SPOOKING neighbours with ghosts, becoming a crimelord or inviting the whole town to a house party before trashing the place – just three things The Sims allows users to do.
EA’s life simulation franchise has built a colossal fanbase in the ten years since the original PC version arrived, with 20 expansion packs and a collection of spin-offs heading to every major gaming platform. In fact, The Sims is so popular that the original has sold 16m units worldwide since release.
Now the series is heading to home consoles in a release that EA says is the first complete The Sims experience on Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 and DS.
EA executive producer Sam Player tells MCV: “It’s really exciting to deliver true Sims experiences for the first time on consoles and handhelds. It’s a big accomplishment for us and we know the fans are excited about the ability to play something as deep as The Sims 3 on consoles.
“In previous console versions of The Sims, there wasn’t that whole sense of community that could be found on the PC. We now allow a full neighbourhood exploration of a living, evolving town, and that’s definitely the first for The Sims franchise on any console platform.”
The latest version is full of crazy opportunities, events and characters for fans and console owners to explore.
I'M A PC
The Sims 3 on consoles is similar to the PC version – users can take control of their sim characters, commanding them to dance, cook or build and more.
There’s the ability to pause or speed up time, and players can pan out to see the entire town, or zoom right in to scraps of food on a plate.
The camera is accessible and the building mode is as versatile and deep as the PC version, with users able to build five-storey homes from scratch.
Core appeal for The Sims comes from the ability to choose how each sim lives their life. In the original, players could starve sims to death if they wished, or become rich and famous, or even instruct them to enter a swimming pool and swim until they drowned from fatigue.
POINTS MEAN KARMA
In The Sims 3, EA has added a new ‘Karma Points’ mechanic, which allows users to enjoy all manner of positive and negative actions – from getting lucky with that certain someone, to causing an instant earthquake or starting a fire in a neighbour’s house.
Each midnight, the player’s sims are judged. If they’ve had a good day they will receive positive karma points, but if they’ve been naughty they’ll receive negative points. These can be traded in for the instantaneous karma powers.
Player adds: “Lots of funny stuff happens in The Sims, but it’s usually been down to the game, not the player. So we’re now giving the player control over this to make them feel powerful.
“As developers, of course we would never use any of the negative karma powers, but we know that there are some players who would like to use them for more devious purposes.”
Negative karma powers include summoning a poltergeist to scare sims or casting an ‘epic fail’ on someone, which will cause them to be rejected by a love interest. Positive powers range from ‘instant beauty’ that can turn the ugliest of ducklings into beautiful swans, and ‘bless the mess’, which can fix any broken appliances.
Another addition is the trophy system which rewards players for completing challenges – such as getting a promotion, falling in love or making new friends. These trophies unlock new furniture, clothes and items.
THE POWER OF THE SIMS
With the classic PC gameplay emulated on major consoles combined with the new karma and trophy features, The Sims 3 is one of EA’s leading products this year. Would Katy Perry re-record her songs in the ‘Simlish’ language for any other title?