MySims has made quite an impression on the Nintendo Wii and has now made the leap forward to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. This series has taken what people love most about sims (customization) and placed the wide-eyed, goofy characters into a setting that is suitable for a younger audience. Previous games have focused on exploration and gathering clues and items, and MySims Skyheroes continues that trend, but what has changed is that it is now a full-fledged action game. You'll be responsible for piloting your own customizable plane, doing barrel rolls, and firing at other MySims in the skies. We went to visit EA in Redwood Shores to see how this new entry into the series is shaping up.
The MySims games have always looked good on the Wii, but now on the Xbox 360, the game is much more vibrant. With all the action happening onscreen, it is also much more hectic than what you may have been used to. In the single-player campaign, you play as a pilot who has crash-landed on an island and lost his memory. Luckily, you're picked up by fellow pilots, and you learn that these people are part of a rebel group that is waging a war against the evil Morcubus (the nefarious villain in all MySims games). Morcubus is trying to take over the skies to prevent anyone else from flying, so you and your band of merry men are trying to recruit others to join your cause and fight back. Through 42 missions in 12 different environments, you'll soar through the areas collecting power-ups and trying to complete the mission with the best score possible. The game is also set up so that you can't really fail, but you will be rewarded for better performance. There are plenty of things to unlock, such as upgradable parts for your plane. Depending on your playing style, you can add parts that extend the range of picking up power-ups, upgrade your machine gun, or boost those power-ups. Part of the fun is experimenting, and there looks to be plenty of pieces and paint to make sure that your plane is the most unique one out there.
Familiar MySims characters will also return, like DJ Candy and Buddy, but EA has also thrown in some special guests, like Isaac Clark from Dead Space, Morrigan from Dragon Age, Tyson Rios and Elliot Salem from Army of 2, Commander Shepard from Mass Effect, and many others that you'll encounter through the game. Since your MySim will be sitting in a plane for the majority of the game, you are limited to customizing the head gear and facial features. Don't worry, though--there's a wide assortment of fun hats to choose from, so there's plenty of room to experiment.
In Quick Play mode, there are two styles of play: dogfighting and racing. There is split-screen multiplayer so you can play with a friend on the same console and face up to eight other AI opponents on the Xbox 360 and PS3. On the Wii, the maximum number of players is six. If you're on your own, you can go online and play cooperatively or against other players. EA wanted the game to be cross-generational, so parents can team up with their kids to play cooperatively. For those looking for a challenge, there are three difficulty settings to choose from. In these dogfighting or racing arenas, you'll have plenty of power-ups to pick up to try to wreak as much havoc as possible. Portable boost pads, radar jammers, and giant laser attachments are just some of the things you can pick up and use temporarily.
MySims Skyheroes looks to bridge that gap between kid-friendly games and action games that require a bit more coordination. Skyheroes is very forgiving, since it comes with autolocking and there's no damage taken when you plow straight into a volcano. It does give younger players a chance to do fancy maneuvers and shoot down other planes in a fun environment. Look for MySims Skyheroes when it is released on September 28.