- Instead of assigning levels to things like neatness, laziness, activeness, etc., you get to pick 5 character traits. For example, my character Annie is childish, vegetarian, and insane, among other things. So she likes playing with kid toys, doesn't eat meat, and does weird things like talking to herself and wearing a bathing suit or formal clothes to bed. Andy is artistic and a loner, so he spends a lot of time painting and prefers being alone (going to work has a negative effect on his happiness, because he hates being in crowds). Maggie is a bookworm and computer whiz, so she spends lots of time reading and playing video games. She can also hack and "solve the unsolvable" for extra money (I'm not sure if she can get arrested for hacking or not). You can also make your characters neurotic (they get upset if they can't obsessively "check" everything and feel great when they do), good kissers, kleptomaniacs, etc. These are a lot of fun to play with, obviously.
- Every adult has a lifetime goal, such as being a CEO, rock star, professional author, master gardener, etc.
- There are some fun new skills like gardening and fishing.
- There are more interesting locations in town, and you can go to the museum, theater, library, etc.
- You can vary the weight/muscle aspects more, so you have a more realistic variety of people.
- As with the other versions, gay marriage is still perfectly normal. Of course, I tend to make about 1/3 of my sims gay, but maybe that's just me...
- They carry cell phones, which is much handier/realistic.
- You can only play with one household at a time per game. If you want to start a new family, they can be in the same "town," but it's somewhat different, and they can't interact with any other families you make. Also, when you split up a household (like when kids grow up and move out), you have to choose between kicking out the moving people or abandoning the remaining family and focusing on the new household. This is the biggest disappointment for me, because one of my favorite things about the Sims games is making communities with several different families. I like making my story characters neighbors, and they become friends, their kids marry each other, etc. I really wish I could still do this.
- Time doesn't speed up as fast as it used to. So if you have a single person or your family members have similar schedules, you spend more time waiting for them to wake up or come home from work/school.
- When you create a new family, regular adults can't claim young adults as children.
- I wish there was a bigger variety of hair/clothing styles.
- You can't have pets (except fish). I bet they'll put pets in future expansions, though. Must have cats!
- You also can't vary height. I don't think you've ever been able to do that, but I wish I could. But maybe that's just me, being a tiny little munchkin. Come to think of it, they don't have disabled people either. I was talking to people today about how it would be interesting if you could make sims autistic, but autism has a really diverse spectrum, so there's no real set trait for that. Then again, if you put some of the more "interesting" traits together, the person might act somewhat autistic.
I guess I'd recommend this game, if the single household thing doesn't bother you too much. I like it about as much as I like The Sims 2, but I wish I could mesh their best aspects together somehow. I also need to find/download a filter that blocks the nudity censor, because it always bothers me. I may post some screenshots soon (if only to show what my characters look like).