“The Sims 4” Game Review

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I have been waiting for The Sims 4 ever since The Sims 3 was released back in 2009. I finally got to play it and considering my experience I wish EA took a few more years before releasing the new core game in the franchise.

If one looks at the core games through the years, the franchise has changed a lot. Each core game expanded on its predecessor and provided fans with a richer gaming experience. I remember how Sims 2 greatly improved the franchise’s graphics, and then Sims 3 gave fans an open world. I didn’t have to watch loading screens anymore and everything was streamlined.

I expected The Sims 4 to have better features than the previous core games but I was greatly disappointed by what I saw. Truth be told, the new installment in the game looked like a stripped-down version of The Sims that came out in 2000, only with better graphics.

The only new thing in The Sims 4 is the game’s focus on personalities and emotions. The gameplay remains the same. You create a Sim, select a house, and then control their life. The creation tool is easier to handle and you can do a lot with facial features. Selecting the traits of your Sim has a greater effect on the Sim’s interactions throughout the game.

The decision to make Sims more realistic is praiseworthy because it is a life-simulation game franchise. However, players require a lot of things to enable them to create a whole other world inside a virtual domain, and that’s where The Sims 4 failed me.

Creating my Sim was fun but it was all downhill after that. Once I created and placed my Sim, Devin, into his new house I immediately realized that he was contained to a single lot. I wouldn’t call it a prison but it sure felt like one. Unlike The Sims 3 I couldn’t make Devin go on a jog and check out the neighborhood. A lot of features were missing from the game and it took away from the fun. I couldn’t create a swimming pool or buy a bicycle. I couldn’t add a basement either. So, I decided that Devin should get a job. I started to remember my gaming experience when I used to play the The Sims and not in a good way.

Sending your Sim to a job will leave you staring at your screen wishing for time to speedup. In Sims 3 I would cruise through the entire neighborhood and see what other NPC’s were up to while my Sim would slave away at work. In Sims 4, like the first two core games, I had to wait out the duration . I also couldn’t visit the building my Sims was working in, and I couldn’t see the ‘Needs Bar’ while Devin was away.

Devin’s emotional state played a big part in his interactions with other Sims. There were different moods I was able to make Devin 10153971_290951071088701_2910107033853007044_nexperience while I played. In the bar he was flirty; he was bored after coming back from work, and so on. The game also allowed me to interact differently with objects because of the said moods. An angry Devin was amazing during his workout in the gym.

The Sims 4 gave emotions to my virtual little person, but it wasn’t able to offer anything else. I stopped playing after two hours because after creating Devin, furnishing his house, and checking out the gym and the bar, there wasn’t anything else the game could offer me.

There’s a good chance EA will release more features through DLC’s, but only time will tell if they make them available for free or put a price tag on them. The basic features should be released as free patches because fans of the franchise deserve at least that much. If EA actually makes players pay for swimming pools, toddlers, or other things that were present in previous core games, then the future of the franchise will be in danger. Fans can tell when a company is trying to take money from them without giving anything of worth in return.

Verdict: If you are happy playing with your Sims without an open-world environment,  vehicles, pools, basements, the ability to customize furniture, teenagers that don’t look like adults, no in-game story progression, grocery stores, and toddlers, then The Sims 4 is for you.

Have you played The Sims 4 yet? What did you think of it? Was the ’emotion’ feature enough to distract you from the major features missing from the game?Let us know!

Developer: EA Maxix

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Platforms: Microsoft Windows

Genre: Life simulation

Release dates: September 2, 2014

Author: Farid-ul-Haq

Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.


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