Reviews 1

The Sims 4 – Review

The Sims 4 copped some flak before being released with reports of multiple features being removed and the lack of an open world environment. This has left players questionable as to whether they will actually pick it up. Previous Sims games have needed upwards of 20 DLC packs to feature elements that should have been in the original, so how does this version stack up against it’s predecessors?
Jumping straight in with creating your character, the Create A Sim options seem to be a little hit and miss. With there being no standard hairstyles or extra colours for my sim, it meant that I either had to have a buzz cut or some sort of cross between a Justin Bieber and a Harry Styles ‘flick do’. On the other hand there are a large variety of outfits to choose from, each with the variable colours to match your desired look for any occasion. Adding to the customisable options is the ability to change your size proportions on the fly. With a simple click & drag your character can expand or shrink any section of their body to fit in with how you want them to look.
One feature that did put me off was the actual age difference in your sim. The differences between a teenager, young adult, adult and even elder are barely noticeable (save for grey hair) which doesn’t give the feeling that your sim is actually growing through the time you play with them. Not really a big gripe but a smaller model for a teen and some extra changes with aging would have helped. The developers have also removed toddler which means you sim goes from baby to 10 overnight.
Build mode seems to have been overhauled and it’s definitely a major improvement. Rooms can be resized without the need of deleting walls and objects can be placed on any section of wall rather than the one fixed position. Resizing of objects has also been implemented so if you want a 50ft plush dinosaur in your front yard you are very welcome to do so. Brought over from Sims 3 is the 8 way rotation for item placement which helps if you don’t want a perfectly square house. I did feel that the selection of items was fairly limited though and It would seem that they have deliberately left out content so they are able to add them in as DLC at a later date.
TS4-Create a Room
Both ‘Create a Sim’ and ‘Build Mode’ have included “Create a Style” where you are able to design an outfit/room and save it for future households. This increases the speed and ease of creating a new life and adding to the replayability of the game. Before long you can have 3 different households that can all meet at the park for lunch.
At times I feel the most exciting part of The Sims 4 is actually setting up a life rather than actually living it. This could come from the fact that it is still a single player game and there are no outside influences in your world. This didn’t stop me from spending almost 2 hours setting up my household and building a house that was in our budget, leaving just enough money to survive. In the end I was left with less than $100 to my name and my house was livable. Scraping by for food and drink for the weekend before work was a frightening endeavour but all became bright again as I got promoted on my first day and got a big bonus for doing great work. By the end of the week I had enough money to live comfortably with another promotion and bonus in the bank it removed the fear of losing everything.
The implied difficulty with any Sims game is dependent on the amount of sims you want to manage at one time. Once you have mastered the care of one life you can expand your household and take care of multiple people. There isn’t really much else when it comes to making the game harder for yourself unless you are going out of your way to fail. This can leave the game feeling monotonous at times and you quickly fall into the rhythm of wake up, work, home, make all bars green again and again with the fear of death or old age ever-lurking.
To break this monotony, the newest feature to be implemented in The Sims 4 is sim emotions. Your sims will react differently based on the events that happen around them and can affect the mood of your sims. Fail to flirt with the local hottie and your sim will feel awkward and embarrassed for the next few hours. This mood will affect your sims actions depending on what mood they are in. Certain emotions will also unlock more actions for your sim to do. Actions like “Pee like a Champion” or “Express insecurities” will help channel these emotions into positive or negative gains.
I found this to be a little tedious at times but overall quite enjoyable. Your sim can flick between 3 different emotional moods in the matter of an hour depending on the actions that they have taken and their outcomes. This can force you to take yourself out of the current situation and work out your emotional response. On the other hand if your emotions are in check you can level up skills faster and solidify friendships with other sims.
The greatest feature to be implemented in The Sims 4 is the ability for sims to multi-task. I can’t believe we are up the 4th iteration of this franchise before I realised how much of an improvement this would be. Now my sim can cook dinner without shutting out the rest of the household and play games while talking to the person next to them. This also works in conversations. Upon arriving to my little house I visited the local park where I was able to strike up a conversation. Before long, 5 people had amassed around us, all talking that nonsensical language we have come to enjoy but never fully understand.
There a quite a few new features in The Sims 4 but not enough to include such an intrusive “tutorial” system. The game constantly pops up with boxes explaining extremely obviously elements of the game without an option to turn them off. This quickly became infuriating because after clicking on 3 in a row usually there would be a full screen pop-up to top it all off. A little hand holding is great to get back into the feel of things but I feel like they are smothering me with useless information.
The Sims 4 runs amazingly when compared to the previous games. While the open world features of Sims 3 were interesting it made the game run extremely poorly as time went on. With so much going on the so
ftware just couldn’t keep up and left the game loading longer than you were actually playing. Now with quicker load times for each section, The Sims 4 runs smoothly and still allows players to explore the world. It’s just one little piece at a time rather than all at once.
To me, The Sims 4 is a refined version of the already established series. It takes some features out and makes sure that the quality of what’s included is top notch. I like the updated aesthetics and the game itself is still fun if a bit monotonous. Unfortunately there isn’t enough added to the core gameplay and while it’s an improvement over The Sims 3, it seems like it’s 2-3 expansion packs from being a fully established title in the series.
Rating: 7/10