Watching virtual people behave in silly and interesting ways, and guiding them through their daily lives is as strong as ever in the Sims 4. And as for building houses is way better, but at the same time a major lack of expect features in a small broken up world don’t let the mother lives to the fullest. Even though it’s fun, it’s a big let down as The Sims 4, doesn’t inspire the same wow factor The Sims 3 did, when we first put years ago. When you first create your Sim, you will be impressed by the push and pull body customization tools and the selection of expression walks. But we were a little disappointed that you could only assign for total traits, and that turns out to be less of a problem that we’d imagine, because the new emotion system makes a lot out of a little. It’s really cool and easily the best thing about The Sims 4. Emotions open new contextual opportunities, like being able to brighten someones day when happy, it makes a lot more sense than just having static attractions based on personality traits. You’ll enjoy watching a confident sim feel like a champion, or be touch by seeing an inspired husband telling his wife about his dreams. It’s a slow burn though, because it will take about 15 hours of playing to fully appreciate the complexity of the sims emotions, but after a while we really started enjoying it.
The big shock to the system happens when you leave your sims house for the first time, loading screens are everywhere even when you just want to go next door. The loading screens are not nearly as long as the Sims 3, like most fans are used too, but we were kind of disappointed with the Sims 4 first segmented world. It feels more like going back to The Sims 2, than it does the openness of the previous Sims 3. The starting town we get feels pretty small too, there only about 10 public venues to visit between the two available neighborhoods, and most of them felt a little repetitive. Because the world is so small, we felt like we kept running into the same people no matter where we went, with limited social opportunities. You can’t even make new friends at work, and job opportunities are limited too. We ended up keeping the sim in the house most of the time, but thanks to the new and improved multitasking feature, being at home so bad after all. If your sim works at home, a friend can come over to chat and keep your sim company at the same time. Conversations has a similarly easy flow, and they can involve more than just two sims. It was cool to not have to micro-manage your sim interactions with every turn, and it’s especially fun to watch the intelligent conversations go when you’re not interfering. On more than one occasion we’ve seen the sim gain the embarrassed emotion while chatting, because of the misguided romantic advance, or a joke that no one really got.
On the absolutely non-emotional side of The Sims 4, build mode has some great tools to make building houses more flexible and less frustrating than ever. Like the ability to pick up entire rooms and move them anywhere on the lot, without raising them to the ground and rebuilding from scratch. The push and pull tool allows you to move or resize an entire length of wall at once, but some tools are quirky though. Foundations are now applied retroactively, which is cool but unfortunately it applies to every structure on the entire lot and that means no split levels and no garages. Since there are no cars in The Sims 4, the ladder isn’t a huge deal, except no cars in The Sims 4 is a huge deal, this is supposed to be a people simulation and people have cars right? We also noticed characters also go straight from being babies to being kids, which is not a bad thing cause it’s a video game. Another grip was people also go swimming but in The Sims 4, there are no pools. Those are all really sore spots, especially since pools have always been one of the favorites renovations to your house including the hot tubs. The biggest disappointment for style players is that you don’t have the previous Sims 3 creative style tool anymore. To be fair we were able to successfully design a matching cohesive space age look, with the tools available but it will make you sad that you can’t transfer that look to your pajamas. Transitioning from The Sims 3, to The Sims 4 is a little rough. The Sims 4 has a lot of content and expected features by comparison and some of these things are hard to get over especially with the limited scope of the world and lack of pools. It’s not so much that The Sims developers didn’t re-create some of the same features, but rather that there aren’t enough cool new things to replace what’s missing, so in most ways the Sims 3 is a much better game. Though the Sims 4 does have some small victories in its emotion system and excellent building tools. Overall The Sims 4 is a good start, to what may eventually be expanded into a great Sims game, but it’s just not there yet.