I have always loved The Sims franchise since the first Sims game out way back in 2000. Even with its poor graphics and somewhat clunky gameplay (but at the time this game was the first of its kind), I found myself enjoying the game. I shared The Sims with my brother on our grandparents’ computer; we had two expansion packs for the game Unleashed (which never actually worked) and Superstar. I progressed to The Sims 2, which is where my love for the game increased tenfold and if you are wondering, I had one stuff pack (Family Fun) and Pets. This leads me onto The Sims 3, which still to this day is my favourite of The Sims games (expansion pack wise, I have a large majority of them as well as stuff packs). However, this post is not gush over how much I love The Sims 3 it is to talk about The Sims 4.
Just over a year ago The Sims 4 was released and was hesitant to buy the game due to certain things lacking (open world, the lack of creative change in build/buy mode, oh and toddlers!). In fact, The Sims 4 faced a fair bit of criticism from fans of the game and industry experts alike. However, I must praise Maxis and EA because in (free!) updates over the past year things that should have been in the base game such as ghosts and swimming pools have been added. Maxis and EA have listened to what the fans want but still some of these things should be in the base game. Recently Origin was offering 48hours gameplay of The Sims 4 for free, so after hearing about the offer from a friend I jumped at the chance (I will link if the offer is still up). I am now going to go through some of the thoughts and feelings I had when playing The Sims 4!
First off if you are downloading this game off Origin instead of getting a disk the download will take forever (I think it took a good two hours for me). There is no “trailer” of sorts when the game is loading it just kind of opens and you can choose go to the gallery (it is the new exchange), create a sim or jump into the worlds/towns.
First let’s talk about the gallery, I love it. It is tidy, organised and some of the creators have really outdone themselves. There is no hassle adding buildings and sims to your games (unlike the hoo-ha with The Sims 3) and finding what I was want was pure bliss.
Moving on to CAS. The Sims 4 is one of the best CAS I have ever used; there is so much creativity available in CAS (minus the customisation). You get to stretch, pull and twist your Sims into any shape you are want. Yes, The Sims in The Sim 4 do have a more of a cartoonish look to them and it is not something that bothers me, it fits in quite well with the gameplay.
Next is the worlds/towns. They are small and if you have pre-existing lots in your world then your space is limited. I am aware that one of the worlds is completely empty but I just feel like maybe the worlds could have been made a smidge bigger even like The Sims 2. The actual lots I played myself were small, I didn’t have time to explore larger lots or make a house so I possibly couldn’t make judgement on that. I think for me because I love the open world aspect so much the small worlds just make me feel a little claustrophobic.
Let’s talk about the gameplay. The controls do feel heavy but after a few google searches later and a change in the controls, I was able to move more freely. A big worry for me was the loading screens when traveling to locations. In The Sims 2, I got so fed up of loading screens but thankfully that wasn’t the case this time. The Sims 4 so far has quick loading screens and the next thing you are there! Another good point that when your Sims is at another location and they go home time has carried on at the same speed. This makes the gameplay seem more realistic in my opinion. Something I didn’t really experience in my 48 hours was how the household management worked, do you sims age when you play another active household and is there are story telling mode or sorts?
I loved the emotions aspect of the Sims, I felt like I could really understand my Sims wants and needs (speaking of which I didn’t need to constantly check the wants/needs the Sims current emotion would tell me!) I think this is definitely a huge draw to The Sims 4, it shows uniqueness between Sims and none of the two days are the same. I was glad to see the interactions in work were still there, when a problem came up you could choose a course of action or you could choose how your Sims performed at work. Overall, the biggest positive for me was the multitasking! It improves the game play massively and it just makes the game easier if you get what I mean. It is something that I feel should have been in the game a long time ago.
So my 48 hours were up and I played when I could as much as I could. Overall, The Sims 4 is a decent game and I feel like with expansion packs and updates the game will improve. However, there are some things that I do miss from the game and this is why I haven’t rushed out and bought it. Saying that I am going to wait till Black Friday before I buy them game, I might be able to justify the price then. For now, The Sims 3 is still my favourite game out of The Sims series but who knows maybe in a year that may change.
I posted this on my Twitter a few weeks back. Being the Grim reaper is clearly thirsty work.