UGO writes: "Last week we traveled into midtown Manhattan for an early glimpse of Maxis' highly anticipated The Sims 3, the series' first new entry since 2 dropped in September 2004. Fans who worry for the future of the industry's most intricate life simulation after witnessing the accessible gameplay in the developer's just-released Spore need worry no longer. The Sims 3 looks to be in every way an expansion of what's come before, maintaining the same depth while streamlining - not simplifying - the rules a bit to better create the impression of leading an artificial life. While our brief demo did open with the statement that Maxis and publisher Electronic Arts are dedicated to delivering a more newcomer-friendly experience this time around, the material we saw told a far different story.
In fact, creating your own story is central to the Sims 3 experience. The number of Needs have been pared down to four: bladder, energy, fun and hunger. The rest of each sim's personal development is dictated by a combination of Traits and Lifetime Wishes. These can change to an extent under certain circumstances, but the two features are designed create the impression that each sim is an individual who views life as a long-term process rather than as a day-to-day grind. "