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News from the World of the Sims

For those who caught the slightly odd philosophical discussion of freewill at EA’s E3 press conference in June, the biggest Sims news of the summer has been that The Sims 3 is headed to consoles. EA debuted a trailer that revealed little about the game, which has been available for PC since June of 2009. A couple of brief new trailers surfaced on August 10 highlighting the forthcoming "Karma Powers" available to console players. But wait, there’s more. If you ever wanted to mash up your WoW passion with your Sims fandom, you’re in luck because The Sims Medieval has just been announced (for PC only, at the moment).

If you’re looking forward to controlling your little green diamond wearing dudes from the comfort of your couch, pre-order the console Sims 3, coming in October. The promise is that the player will feel like a Greek god, overseeing mortals who retain free will. EA claims that even the programmers couldn’t predict what choices the characters would make under a given set of circumstances. The company has promised some perks for console gamers, such as the ability to manage and share trophies via Facebook and Twitter. In addition, the PS3 and Xbox versions are rated T rather than E, keeping in line with Sony’s and Microsoft’s traditional target audiences. Also the world map is reportedly tailored differently for these two systems. There’s no mention of the Move or Kinect coming into play. Could it be they’re saving something for an expansion pack?

The most hyped feature is Karma Power, a godlike control that determines whether your characters 'get lucky,' experience an 'epic fail,' or are bestowed with 'instant beauty.' However it works, it sounds more fun than putting your Sim in a room without a door and letting him pee himself. The look of the game appears much the same as the PC version, with graphics a step above The Sims 2, but still with that signature stiffness. The trailer, like past Sims trailers mainly shows groups of Sims running around and dancing, rather than actual game play. And what’s with visible notes still coming out of musical instruments?

Back at your keyboard, The Sims Medieval will take you to a whole new place for the franchise. A new Sims game was originally slated for Q4 2010, but this one will ship in Q2 2011. As with the previous games, which have mined every aspect of modern life from college dorm dwelling to world travel to raising pets, players will create a character and an abode. This time, however, your Sims’ clothes will be much less comfortable. As described on the EA site, “The Sims Medieval offers players a chance to build up a medieval kingdom, controlling characters from all walks of life, from Kings and Queens, to Knights and Wizards, Blacksmiths and Bards.” The few available screen-shots portray sword-fighting, a person stuck in a gallows, and a kick-ass castle. EA promises that "more will be revealed soon."

However you choose to play with your Sims, the basics are the same. Create your character to look just like you or live out your wildest fantasy. Playing god will always be addictive, regardless the time period or the platform.



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