Fans of the franchise will find The Sims 3 familiar in many ways. The slick 3-D graphics, cutaway house walls and click-to-move gameplay mechanics remain pretty much the same, for instance.
But the improved character traits and the ramped-up depth of play give the latest Sims entry a world of fresh potential. Sure, you can still concentrate on micromanaging your digital self's neighborly visits and potty schedule. But now you've got bigger life goals and careers to undertake, too.