The Sims Bustin' Out E3 2003 Preshow Report

The follow-up to the console versions of The Sims will let your sims take on new jobs, leave the house, and more.

The Sims had already become the best-selling game of all time for the PC before Maxis and Electronic Arts brought the franchise to consoles. The console versions of The Sims, released earlier this year, were similar at heart to the blockbuster PC version: They let you create your very own sim characters and make them do your bidding, whether by acting like good, loving, law-abiding citizens--or like social miscreants. The Sims for PC earned much of its popularity due to its great sense of humor and endearing characters, and the console versions of the game, with their fully 3D graphics and more-expressive characters, succeeded in enhancing those traits. Now EA is following up to make sure The Sims franchise has a permanent place on consoles with The Sims Bustin' Out, a similar game which will expand on the concepts of its predecessor and let you do more with your sims.

The console versions of The Sims introduced the get-a-life mode, sort of a mission-based mode that presented you with various objectives that your sim needed to accomplish. Bustin' Out will again optionally offer this sort of structured gameplay, and will also have 10 new career paths for your sims to pursue. These include conventional careers like athlete, but also some rather unsavory ones like mobster, mad scientist, and fashion victim--the latter of which begs the question, how do you make money being a fashion victim?

The Sims took place entirely at home, but Bustin' Out, as the title sort of implies, lets you get out of the house. Seamlessly, even: You'll be able to ride by scooter or car to new locations such as the Club Rubb dance venue (wooo, woooo!), the art gallery, and the Shiny Things Lab. The game will also feature numerous unlockable home objects, appearance-enhancing objects, unlockable missions, and more. Also, enhanced visuals should make this next version of The Sims look better than before.

Bustin' Out will be hitting shelves in early 2004, for the PS2, Xbox, and GameCube. Stay tuned for more on the game.

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