The reviews rolled in for The Sims 4, the latest main installment of EA Maxis’ flagship franchise, and the overall sentiment was disappointment.
The key complaint appears to be that, while The Sims 4 isn’t necessarily a “bad” game, it’s just not as good as The Sims 3. In fact, our own reviewer referred to the game as Sims 2.5, which seems apt when you consider everything that’s not included in the fourth major installment.
Of course, the game is still fixable. But I have a lingering feeling that EA is planning to milk me for every dollar possible right from the start. Then again, this is the same era where content is routinely cut off from the main game in the interest of pre-order bonuses, so perhaps this is just par for the course.
At any rate, I thought perhaps EA and Maxis could use some help with deciding which “new” (read: old) features should be released first. God knows they can’t get here soon enough. Here are 7 ideas I’d like to see in the upcoming expansions for The Sims 4.
Sims 4: The Missing Features Edition
I wish I was kidding.
The Sims 3 released a large amount of additional content during that game’s time in the sun. We’ve knocked The Sims 4 for not having even some of the most basic features from The Sims 3, but if you really want to dream big, how about an expansion that ports over all of the major expansions and add-on content from the prior game?
All told, there are 89 different features present in the Sims 3 which didn’t make it into its sequel. The “no swimming pools and toddlers” controversy has been beaten to death, so I won’t dwell, but there are plenty of other disappointments, as well.
There are no sports venues, hospitals, police stations, schools, movie theaters, bicycles, and the list goes on. If Maxis wants to win back some fan support, it might be best to put their more exotic expansion packs on the back burner for now and simply focus on turning Sims 4 into the game that should have been released in the first place. Since this most likely won’t happen in one fell swoop, let’s at least hope some of the missing features make it in through upcoming expansions.
Sims 4: Customization Pack
Another major complaint with Sims 4 as it stands is the lack of customization when it comes to important things like your Sim’s house and body shape. To be fair, there is some customization, but Sims 4 seems to be more streamlined and focused on using preset settings to get things up and running. An expansion or add-on that would unlock the ability to fine tune every area of your house (and your character’s physical appearance and attire) would be welcome.
Sims 4: Careers
While there are careers/professions available in Sims 4, the list once again pales in comparison to its predecessor’s. There’s also a bit of a disconnect right now when your Sim heads off to work.
There are no longer any office buildings for your Sim to bike or drive to, so your character pretty much disappears into thin air when it’s time for work. You can still issue commands to your Sim while he or she is “working,” but control is limited and it all feels a bit disjointed.
An expansion that brings back actual workplaces is sorely needed. It would be nice to have some normal professions back like the ability to just be a regular businessman on the path to becoming a powerful CEO.
Sims 4: Open World Edition
I realize that there’s probably little chance of this happening. The entire game would need to be rebuilt from the ground up. But one of the worst parts of Sims 4 for long-time Sims 3 players is the lack of an open world.
In the last game, you could watch your Sim get into his bike or car, travel to another part of town, and meet up with a friend. In the current game, you can still visit that friend, but instead of traveling there, you simply stare at a loading screen for a bit and then show up inside your friend’s house.
A lot of gamers play The Sims because they can live vicariously through their characters, at least for a little while. But every time you see a loading screen, you are reminded that it’s just a computer game, and I feel like that violates one of the central reasons people play these games. The Sims is supposed to provide a sense of escapism and the constant loading ruins that experience. If we ever get bikes and cars added into the game, I’d love to be able to take them out for a spin on my own terms.
Sims 4: Leisure Edition
What kind of draconian society places a ban on pretty much all sports and recreation?
In The Sims 4, you and any friends you make will most likely be stuck indoors when it’s time to socialize. There are virtually no recreational or leisure activities available.
I’d love the ability to hit the links or play tennis at a nearby country club. Heck, even the ability to go swimming in our own backyard would be welcome. Considering that video games are supposed to be all about having fun, it’s quite the head scratcher that our Sims don’t really have many options available when it’s time to enjoy life themselves.
Sims 4: Generations
Sims 3 had a similarly titled expansion pack, but I feel like Sims 4 could really benefit from one right about now.
One of the most obvious things this expansion could do is add in a toddler life stage (I said I wouldn’t get into it, right?). While they’re at it, how about splitting the adult life stage into multiple parts, such as adding an official “Middle-Aged” option before moving on to the Elder years?
There is less difference in physical appearance between generations in The Sims 4 and a new Generations expansion could help fix this problem, as well. This would be a good spot to put in those missing schools mentioned earlier, as well.
Sims 4: Supernatural Edition
One of the neater features in past Sims games was the ability for a favorite Sims character to stick around as a ghost after a visit from the Grim Reaper. You can still keep your favorite character around in the form of an urn or tombstone, but there’s not much going on when it comes to the supernatural stuff. It’s a shame, because this is a zany area that added a lot of humor to past titles.
If you really want to flesh out an expansion like this, how about adding an afterlife world where you can go and visit your dead Sims after they’ve departed their mortal coil?