Many would have assumed that The Sims could never work on a console, but one look at this version will easily prove them wrong. In fact, with the temptation to fall back on a mountain of confusing mouse-operated icons and online patches removed, this could well be the definitive version. For starters, the graphics now look much better than before, being in full 3-D instead of just isometric 2-D. This not only looks better but also allows you to zoom in and out on the action and feels a lot less sterile than the original. Things are still as customisable as ever too, especially via the Create-A-Sim option.
Perhaps the biggest change to how the game plays on a console is in the new level-based missions. The PC original had no real goal; you just designed a family and let them get on with it, interfering with their virtual life as much or as little as you wanted. The console version adds some goals and rewards to the gameplay, which should help to attract the more attention-deficient console owners. There's even a rather odd two-player mode, which, even if it seems a little pointless, is yet more proof that EA are really trying to make this a proper worthwhile console experience and not just the cheap cash-in many would've expected. --David Jenkins