The Sims series began on the PC over a decade ago and went on to become one of the hottest sellers for EA. Over 10 years later, the Sims from the various titles are still alive to kick on the PlayStation 3 console. Will the fun and addictive strategic gameplay that made the PC version a blockbuster hit transfer over to the consoles, or will this port be a humorous joke for seasoned PC gamers?
First and foremost, like the real-time strategy genre, The Sims games are best experienced on a PC along with a traditional keyboard-and-mouse combination setup for input. This is because the game is played from an aerial, isometric perspective (albeit more zoomed than an RTS). Using the plug and play capabilities of the PS3, developers could easily implement keyboard-and-mouse compatibility similar to Unreal Tournament 3 from 2007 for those who lack the means to run a game on their PC and rely on their consoles, but EA decided to give this option a shrug.
To anyone’s surprise, The Sims 3 operates in a brilliant fashion on the PlayStation 3 with the DualShock 3. Using the right analog stick to navigate the “cursor”, which is actually a holographic marker used for selection, and the left for zooming and panning, players will find that the PS3 version of The Sims 3 is almost as enjoyable as its PC counterpart. The menus are easy to navigate and actions are as easy as selecting a sim and choosing an option from the HUD. Newcomers and veterans alike should have no problem jumping in and enjoying the thrill of building a home, a family, and eventually a career in the world.
Anyone familiar with The Sims has a general idea of what to expect from a game in the series. The Sims 3 is all about creating your own, virtual simulation of everyday life and transforming it into essentially anything. The reason for the series’ success is the pure addiction the title provides for the gamer. The balance between the simulation of life on top of the surreal fantasy leads to an undeniable fun-factor that can be captivating at times. This game is no different.
Graphically, The Sims 3 is pleasant to look at. Everything from character animations to the character models will make gamers believe that they are truly in control of a fantasy society without the moral headaches. The cartoonish yet fluid visuals add a sense of flair to the environments, and the game has a great presentational personality. For many, The Sims 3 on the PS3 will be the first high-definition version of The Sims which proves that porting popular PC games onto consoles will not only increase outreach but will also enhance gaming with the standardized hardware.
For those unaware, The Sims is unlike most other simulator games, like Roller Coaster Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon, and other popular titles in the sense that rather than focusing on an environment, the player focuses on the growth of a virtual being. However, these customizations are not as deep as what you’ve come to know in RPGs, and are for the most part cosmetic. That’s not to say that the options are limited as The Sims 3 does sport a solid selection of visual options. However, this lack of functional options contributes to the accessibility and simplicity of the title, and anyone regardless of age will feel welcome.
Undoubtedly, the biggest complaint that anyone who plays The Sims 3 for PS3 will have are the loading times. Occasionally, the constant loading times will occur within just minutes of each other since they occur whenever a new area is accessed. Crafting a sim will waste a decent amount of time by just loading the asset menus. However, once the loading times are conditioned to the player, who will eventually figure out when to avoid useless wandering, the end experience will be as enjoyable as their creativity.
On paper, The Sims 3 is a single-player simulation title but that’s not to say that the developers didn’t see fit to add in a social aspect to better suit the online era of consoles. Using the supplied EA Online Pass with the game, players have access to a cloud of user-generated content, from around the community, known as The Exchange. While this may be a great way to offset the lack of included content, we would have still liked to see more items in the game. Truth be told, it can be easily predicted that the game will enter the downloadable content market to bank on micro-transactions.
Overall, The Sims 3 is a great, if not excellent, translation of the popular franchise onto our favorite high-definition console. Thankfully, EA delivered a product that warrants the conversion from its veteran PC status to the king of high-definition gaming. The game sports a creative suite of tools and items to provide an adequate amount of customization without becoming overly complex for the user. All-in-all, many PS3 owners will find themselves postponing their own lives to make priority for their Sims.
PlayStation LifeStyle’s Final Score
+ Sky’s the limit for creativity.
– Frequent load times.