The big twist is the addition of karma points and powers. As you play, you earn karma points depending on how you play your character’s life. When enough karma points are gained, karma powers are earned and can drastically change the flow of the game. You can reward your character by granting him or her instant beauty or you can punish your character by bombarding his or her dwelling with a rain of fire. Other karma powers include cosmic curse, get lucky, poltergeist, and epic fail — you can pretty much guess what those do. Karma powers add another fun layer or manipulating life in The Sims 3.
For a franchise that gained its popularity on PCs and hasn’t done as well on consoles, it’s surprising that this version of The Sims 3 has the chance to trump its predecessor. At the very least, it should be on par with the PC game, but I can see many preferring it.
Now, arguably, this console version isn’t really for already-established PC fans of The Sims 3 (making my griping about the delineation from the standard aesthetic completely moot), but with such a delightfully new evil feature to try out, the market will still be there for those who don’t mind buying the same game twice. And while I’ve been reassured (read: yelled at by Internet commenters) many times that Sims 3 will run “just fine” on a console, that doesn’t change the fact that one of the most appealing features of Sims 3, the ability to mod the game and add tons of purchased and downloaded custom items, will pale in comparison. Don’t know about you folks, but there’s no way I can cram the same amount of content on my PC into a console experience. And there’s no way I’ll be able to put naked people on my Wii, XBOX 360, PS3, or Nintendo DS.