The Sims 3 is the third game in the Sims series. But you knew that.
It's not. Not really. The basic set-up is the same: play God, create little families, make those families live life rather than cultivating one of your own. Actually, there's no way that set-up is going to change. It's a simulation game for a reason, and in fact it does its job well. In layman's terms, it is a game that simulates life. A life simulator.
That being said, there are noticeable differences between this game and the other games in the series.
For starters, you can now give your sims traits--that is, personality traits that actually effect their lives and the way they percieve them. There are about fifty traits, so there would be no point in listing them all (that's what the Sims Wiki is for) but let it be said that you can make a sim evil, or flirty, or neurotic, or all of them at once. Just about the only thng you can't have is stuff that conflicts. Which would be stupid, anyway. Why would you want a sim that's both good and evil, or athletic and lazy? Granted, if you want to get into psychoanalysis such things are possible. You could be a good person who suffers from evil tendencies, and struggles with the daily battle of morality every day. You could be a terrific athelete and squander your potential. But it's just a computer game and you should really just relax.
The interior design aspect of the game has also been revamped, but let's face it, most of you reading this don't buy the game for that part. If you do, though, then you'll be interested to know that you can change the patterns of the furniture and all kinds of shit. There are other differences, too, like better graphics.
Okay, sure, the guy still looks creepy either way, but they all aren't that bad.
Other differences--such as continous storylines and seamless neighborhoods--have more to do with the fact that The Sims 3 assumes that you're competent enough to handle other sims doing other things. Without you. So, if you create a happy couple and then the wife moves out, she doesn't just sit there wasting away in your Sim Bin, she actually gets to go live a seperate life from your sim. Probably not a good one, since autonomous sims have never been happy sims based off what is likely poor game playing on this author's part. But she could end up mayor or something. Best to keep her around so you can keep an eye on her and make sure she acheives nothing.
As for the aformentioned seamless neighborhood, that is actually a really cool feature of The Sims 3. Rather than wait for 10 minutes just so your sim can buy some considerably overpriced coffee, you can now have your sim ride their bike, motorcycle, or car to wherever it is they want to go. Hell, they can even walk there if you want them to get a good workout.
If you are a typical jaded Sims user, you're probably thinking, "Expansion packs." Or, if you're somewhat less jaded, "Stuff packs." Actually, with the release of The Sims 3, they have released a new and improved way to suck your wallet dry. But for those who are blissfully unaware of how the Sims system works, here is a breif guide about expansion and stuff packs.
Of course, a central point in any Sims game is the ability to kill off your sims. Because even though it's a life simulator, people will still find a way to fuck that incredibly easy task up.
Drowning: Back in the day, this used to be the #1 way to kill of any insolent sims. It started in The Sims, when killing your sims was supposed to be impossible. You would put your sim in a swimming pool, and then remove the ladder. This became so popular that they even referenced it in The Sims 2, mentioning a deceased sim who died in a "suspicious pool ladder accident". And you could still kill them that way, too. But no longer. Now your sims have competence, also known as the common sense to climb out of a swimming pool on the side. But don't worry, you can still drown your sims. Just build a wall around all sides of the swimming pool.
If your sim looks like this, you did it right.
Fire: No creature, simulated or alive, can survive a fire. Naturally, if your sim leaves their shitty TV dinner alone in the oven for a few minutes, they can have a kitchen fire on their hands. And if you leave your sim to die, then death by fire is completely possible. And funny, because their ghost still has smoke eminating from its spectral form.
Whoever did this has the right idea.
Electrocution: Pretty simple. If you suck at repairing stuff, don't do it. Just fork over the $50 and call the repairman. There's no stigma in the Sims world. And the best part is, they don't even rip you off much.
Otherwise you get this. Granted, as far as ghosts go it's fairly badass, but perhaps you'd prefer your sims alive.
Starvation: You really have to do this one on purpose. It's not really like your sims can starve to death on their own, unless you leave the game on autopilot for a few hours, which, again, seems deliberate.
"I died of negligence. Oh, and starvation."
Old Age: Unless you cheat, there's really no getting out of this one. Even sims who have a lower chance of dying can't escape old age. (Such sims have either the Unlucky or Loser trait. If these sims die any other way, the Grim Reaper will feel sorry for their depressing ass and save them from death.)
They sparkle, too. But they're still better than Twilight vampires. Why is that? Oh, wait, anything is better than Twilight vampires. That's why.
Well, that depends. If you have a power complex and feel the need to wreck the lives of others, buy this game. If it stops you from being a dick in real life and gives you an outlet for this type of behavior, that is excellent. If you're a lady, and you're the kind of lady who would create anthropomorphized versions of her cats, go ahead and buy the game, but do it with the knowledge that you're making everyone else who plays the game a bad name. If you like simulation games, buy it because it's the best of it's kind.
Don't buy it if you like action games. The Sims 3 is not an action game. The most action you'll see is when your sim cooks lobster thermidor.
Though you have to admit, it is some pretty action packed lobster.