Pets Are People, Too...

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Sims 3 is finally giving the appropriate attention to man's best friends... and cats, too, for that matter... with the Sims Pets expansion for Sims 3.

In Sims Pets, for the first time, pets are full-fledged sims with their own wishes, goals and stories. You can choose from a huge list of breeds from Persians and Norwegian Forrests to Devon Rex and Tuxedo Cats... and from American Bulldogs and German Shepherds to Chow Chows. Not only that, you can adjust fine details of your dog or cat, such as snout size, length of their jowels and even the color, cut and patterns of their hair, on a section-by-section area. You should be able to customize your dog or cat to look exactly like you want them. And, once you have them all dolled up and don't think they could be any cuter, you can dial the age back to puppy or kitten... Awwww.

And not only can you select how they should look, but you can also chose traits that affect how they act, whether they be piggy, skittish, aggressive, vocal or simply clueless... to name but a few. In fact, the demonstration we were given at E3 2011 included "Tiger Dog" - a dog with tiger stripes - who was the loyal pet of a lonely bachelor, Tiger Boy. At a bar, we got to see one of Tiger Dog's actions, "Go Fetch Date." The dog approached a woman at the bar, played his cute dog routine and then gave Tiger Boy the opportunity to stroll over and parley this interaction into a date with the girl. Nice.

Additionally, there will be new karma powers... back for this release on console... allowing the universe to punish a sim, say with a carefully placed meteorite impact. And a new type of gameplay - mysteries - for those of you achievers out there.

Sims Pets on the 360 will support voice navigation and vocal commands to play; you can simply say "be friendly", "be romantic" or "be aggressive" and your pet will react appropriately. Check back for a full review when Sims Pets hits the shelves.