Today on FYIG, we take a look at The Sims 4 and how the base game has evolved (staying away from expansions) since it released in September 2014.
I remember first seeing The Sims back in 2000 when I had one of those Scholastic flyers in grade school. My parents allowed me to get both the base game and the Livin’ Large expanson pack. I was instantly hooked on this life simulator. You could do pretty much anything in The Sims. It was amazing to see my little character live out the life that I created for him in meticulous fashion. Of course, then I wanted a bunch of expansions to add more to the game and the addiction just went on from there.
The Sims had an interesting way of creating new content. Instead of releasing brand new games every year, they release a new game about every 4-5 years historically with expansion packs in between. The Sims 4 has followed this formula pretty well so far releasing in 2014, 5 years after the release of The Sims 3. The Sims 4 has also included 3 expansion packs so far as well as a plethora of game and stuff packs, but we’ll be talking more the base game and how it has evolved until now. I’ll be doing separate reviews on the expansions at a later date.
The Sims 4 starts out with the brand new version of Create-A-Sim. This system is a lot easier to create a sim molded to your exact liking. There are no more sliders, it’s more of a drag and mold system where you click and drag to mold different parts of the body and facial structure. It works incredibly well and allows you to create much more detailed sims than ever before. The one issue I have is that you can’t just colour things exactly what you want to anymore. There are preset colours for each item and if your favourite isn’t there, you’re out of luck.
The needs system in The Sims 4 received perhaps the biggest overhaul. The comfort and environment needs cease to exist. That’s not to say they don’t affect the game as moods have now been introduced. I compare moods to short buffs that change the way a sim acts for a short period of time. For example, if a sim gets a promotion, they may feel confident whereas if they flirt and get shot down, they may feel embarrassed. These moods give your sims access to special actions for a limited time like going to hide from the world in bed if you’re embarrassed. It’s something that makes this game feel that much more organic than its predecessors.
The skill system has also been expanded upon. My sim has gotten fairly good at cooking and has unlocked the gourmet cooking skill. This unlocks some gourmet dishes that you can make and adds a little diversity to a simple part of the game. There are also certain events that occur that will require you to make a quick choice that may effect your mood like taking on a lazy co-workers tasks at work. There are many risk/reward scenarios like this in the game and it’s really nice to be able to have that kind of depth that wasn’t there in previous games.
Sims can even multi-task now doing up to 3 tasks at once. I can watch TV on the treadmill while talking to another sim. It’s an amazing update and something that makes tasks a lot easier to complete. The only difficulty with this is that this does sometimes make takes more difficult to complete because it takes them that much longer to complete. I’ve had my sims eating and talking for hours before. When you’re trying to get a quick bite to eat before work, this can be quite an annoyance.
Build mode in The Sims 4 is probably my favourite of the entire series. It’s very easy to shape a room exactly the way you want with a few clicks. You can even move entire room or make them bigger by simply clicking an arrow. It seems to speed up the building process and makes creating a beautiful home simple for anyone. I will say that there isn’t a huge selection of objects as there had been in the previous games. You do have a bit more selection on what you can do on the outside of your house aesthetically, but I felt underwhelmed with the lack of variety here. This is easily a product of all the stuff packs and game packs that contain a lot of the stuff that wasn’t here to begin with.
Travelling anywhere in The Sims 4 requires a load screen. The load screen is fairly brief, but it creates a disconnect from the world around you. If I can see my neighbours porch, I shouldn’t have to load to go there. It discourages players from straying too far from home and makes the world feel more static than it probably should. It also doesn’t help that there are only 5 or 6 lots in each game map which doesn’t make it feel like much of a neighbourhood.
The Sims 4 is a decent upgrade in a lot of ways. It’s certainly a very colourful and beautiful game to look at and there are lost of decorative options. The core mechanics themselves are even much better with the added emotional states creating a nice new experience for Sims fans. Pools, dishwashers, and toddlers have been added in since the game’s launch and a plethora of different stuff, game, and expansion packs that change a lot about how the game plays are now available. I’m sure I’ll review some, if not all of those individually in time. This game doesn’t quite have the content and scope that The Sims 3 did and that will rub some people the wrong way. The Sims 4 is still an enjoyable game and I’d recommend it any fan of this series as long as you go into it with an open mind. There’s still a lot of enjoyment to be had here.
Don’t miss our other Sims 4 reviews!
- The Sims 4 City Living Expansion Pack
- The Sims 4 Parenthood Game Pack
- The Sims 4 Bowling Night Stuff Pack
*A copy of this game was provided to FYIG by EA for review purposes*