Release Date: September 2, 2014 Platform: PC Developer: EA MaxisPublisher: EA Genre: Life Simulator
Let me start off by saying that I, like many of you reading this, am an avid fan of The Sims.I’ve played all of them since the very first. When the Sims 3came out, let’s just say that I showered more in the game than I did in real life.
I was incredibly excited when EA announced The Sims 4was finally coming, but ever since the original reveal, the news regarding the newest installment of the franchise seemed to eat away at my hopes and dreams. After playing many hours over the past two days, I’m comfortable saying that The Sims 4is a major disappointment.
It doesn’t do any one thing in a severely disappointing way, but instead presents numerous small issues that eat away at your overall opinion of the game. For example, what were once bustling neighborhoods that aligned closer with a theme park out of Rollercoaster Tycoonis now a much smaller, instanced bit of content that doesn’t feel nearly as lively or exciting. There are no sports venues in either of the two neighborhoods available, nor are there any hospitals, police stations, schools, or movie theaters. And, of course, we all know there aren’t any pools, either. Bummer.
Building your own house has also seen its options slimmed down so that there aren’t nearly as many options for you to deck out a house with — one of my personal favorite things about The Sims 3was creating my own house just the way I wanted it. But you can’t do that in The Sims 4since many pattern and color options have been stripped away in favor of pre-made rooms. It quickly became clear when building a house that the new housing system in The Sims 4isn’t meant for the tinkerer but for those that want instant gratification. You’re also not able to add a pool, edit the terrain on your plot, or add a dishwasher. No, instead your Sim is stuck washing dishes by hand like a caveman (first world problems…I know).
The Sims 4 is also missing some of the little zany touches from its predecessors, such as random ghosts and aliens living (or not living?) in the world. These types of exclusions take away from the comedy that previous games in the franchise offered.
Creating your own Sim has also been streamlined. While the clothing options are more, the body options are less. You’re unable to nail your exact hair color since you are provided color options instead of a color wheel. You can’t give your Sim full-face make-up. You can’t give your Sim body hair. You can’t even choose your Sim’s zodiac sign (I’m a Leo).
You’re also limited in the professions you can pick, and while being a secret agent is a fun choice, I wish it were still possible to make your Sim a business professional and become a corporate heavyweight.
There is one addition to the franchise that is indeed a welcome change, which is the multitasking. I can now talk to a friend while cooking or writing, allowing me to level my cooking while increasing my social satisfaction.
The timeline of The Sims 4is quite a conundrum as well, as it takes you nearly an hour to use the bathroom and an hour to take a shower. I don’t know about you, but I don’t require an hour using the toilet every morning (and if you do, please seek medical advice). Although each action takes up a lot of your time, there aren’t nearly as many actions to choose from this time around, so you’re never really crunched for time.
There are also technical issues aplenty, including horrifying bugs such as babies that are rendered in awful ways, cases of randomly missing bathroom doors (did the maid steal it or…??), and strange interactions with objects.
It’s clear to me that The Sims 4 is merely the framework created by EA to add expansions into the mix, likely in the near future. As it stands right now, The Sims 4feels more like The Sims 2.5. In fact, the game feels like it would be more suitable for a mobile platform.
With the technology available today, it’s inconceivable how EA could have made the decision to make a game not set in an open world. You can’t add great features to a franchise in one game and then remove what worked so well in the next game. It doesn’t work like that! The game begins to feel more like a mindless chore after a few hours, and it becomes apparent that I should work on my own level of fun instead of my Sim’s. I really wanted to like The Sims 4,but I strongly suggest you spend your simoleons elsewhere.