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The Sims go street... and get renamed The Urbz

Following our revelation on Tuesday (20 April) that Maxis were developing a , Electronic Arts - publishers of the massively successful people-'em-up series - have confirmed that the game will be called The Urbz and that it will be released for PS2, Xbox, Cube and GBA in the autumn.

As previously revealed, the game focuses on reputation, with players having to create these new sims, called urbz, by customising their style and building their status to become the biggest player in the city. Working now plays a central part in the game, with job locations including a sushi bar, the Chop Shop or Bootleg Fireworks, Inc. Success brings about promotion which itself leads to your character having more influence over other urbz.

Other locations include downtown, shopping districts, bohemian artist workshops and a gritty subway station while the new character customisation engine allows you to create urbz with what EA call (ahem) "signature bling" such as tattoos and nose rings. The PS2 version will also support the EyeToy, allowing players to download their image into the game: as their rep grows, their image will begin to be reflected in the game.

Meanwhile, the GBA version sees players start out in a city on the brink of ruin after getting fired from their job. Handily, you then stumble across a devious plot by one Daddy BigBucks to take over the city. It's up to you to stop him via the medium of mini-games. The 25 locations include Urbania, Sim Quarter and the Bayou while there are over 120 new objects to collect. Players can also link two GBAs together in a Multiplayer Cafe and play head-to-head mini-games, unlock new features and trade rare items.

The Urbz is due to be released in the autumn, although an early playable version will be unveiled at next month's E3 games show

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