Electronic Arts made its first announcement at the Leipzig Games Convention a doozy: The Sims 3 will be available at retailers worldwide on February 20, 2009. The Sims 3 ship date seems both surprising and soon, considering EA just announced The Sims 3 at E3 one month ago.
In The Sims 3, players will have access to a new feature-set that includes a new seamless, open neighborhood, new Create-a-Sim, new unique personality traits, new unlimited customization and new gameplay elements that bring some added speed (and reward) to the game.
The Sims 3 Collector’s Edition will also be in stores on February 20. The Sims 3 Collector’s Edition will include the full game plus additional collectible The Sims merchandise and a bonus in-game Italian-Style Sports Car unavailable elsewhere. Gamers who pre-order the Collector’s Edition from select retailers will also receive an exclusive in-game vintage sports car and a collectible poster.
The Sims 3 features a brand new engine that supports an open-world neighborhood in which players can roam and explore new surroundings including the beach, mountains and town center. For the first time, Sims will also have distinct personalities and new personality traits, from brave, artistic and kleptomaniac to clumsy, paranoid and romantic. Players can combine up to five traits.
Which brings us, of course, to the “Create a Sim” mode. This mode allows players to completely customize their Sims’ appearance, from hair color and skin tone to body type. And yes, the interior and exterior of Sims’ surroundings are also customizable in The Sims 3.