Back to the Sims
EA's signature series goes 3D

Even a Sim needs a makeover once in a while, and Electronic Arts has a huge one in store for The Sims 2 for PC this fall. The biggest change is the move to an all-3D environment, which will allow for more extensive community-building tools and more expressive Sims. Additionally, The Sims 2 will ship with a more diverse and eccentric set of premade neighborhoods. The franchise also storms consoles and handhelds with The URBZ: Sims in the City (GBA, GC, PS2, Xbox). These games take a look at life in the big city, and players must guide their creations from street corners to trendy upscale clubs.

In a welcome departure for the Bond franchise, GoldenEye 2 (GC, PS2, Xbox) centers on an agent candidate who flunks out of 00 training and goes rogue. Players create their own agents and work for supervillain Auric Goldfinger as they experience the classic Bond universe from the other side.

Although it may seem like this fall's Medal of Honor: Pacific Assault (PC) retraces territory covered in last year's Rising Sun for consoles, this first-person look at the Pacific theater battles of WWII is even more realistic.

Grounded in events seen in all three of the motion pictures, The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth is a PC real-time strategy that uses the proven Command & Conquer Generals engine to simulate the epic struggles shown in the films. The game is scheduled for a fall release.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (GBA, GC, PC, PS2, Xbox), out this summer, it's Harry's third year at Hogwarts. This time, gamers play as Harry and, for the first time, as his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger.

EA is taking its Battlefield franchise into laser-guided 21st century combat with two titles: Battlefield: Modern Combat will ship for PS2 in late 2004, with Battlefield 2 arriving in spring 2005.

More than an arcade racer, Burnout 3: Crash & Burn (PS2, Xbox) from Criterion Games encourages drivers to use their vehicles as weapons on more than 40 tracks.

Halle Berry in a cat suit, in a game? That's the draw in this summer's Catwoman (GBA, GC, PC, PS2, Xbox), which closely follows the plot of the upcoming action movie.

From Black Hole Games this fall comes Armies of Exigo, an original fantasy RTS for PC. Players battle against elves, beasts, and knights and can explore vast catacombs before tunneling to the surface to attack unsuspecting enemies.

EA is also taking the wraps off this fall's Def Jam Fight for NY (GC, PS2, Xbox), in which players take a New York City street fighter to the top; also at the show is the 2005 release TimeSplitters Future Perfect, Free Radical Design's next installment in its first-person time-traveling action series.


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