The legendary Sims series made it’s fourth major game release in 2014, it was developed by Maxis and The Sims Studio and published by Electronic Arts (EA). It was the best selling PC game of 2014 & 2015 and topped the all-format charts in two years, it is the first game to do so according to some of the top gaming sites.There are plenty of other sims games, including the other 3 main games, expansions, lots of spin offs and freemium games available on iOS and android, this means that The Sims 4 has a lot of expectation to live up to. There are mixed reviews from critics, a lot of the negative feedback suggests a lack of content compared to the other games. With so much to be compared to, it was never going to be an easy ride for the sims 4, so it’s interesting to see the features and gameplay it has delivered.
The Sims 4
The main intention of the majority of Sims games is to have no particular story line, and the user can create their own objectives and stories. While there are Sims games available that conclude, the main games, including number 4, all have limitless play.
There are several main characters that are made and ready to play, some of which are present throughout all sims games! (Hardcore Sims players should always expect to see Bella and Mortimer Goth for example!). Alternatively, you can design a Sim using the intricate and extensive “create-a-sim” mode. While in “create-a-sim” mode, it allows you to create your own personalised character from scratch, and just about everything is adjustable. You choose the age, name, appearance, personality and more. The sims 4 offers many options, for example, it even allows male sims to use feminine clothes, or to get pregnant, giving you the option to create exactly the sim you’d like. Creating a Sim is now much more detailed and complex in the Sims 4 than it was in previous versions. If you’re in a rush, however, you can always “randomise” the options, and change as much or as little as you’d like. Previous sims games used sliders to customise characters, but the Sims 4 has replaced this aspect and users now click directly
on the feature of the sim to change it. There are several life stages available to choose from in the Sims 4. These include; baby, toddler (added in January 2017 patch), child, teenager, young adult, adult and elder. Babies can only be accessed through the game, and cannot be made in create-a-sim mode. Each life stage has a different amount of in game “days” until the sim ages and progresses to the next life stage, younger sims such as babies and toddlers age much faster than adults and elders.
Traits and Aspirations
An important part of the game is deciding the sims personal traits and life goals. As there is no end “goal” to this game, you are responsible to create a temporary one. For instance if your sim achieves their life goals, their children then need to do the same with theirs, this creates more goals and possibilities for your game. The traits include; emotional traits, hobby traits lifestyle traits and social traits. Aspirations include; Athletic, Creative, Deviance, Family, Food, Fortune, Knowledge, Love, Nature, Popularity. You should choose an aspiration that matches a sims traits and personality well. It would make the game much harder if you were to make a sim very lazy and choose an Athletic
There are several worlds to choose from in the base game of The Sims 4. The player starts with 3 choices; Oasis Springs, Willow Creek and Newcrest. Worlds are just different neighbourhoods, and within each world is a map containing several spaces to harbour houses and community lots. Some lots are already pre-made, but sometimes you can find empty slots to let your creative side shine and build a building from scratch.
In build mode you have access to all the tools you need to create a building, down to the tiniest detail. You can create every architectural aspect, from foundations, walls, roofs, windows, doors, fences, pools and then decorate with several different textures by choosing wallpaper, carpets, roof patterns and much more.
Buy mode allows the player to purchase all manner of objects for the sims to interactive with and use. Some objects affect a sims mood, some help them gain skills and others can just be for decoration. All sims are given an amount of money to start and buy a house, however the sim must find a means of getting money, or “simoleons” in the game, in order to purchase new and upgraded objects.
In Live Mode, Sims can be controlled and their life can progress. The player has control over pretty much every aspect of the life of their sim, including the speed that the time passes, this is useful to fast forward boring parts of the day, such as sleep, watching TV and much more. In live mode sims can interact with other sims, create relationships, families, get jobs, gain skills and so much more. The player can decide the fate of the sims that they have control of, whether the sim will live happily ever after or whether the sims life will take a more sinister turn.
Unlike all of the previous sims games, the Sims 4 does not offer a way to easily use downloads. “Downloads” are files in which you modify the game, you can find clothes, objects, sims and much more online, and this can make your base game much more enjoyable and personalised, which is a major flaw for the sims 4.
Obviously, gameplay depends on which platform you choose to play the game. The sims 3 was, sometimes, a little laggy and slow, and the sims 4 seems to have improved. However, from time to time, specially on a console, it appears to freeze while changing modes. While gameplay is fun, and there a few more features than previous games, not all that much has changed, making the game seem a little pointless. The Sims is much better played on PC, as using a console means that the controls are a little more awkward. Something that gets a little frustrating is the way that you cancel actions, as sometimes it is not always clear which action you have selected and can
accidentally cancel the wrong thing. At times I have also noticed how sims can take a long pause before performing an action, which also can be frustrating. I find gameplay far from smooth, and hope these problems can be fixed in future updates.
The Sims uses a cartoon like appearance for its gameplay. Compared to games released around the same time, the graphics really lack in realism. Even as cartoons, the characters can sometimes look a little fake and juvenile. I think with improved visuals, the Sims gaming experience could really be enhanced.
Is It Worth It?
Is The Sims 4 Worth it? The Sims 4 is currently retailing for £34.99.
In my opinion, it’s not really worth the money. There are only minor changes from previous Sims games, and you can get a copy of the sims 3 for only £10. Maybe with the expansions The Sims 4 may improve, and be worth spending the money? For die-hard Sims fans, it is worth the play to experience the few new features, such as click
and drag create-a-sim, emotionally driven activities and a streamlined build mode