I know what you’re thinking. Did I just put RPG and The Sims in the same sentence? An RPG contains a minimum of 400,000 lines of dialog goddammit and there should always be serious decisions such as killing this guy or help that guy to get cash and experience, right? The reality is actually a bit different. Earlier games in The Sims series have featured rather shallow character development and alignment, but The Sims 3 gives the feeling that those elements have evolved.
Already in the character creator we can see some deep customization (apart from that freaky hair coloring) where you get to define your character’s personality. Each Sim can start out with five different personality traits, such as being brave, clumsy, outgoing, angry, intelligent, artistic, flattering and much more. What’s interesting is that you get to decide your Sim’s life achievement goal. It doesn’t matter if you want to be a rock star, the president or a high school teacher, the game will present you with both long-term and short-term challenges.
The main difference with The Sims 3 compared to its predecessors seems to be the perspective and interaction with the character. Instead of worrying about triviality, the Sims are able to take care of their basic needs while the player can focus on achieving more relevant goals, such as world domination or scoring with as many women as possible.
While The Sims 3 isn’t going to be in the same league as the epic RPG’s many gamers have grown accustomed to, it’s easy to see that the same elements and criteria that defines those games can be found in a casual game like this one. They’re basically arranged differently so that specific audiences can conduct the outcome in an appropriate way. The baby that needs to be changed can’t be found in Fallout 3, and the missile launcher can’t be found in The Sims 3. Simple as that.