsoever.  The mapping of the buttons on the 360 controller seem logical and feels just right.  The Sims 3 for the 360 proves that games of this genre can be played on a console without a mouse or a keyboard.  Hopefully this will inspire game developers to bring more games like this to consoles in the future.

MULTIPLAYER

Sadly, there is no online or co-op play here. I was really hoping that with The Sims 3 on the 360, I could visit the homes of those on my friend’s list and interact with their sims.  The only online feature that’s included is that you can customize items and share them with others through the EA servers.  It’s a cool feature I guess, but with a system like Xbox Live at their disposal, I wish there was online play, maybe we’ll see some with The Sims 4.

ACHIEVEMENTS

The achievements for The Sims 3 are not too hard to unlock, but you will have to be dedicated as it will take you about 50-60 hours if you want to max it out.  Most of the achievements will unlock by performing normal activities through out the game such as going on a date, getting your first kiss, having a baby, buying a car, and the like.  There are a few achievements though that will take a long time to get unlocked, such as completing 1,000 wishes and accumulating 250,000 lifetime experience points.  By just playing the game naturally and completing wishes whenever possible, you should be able to unlock all achievements for the game.  I know that 50-60 hours sounds like a lot, but because the game is so addicting, you’ll be there before you know it.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

The Sims 3 for the xbox 360 is an amazing game and I’m glad that I gave the series another chance to prove itself on a console.  The Sims series has always been for PC and I think that they are still stronger there than on a console, but that doesn’t mean that the Xbox 360 version is bad by any means.  The Sims on the Xbox 360 does a great job in capturing the magic of the PC version while still adding new features to keep it fresh.  The excessive lag and loading times were a downer, but they got better by installing the game on the HDD.   I would have loved seeing  some online play represented here and it’s sad that Visceral Games missed out on that opportunity.  Even without online multiplayer, The Sims 3 is a strong single player game that ranks up there as one of the most addicting games on the market today.



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Author: Miles Messenger View all posts by
I'm a 28 year old guy who enjoys all things gaming. I am married to a wonderful woman who is working on a career as a published author and I'm so proud of her for all that she's accomplished. For my day job, I am a supervisor at a Home Warranty company. It's not the greatest job, but it brings in the bacon.

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