So, for the past few weeks, my regular column was dominated by Sims 4 related content. You want to know a secret? I actually wrote all of that in three days! Yes, I actually write most of my stuff in advance. That’s why I usually have a coherent flow as to what my next article will be like. In other words, all those Sims 4 stuff I’ve written for the past 3 weeks were my initial impressions of the game.
I actually wanted to review the game out of the game once I got it. But I decided against it because I felt it would be unfair to it, especially if the game has a huge wealth of content and things to do like all Sims games. But I think I’ve played the game enough. After all, wouldn’t you say 8 weeks of playing the game everyday is enough time for me to give a fair assessment?
The Sims 4 is really weird in the sense that, for every thing it does right, it also does something wrong. But the main difference is the to what degrees they get things right or wrong. When it does something good, it does it really well. When it does something wrong, I am disappointed but I feel it’s something I can live with.
Take the new creation tools. This is the best Create-A-Sim they’ve ever developed! For once, I’m able to create Sims that I’m truly proud of. And that’s just with using the tool for less than an hour! Even with the admirable depth the Create-A-Sim tool the Sims 3 had, I was never fully satisfied with the final look of my Sim. Not so with The Sims 4! This time, I’m able to create Sims that I’m really happy with! I loved the tool so much I did something I never did before in any previous Sims game: I created an avatar with a good likeness to myself!
Same thing goes with the Building tools! It’s really so easy to construct really neat looking houses and buildings now since they made the interface so intuitive to use! You can even make really minute adjustments like changing the heights of the windows or modifying the wall heights without having to select a separate item in the Build tools! Adding foundations to buildings can be done with a click of the button! Oddly enough, my favorite thing about the building options is how you can simply drag and drop whole rooms! It’s great that I can do that!
Even with this wealth of options, I’m still feel let down by them as I can’t really add my own designs to either the buildings, objects or even my clothes anymore! I would usually take hours creating new designs and changing the colors of my outfits so that they would match my Sim in the previous installment, The Sims 3. Now, all we have are pre-selected color options. It feels like a big step back!
One of the things I loved about The Sims 3 was the open world. I could take a taxi, ride a vehicle or walk/jog to one area to another if I so choose! On the way there, I may pass by some people, stop and chat with them. It made me feel like I was really in the town and not just playing a simulation game!
In The Sims 4, it gave me the opposite feeling! Here, I know I’m playing a video game since, if I even attempt to leave the area, I’ll be blocked by some invisible wall. If I do choose to leave the area via the Travel option of my cell phone, I have to go to a map screen, choose my location and get teleported there. Yup, no animation of my Sim getting into a taxi or trotting over there. You’re instantly zapped there… after seeing a loading screen.
The loading of each area is pretty quick, I’ll give them that. But couldn’t they at least made it more fun to look at? At least put an animated version of my Sim getting into a car, driving there and then getting off at the location once everything’s loaded up! I mean, if I’m going to be looking at a loading screen, they should’ve made it more fun to look at! And, if you want to travel around the town often (like me), you’ll be seeing a lot of this screen!
Thank God there are a lot of activities and people to see when you do arrive at a location. In The Sims 3, I want my Sim to socialize with others so I would go to the park or cafe to meet new people. Sometimes, I would get to my location and find it empty! This happened a lot in the Late Night expansion pack! It got to a point where I would just stop total strangers on the street to talk to them instead of trekking all the way to a location! Thankfully, in the Sims 4, every place you visit is packed with people. Even if it’s 3 ‘o clock in the morning, the gym is filled with people getting their exercise on.
Interacting with people is actually really fun this time around. There are a wealth of options to pick now thanks to the new Emotions system. You will get more dialog options depending on the mood of your Sim! You can impishly pester someone if you’re feeling playful. You can give someone a pep talk if you’re energetic. I like this since it does mirror real life somewhat. What you say or what you talk about is sometimes determined by how a person feels.
One thing that doesn’t mirror real life is the asexual nature of all of the Sims. Maybe it’s just me but I think they should’ve fixed sexual choice in The Sims by now! I mean, I can hit on both male and female characters and they would reciprocate my feelings in one way or another! Sorry, I may sound like a prude and I know the developers are letting us play the way we life. But I do want a layer of… strategy when it comes to hooking up with others. I want to be turned down because I’m not attractive enough for them or, well, because she doesn’t want to hook up with the same gender!
My biggest problem with The Sims 4 is not a problem with the game itself. Rather, it’s what the game doesn’t have! The Sims 3 gave us a taste of pools, toddlers, eating out at restaurants, getting freelance jobs and the like. The Sims 4 has none of these! It’s a huge issue and I’m kind of upset by this.
It’s been announced that the game will get free upgrades provided by EA and Maxis. They just gave ghosts back (which I never really cared for). But they are going to give us the ability to create pools again (which is great)! That means they’re also going to give us swimsuits. Because if they don’t, well, that would be dumb! I wouldn’t want to go swimming in my fancy party outfit!
Taking into account of all the hits and misses the game has, I would say The Sims 4 is still fun but wasn’t able to meet the awe inspiring heights The Sims 3 gave us. I’ve actually commented on some message boards that this game feels like an HD upgrade of the first Sims game with a bunch of expansion packs. It feels very limited in scope but what it does have is still a blast to play.
The Sims 4 is fun to play and will only get better with future expansion packs and (hopefully) more free upgrades. In the meantime, I think it’s better to hold off buying the game and just wait to see what else they add.
What’s your take on The Sims 4? Is it still worthy of your money? Let me know what you think in the comments section below!