News: EA plans to bring a new breed of Sim to all consoles and the Game Boy Advance.
EA has announced that The Sims are hitting the street with a new urban themed spin-off called The Urbz. The Urbz is being developed for all three consoles and a special edition is being readied for the Game Boy Advance. And since you can't make this stuff up, here is The Urbz, in EA's own words:
"For the first time, Sims are living in the city where reputation (rep) is everything. Players will custom-create these new Sims, called Urbz, by customizing their unique style and building their status to become the biggest "player" in the city."
Building rep in The Urbz will involve building relationships with your fellow Urbz and taking part in job challenges. Job challenges require the player to perform "direct-control mechanic for job objects, skill-building objects, and power social interactions". What exactly that mess of hype-speak means is yet to be seen. But if you are successful in these job challenges your Urb will earn promotions and gain access to "power socials" and possibly influence other Urbz.
The Urbz is being created with a brand new graphics engine that EA promises "captures the pulse of the action-packed downtown, ritzy shopping districts, Bohemian artist workshops, and a gritty subway station". On a more personal level, your Urb will also be able to be outfitted in distictly urban garb like tattoos and nose rings. PlayStation 2 owners will also be able to put their own face into the game if they own an EyeToy.
The Game Boy Advance version will carry on the tradition from The Sims: Bustin' Out by being a more story driven affair. Again from EA:
"After getting fired from their job, they'll stumble upon Daddy BigBucks' devious plot to take over the city. Players are challenged to thwart his evil schemes, while building their rep to become the biggest "player" in the city.
Players gain access to new vehicles like a hover craft to explore 25 brand new locations including Urbania, Sim Quarter, and the Bayou where they will interact with residents, master eight lively mini-games such as Moogoo Monkey Madness and Motocross Mayhem, unlock new Xizzle motive power ups, and collect over 120 new objects. Players will link two GameBoy Advance systems together in the Multiplayer Caf? and play head-to-head mini-games, unlock new features, and trade rare items."
All four versions of The Urbz will be unveiled for the first time to select members of the media at E3 in May. We'll have more as it develops.