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New Unlimited Customization - everything is customisable! New, creative tools in The Sims 3 make it possible to customise not only your Sim, but also the carpet, the garden, your walls, your sofa - in fact, pretty much anything you see can be modified. You'll have the flexibility and options you need to be the architect of your dream house or explore your interior design skills to outfit your ultimate home. You can make a funky bachelor pad, a huge glitzy mansion, or a humble shack - it's entirely up to you.

All these features combine to produce one amazing package. You'll be able to immerse your Sim in daily activities that affect virtually every facet of their lives.

Seasoned fans may applaud that the "mood" bar has been removed from the game - instead, "moodlets" are collected by your Sim that directly affect their attitude. For example, if your Sim is fired from their job, they will collect little moodlet icons that may render them depressed for a long period of time, or if perhaps they receive a payrise, they'll be over the moon for one evening. Various moodlets will change your character in different ways - they may even become embarrassed and reluctant to interact with the world if they accidentally make a social faux-pas.

Sims studio boss Rod Humble has stated he actively sought to remove the "hamster wheel" approach the previous Sims titles encouraged, that is, the perception that your Sims were nothing but dumb animals locked in an endless loop inside a simple environment. To this extent, the hunger bars have also been removed - your Sim will look after their own needs until you actively interfere in their life. We're hoping this is successful - most of the major criticism levelled at the franchise over the past eight years has centred on the tedious micro-management.

Ben Bell, Executive Producer on The Sims 3 is naturally over the moon. "The new engine and technologies in The Sims 3 are designed to unleash the player’s imagination," he said, "with realistic looking Sims who have distinct personalities and a seamless living neighbourhood for them to discover.

"Players are going to be thrilled by the level of realism in The Sims 3!"

We can't help but think he's right there. EA expects it to ship in 2009, providing fans of the Sim genre with ample opportunity to try their hand at Will Wright's Spore first, which is set for release sometime towards the end of 2008.