This game has been a lot of trouble. I think it has the 'Marmite Effect' (you'll either love it or hate it) but I find that I feel that way about different aspects of the game all at the same time! I even got rid of the game once but then reconsidered and got a second copy... That should show how mixed-up I feel about the whole thing, lol!
When I first got the game it seemed brilliant to have an 'open map' that allowed the sims to go places and visit their friends houses etc, but then I realised that your sims never actually get to visit the inside of the buildings like the theatre (as these are venues and not community lots,) and most interactions in comunity lots are very basic.
Let me clarify what I mean. If, for example your sim is a 'Bookworm', they can travel to the bookstore or the local library. However, when your sim gets to the bookstore, rather than going inside the bookstore itself, a pop-up menu with the titles of all the available books appears and you have to choose the books they buy and then your sim comes home again...
In 'The Sims 2' your sim could go inside the bookstore and have conversations and make friendships with other sims as well as browse items to buy, which made gameplay more interesting IMO.
Also, even though toddler sims can now accompany other family members to places, they cannot usually interact with any object on the community lots, because they are too young to do so, which is utterly pointless really!
Another gripe is that although sims in 'The Sims 3' are suppposed to be able to go and ring their neighbours doorbells and make friendships with people in the local town, your sim has to live close enough to other sims so that they can do this, but most of the lots are too expensive for the sims in the household 'bin' to purchase.
In 'The Sims 2' with its many expansion packs, Sims would bring home friends and work collegues randomly at the start of the game, allowing new friendships to be formed. These could be strengthened by visiting the fully-playable community lots and engaging in fun activities, all of which seem to be missing from the latest game.
'The Sims 3' does have its good points - the new 'personality traits' system definitely seems to create wholly unique sims that interact with each other in many different ways and choose wants and lifetime goals that are based on how they think and act, which is superb.
Furthermore, the nifty and easy-to-use customisation tool means that everything can be altered to fit a certain colour scheme or look, which again is fantastic. I also like some of the 'small' touches in the game like allowing sims to have freckles or wear a combination of clothes to sleep in etc.
However, I am disappointed with the overall design of the game and feel that had this game been a 'Sims 2' expansion pack rather than a separate game it would have made a welcome edition to 'The Sims' family, but on its own there just isn't enough content to make me want to play it. Whether this can be improved with new expansion packs is hard to tell, but I still think that 'The Sims 2' is by far the better version to date.
That said, the fact that I reconsidered my decision to sell the game does show that the new aspects are great in themselves. It is just that I think there should have been a lot more content included and not just the downloads available from the 'The Sims 3' store.
Also, I haven't had problems running the game, but I did have some problems with the download process. This game still has its glitches. Just another thing for potential buyers to consider.
Overall, this game is good but not great. Unless you are a die-hard Sims fan, you might regret this purchase.