The Sims series is not all blood and guts action that some gamers prefer. Neither is it an out and out fantasy adventure. It is in fact at heart, despite some of its wacky ideas, fairly true to life as far as the characters go. Now we have Sims 3, its the same old thing with the same old welcome variations. That is not a criticism, the formula works and if it doesn't need fixing don't fix it.
Each Sim has an aim in life, chosen by you, and in the end that is what you aim to achieve for it. But like real life, there are smaller, short term aims, and obstacles which require attention now rather than later. This of course is allowed by the now traditional open Sims experience. Success in these lesser aims earns Lifetime Happiness Points to unlock Lifetime Rewards of various kinds. It seems there is a limitless rainbow of situations and opportunities provided by the The Sims 3. There are still interactions between the Sims, many trivial and true to everyday life, and all the more amusing for that.
Every self respecting Sim wants a career, but you don't get to see them at their work, you only have control of certain aspects relevant to your life situation, such as enhancing promotion prospects or dodging work for a day. There are too mmany jobs and rewards to mention here and it will take you a long time to explore them all.
Much of the experience involves looking after your Sims and keeping them happy, and again with so many possibilities for happiness and unhappiness thhis is quite a complicatedd task when you realize all the possible complex interactions that are pesent.
There is also much online functionality with players being able to share custom made videos and content. It is a great shame that add ons, such as new towns are not available for download. There are other tiny drawbacks, like the boredom of wathching sleeping Sims, but many of these have not been a major problem in the past, so why should they be now. Hopefully these things will be resolved in the future.
No-one claims that the Sims experience is perfect, but then, nor is life. Its my sort of game.