Although Spore is the latest and greatest from the folks at Maxis, it wasn't too long ago that the development studio was known primarily as the creator of the incredibly popular series The Sims. Today, during EA's E3 press conference, the third game in The Sims series--the aptly named The Sims 3--was shown for the first time. Developed by EA Redwood Shores, the game is due for release some time in 2009 and will emphasize how one action affects the virtual world around you.
The trailer for the game, shown after a brief introduction, featured a playful poke at the previous games in The Sims series, which took place mostly in your own home. As the trailer opens, the lonely Sim sitting in his bathrobe and brushing his teeth on the couch suddenly discovers the outside world. Immediately, the surrounding environment comes to life in vibrant color; you watch as Sims enjoy outdoor life in the neighborhood, whether they are joggers out for a morning run or fishers out by the stream casting reels. Suddenly, a Sim celebrity of sorts appears, to the delight of squealing Sim fangirls. As the floppy-haired star busts out his guitar and begins laying it down Sim-style, word spreads and Sims come from all over to watch the show. The trailer ends with a beachside party: All the surrounding Sims have come to the beach to watch the impromptu concert.
Beyond the updated look of the Sims shown in the trailer--more detailed than in the previous games, though still inhabiting that familiar Sim style--it's sort of tough to tell how the game will play. During the presentation, EA did mention that players will have full customization over any object in the world. In addition, your Sim will have his or her own traits in the game--such as a love for cars, or a fear of commitment--and all of these traits will add up to a more dynamic world than the series has seen before. As producers put it, if something happens on one side of town, it might affect another event in an entirely different part of town, such as word spreading about the rock concert.
We expect The Sims' rich combination of a simple interface and a complex interior to once again return with The Sims 3, and we look forward to seeing how that complexity manifests itself as the game continues to come together. We'll have more information on The Sims 3 as soon as it becomes available.