GameSpy was able to spend 20 minutes hands-on with The Sims 3 and brought back a small report of the game.  Here’s a portion from the article:

So what’s the game all about on the minute-to-minute, now that you don’t have to constantly sweat the incidentals of virtual life? Turns out that the folks who designed Sims 3 arrived at the same conclusion that MMO developers did a few years back: incremental achievements. Attaboys, attagirls. When you create your Sim, you’ll get to pick a “Life Goal” from a list generated by your choices of personality traits. The Life Goal, along with other things you do in the game, will constantly generate “Opportunities” that you can choose to take on. My Sim’s goal was to become a master tinker. As soon as I set foot in the neighborhood after creation, opportunities prompted me to embark on a career in the military. Evidently, the light at the end of a tunnel populated by hundreds of soiled latrines is a career in engineering.

GameSpy – A Slice of Life:  The Sims 3