Screenshot of The Sims 4 Game Cover

What is The Sims 4?

The Sims 4 is the latest life simulation videogame developed by Maxis and The Sims Studio. The game spent a lot of time in development since it was announced back in 2013 and was released in 2016. As the fourth game in the series, it can be played on PC and also on Xbox One and PlayStation 4. The game enjoyed critical acclaim and quickly became one of the best-selling titles worldwide. Since its original release, the game received several expansion packs including the best-known one Parenthood.

Key facts about The Sims 4

  • The Sims 4 offers better building tools, which are also more intuitive and accessible.
  • This game is the best-selling in the franchise and the most popular life simulation videogame.
  • The Sims 4 is hilarious and offers colorful visuals and mesmerizing sound effects.
  • Many of the core features present in the previous games were removed to give way to new ones.
  • The Sims 4 gameplay is more complex with players issuing more commands to the characters.

Gameplay of The Sims 4

There are plenty of similarities between the previous game in the series and the gameplay of The Sims 4. Players are supposed to create a character and control his or her life, while shaping their personality. The new game emphasizes the importance of multitasking and the characters can do several things simultaneously. New challenges were introduced, including one that goes by the name of Legacy Challenge. It tasks players with creating a family line and extending it for at least 10 generations.

Developers took some bold steps and have changed The Sims 4 gameplay. Sliders are no longer available and instead players use their mouse to customize characters. Since a lot of time is spent during this stage of the game, these modifications drew both praise and criticism. There are more hairstyles for both male and female characters, hair colors and the appearance of each person can be changed to great detail.

The Sims 4 is just like the other games in the franchise, one that requires a lot of time to complete. Characters go through seven life stages from baby to elders and toddlers were released for the first time in January 2017. While some features have disappeared, in the new game, the traits have returned and each character has three of them. There are also more clothing options, so players can customize not only the appearance, but also the fashion style of their characters.

Character creation takes most of the time of new players, yet shaping the environment is just as important. The gameplay of The Sims 4 now allows players to move rooms and even entire buildings around with relative ease. Developers decided to give players the possibility of bending the rules and use cheat codes.

Screenshot of The Sims 4 Party

Plot of The Sims 4

The Sims 4 plot is the same as it always was in the franchise and the gameplay is anything but linear. Since this is a life simulator, there is no room for scripted mechanics and predetermined decisions. Characters grow and evolve just like real people and players have the option of shaping their lives completely. There is no main story, but countless possibilities, since every player decides what’s better or worse for his or her character.

Most of the time spent playing is done in single player, yet interactions between people are encouraged in the new installment. The addition of social features allows players to share their creations with their peers from all over the world. It is possible to download and implement in the game many of these changes instantly. While there is no narrative per se to follow, there are two distinct worlds in which The Sims 4 plot unfolds. Willow Creek and Oasis Springs are the main ones and more were added through patches.

Screenshot of The Sims 4 Fitness

Development of The Sims 4

The Sims 4 spent more time in development than expected, with the release date being postponed several times. The previous game was so popular, that Electronic Arts immediately announced its intention to come up with a new product. These two titles were produced by different developers with the new creators wanting to leave their mark. One major improvement is that players don’t need an Internet connection to play the game.

While allowing players the freedom to enjoy their favorite game without staying online all the time, social interactions are encouraged. That is why the aforementioned features were implemented to stimulate dealings between players. A lot of attention was paid to the sound effects and the soundtrack was recorded and performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra.

Since 2013 when the game was announced, technology has evolved a lot and this is reflected in the graphics. In order to take advantage of the latest graphics, the game underwent several changes. In the process, the gameplay was also altered and game footage was gradually released at the main gaming conventions. Another reason for why the development of The Sims 4 took longer is that the game was tweaked for PC. The goal was to make it run smoothly even on less powerful devices.

Where can I download The Sims 4?

The Sims 4 can be downloaded from the Electronic Arts website, where the publisher also has the other games in the series. There are no bundles including all these games, as the company tries to promote the latest installment. Maxis were not involved in the development of the previous games, so only this title can be found on their website. Truth be told, the differences between the third and fourth installment are significant and the newest version outshines its predecessor in every imaginable way.

Electronic Arts in one of the leading publishers and The Sims 4 is just one of the many games they promote on their website. Players who want to try something different are not going to be disappointed with what they have to offer. Star Wars Battlefront 2, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline, Mirror’s Edge Catalyst, Dragon Age Origins and Crysis 3 can be acquired here. The games belong to other genres, but each of them was appreciated by fans and critics at the moment of its release.

Screenshot of The Sims 4 Toddlers

What are others saying about The Sims 4?

The game spent so much time in development that EA couldn’t afford to come up with a subpar product. Only a few The Sims 4 reviews complained about the fact that the game wasn’t released on time. More were talking about how the gameplay was changed to accommodate the new features. Virtually all the new additions were celebrated, yet some players were disappointed to see other features being removed.

Critics frequently compared The Sims 4 with the previous game in the series and some were in the favor of the third installment. Criticism was in regard to the fact that the new game lacks engagement and content, which was regarded as the biggest drawback. The new tutorials were also at the center of controversy, with beginners appreciating the assistance while veteran players feeling harassed by all the hits. On the positive side, the broader spectrum of emotions and the intelligence of the Sims was noted.

My Rating of The Sims 4

I can still remember the feeling of awe and amazement when I played the first game in this established franchise. Back in the day the genre was so impressive that I’ve spent many months playing it. Sadly, The Sims 4 is unable to generate the same kind of excitement even if you know nothing about the genre. Maybe modern players are crushed by the paradox of choice and are inclined to see the shortcomings before they acknowledged the achievements.

I felt that The Sims 4 is indeed a step forward compared to the previous game. The problem is that it spent so much time in development that I was expecting something revolutionary. I have to agree with those who were disappointed with the trade-off between the new features and the ones that were removed. In any case, if you haven’t played a life simulator before, then by all means give this game a chance. All in all, a review score of 6.5 out of 10 is all I can muster if I consider all the pluses and minuses.