Third Time's the Charm in The Sims 3

Sims 3 is more than just a visual improvement over the first two game, it actually incorporates plenty of new changes and features that many fans would certainly appreciate. From better main content to massive new expansion packs, Sims 3 is certainly packing enough new content to make even the most long term Sims 1 and 2 players to consider starting fresh.

Third Time's the Charm in The Sims 3

Superficial is Still Important

As we've said, expect an overhaul in terms of graphics. Instead of your usual, blocky haircuts and angular faces, The Sims 3's character models feature a softer, rounder look. No, they don't look fat or even chubby by default, if that's what you're thinking. With the new curvy look, the characters actually look more natural. The eyes that are more defined as well, so the faces are more expressive this time around. If you do want to make your Sims look purposely big and beautiful, well you can easily do that too. By adjusting the body type slider in the Sim creation mode, you can change your character's shape in seconds.

As for the town, well, what can we say other than its massive? Instead of simply focusing on a house or a small neighborhood, you can actually manage your Sims when they hit the streets. They can go to work, buy groceries, go fishing and so forth. There are numerous activities which can help your sim live a balanced life. Hey, if he's feeling pretty lonely, he can just chat with any of the numerous NPCs walking around the city. With so many things to do, there's really no need to be stuck on just one routine.

The Things in Sims' Heads

Speaking of things to do, well instead of a personality system based on points, The Sims 3 makes use of traits. These traits alter a Sim's behavior. It grants specific abilities and influences his wishes. Sims can only have a limited number of traits and some traits are incompatible so they cannot be assigned to the same character. For instance, a Sim cannot be both Friendly and Mean Spirited at the same time. The same Sim also cannot be Brooding as well as Excitable. Traits can have as many as four conflicts and characters with opposite personalities may result in negative interactions, thus decreasing the chances of having a good relationship. Job opportunities also vary from Sim to Sim based on their inherent abilities.

Third Time's the Charm in The Sims 3

Getting All the Details

Along with the savvy system changes and a significant improvement in graphics, The Sims 3 has even more up its sleeve. Building intricate structures is made even easier by including features that allow you to, say, rotate furniture to place them in the perfect angle or drag walls to automatically alter the size of a room. It's these subtle, yet undeniably convenient changes that keep The Sims series fresh and interesting.

Even with all those points, we've barely scratched the surface when it comes to The Sims 3's features. There are also things like new skin tones and other customization options, a wish system to keep your characters happy as well as the possibility of creating twins or triplets in Create a Sim.

Goals Achieved

Overall, we can say that the third installment packs just the right blend of familiar elements and new features to keep the series from getting stale. The graphics are fantastic and the updated look, in general, gives the Sims more believable facial expressions.

System upgrades also shine in The Sims 3. With the new trait system in place, relationships are made more realistic. Career paths open new possibilities for the characters so the jobs are more interesting as well.

As for the town, well, it's definitely impressive. Sunset Valley, the default neighborhood that comes with the game has a whopping 97 lots packed with characters. So not only are there more attractions to visit, the town is even livelier this time around. Of course, the core concept of building and populating the town with your Sims remains as entertaining as ever.

Bottom line is, if you loved the first two games then play The Sims 3. As they say, third time's the charm.

→ Read the Sims 3 Dating, Falling in Love and Getting Married tips here

→ Read The Sims 3: Supernatural Expansion Pack Has Fairy Zombies review