Anticipating The Sims 4: Things to Get Excited About

It has been almost 14 years since the release of The Sims in the year 2000, and now The Sims 4 has been reconfirmed for a Fall 2014 release. The Sims franchise is one of the most successful video games of all time, despite it being largely a sandbox game. Many other games need clear objectives and good plot to sell, but in The Sims players get to create their own. Instead, gamers play to maintain their sims’ mood and fulfill their desires. It might seem like a weird concept to some, but for those who get into it, the game can be very addictive.

I am a sim-addict. I was in late primary school when I first brought home a copy of The Sims base game. It was an escape, a virtual world, closely resembling my own mundane suburban life, but in it I got to play adults and do all sorts of wacky things. I knew that I would never be a superstar or a witch, but my sims could. I even first learned how sex (an action called “play in bed” in The Sims) works from the game. And so the game stuck on. The expansion packs. Early puberty days spent playing The Sims 2. Another string of expansion packs. Graduating from high school, then acquiring a copy of The Sims 3. Spending money on yet another string of expansion packs. Seriously, what a vicious cycle.

Of course, this is everyone's favorite thing to do
#1 reason why anyone would play The Sims in the first place… You know who you are 😉

The best part about The Sims 4 is probably the return of Maxis as developer of the game. Probably learning from the not-so-successful The Sims 3, Maxis has returned to develop this latest Sims installment, alongside The Sims Studio, who was the sole developer of The Sims 3. A huge number of Sims players believe that Maxis was the reason that The Sims and The Sims 2 were both extremely successful critically and commercially. Not forgetting EA’s notorious image to churn out the same, mediocre games repeatedly, it seems natural that collaborating with Maxis is the right path to take for The Sims 4.

Since its announcement, Maxis has revealed new features that are unique to The Sims 4, which will definitely satisfy those who were disappointed by the lack of innovation in The Sims 3. From creating the sims to their daily interactions, there is a major overhaul in the way that the game functions. Here I have listed reasons why players should stop spending money on more The Sims 3 expansion packs (they release one like every week? every day?) and instead get excited about these brand new features that The Sims 4 will contain.

More Detailed Create-A-Sim

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Judging from the official gameplay trailer TheSims has released on YouTube, creating a sim in The Sims 4 has never been so easy. Players will be able to go zany with customizing their sims only by clicking and dragging on various parts of their virtual bodies, marking the end of those annoying Create-A-Sim (CAS) sliders.

I have always hated sliders. Maybe it is impatience, but I can never slide to precision, which makes it very frustrating when you are trying to give your sim the right eye size, or more often, boobs size. Though there are players out there who put a lot of effort in customizing the looks of their sims with the use of various mods, others usually just make do with in-game choices of facial features. With the new CAS, it makes it easier for players who cannot be bothered with mods, to also give each of their sims a distinctive look. So, thank you game developing gods for my sim townsfolk will no longer look like a horde of inbreds.

Another thing that should be noticed from The Sims 4 CAS reveal is the more stylized look of the sims. Though criticized by some for the more cartoonish approach, I am actually very happy with the new aesthetic. It gives the game a distinguishing look when compared to other modern games that try to be as realistic as possible. Sims in the first two games are very memorable for their unique appearances, while the ones in The Sims 3, although modeled to be more realistic, are somewhat forgettable. This proves to show that realism might not always be the best bet, and when it comes out, I believe that this new look will benefit The Sims 4 in setting itself apart from other games. Also, less intense graphics will probably do more good than harm when running the game.

Simplified Build Mode

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Test drive of the base game, which involved some of Internet’s favorite simmers like TheCurtisParadisShow, unveiled the modified Build Mode. Similar to Create-A-Sim, the Build Mode upgrade in The Sims 4 favors ease over sophistication. To think about it, there seems to be an underlying theme in the way creation works in The Sims 4. Both CAS and Build Mode utilize the same method of pulling and pushing on objects, making the process far simpler and more natural. Though Build Mode in The Sims franchise has always been impressive, it has indeed always been quite difficult to use for inexperienced players.

There are no fancy curved walls or fences as of now, but judging from the NOW video that Curtis has released on his channel, players will be able to do all sorts of cool things in Build Mode like moving around an entire room instead of rebuilding it from scratch, stretching or shortening wall height and adding foundation even after a whole house has already been built. Adding roofs also become more effortless, as players can just pick a roof type, then drag and stretch it to the desired size. This new system will definitely encourage players to build more of their own houses, since its simplicity will help reduce the long hours players often have to spend in planning and building their sim houses.

Sims Have Feelings Too

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A new feature that I have mixed feelings about is “emotions”. In The Sims 4, sims will now have a range of emotional states, affecting the flow of their daily lives. It will be working hand in hand with the trait system, which appeared in The Sims 3, and aims to make every sim day different from the other. Sounds pretty cool? Not really. By implementing emotions in The Sims 4, Maxis had gotten rid of the wants and fears system from the previous two games. Lifetime wants and aspirations are particularly important as they are what made the open-ended game more interesting. Players strive to help their sims achieve their goals, but with emotions it feels like there will be nothing for them to work for. I guess the goal in The Sims 4 would be to keep these virtual devils as happy as possible, but I am sure that fans would come up with cheats and mods to ensure that good emotions occurs. Until now, gamers can only speculate about the way emotions will be handled in gameplay, but I do believe that the wants system will be sorely missed.

Concerns aside, this feature does promise to feed the inner psychopath in each and every sim-addict. Holing up in the dark of their room, there are players whose sole reason for playing The Sims is to abuse the hell out of their sims by various physical harm such as fire, locking them in a room with no doors, or drowning them to their deaths. With emotions, players will be able to inflict the greatest of all sadism upon their sims: psychological abuse. Yes, sims can now die from extreme emotions, even happiness. If the thought of your sim rotting away from boredom does not make you all giddy inside, then you are probably not a sadist. Or a very boring person.

Animating, Socializing and Multi-Tasking

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The Sims franchise has the most animation if compared to other games, going as far as approximately 12,000 for The Sims 2 base game when it first shipped in 2004. In The Sims 4, animation has been completely rewritten to allow new actions to take place such as group-socialization and multi-tasking.

Group socialization and multi-tasking will be possible in The Sims 4 due to the renewed system. Sims will be able to socialize in a group of up to 8 others, the maximum number of active sims in one lot, and at the same time do other things like eating, drinking, walking and watching TV. It is a a much needed update, since the actions in The Sims 3 comparably lacked innovations to The Sims 2. Imagine, now sims can be just as much a couch potato as their players, lounging and eating chips and ice cream in front of the TV.

Furthermore, the animation upgrade will also get rid of the annoying (but cute) foot tapping that sims do when something interrupts their path or action. The Sims 4‘s new animation makes it possible for sims to smoothly maneuver their way through situations like these. Even though it is actually quite funny to watch a sim’s frustration when trying to squeeze through small enclosed spaces with a big group, the foot tap has been present in all three Sims games, and it is about time that the developers get rid of it.

To close off, it is always nerve-wracking to anticipate the sequel of one’s favorite game franchise. When a gamer really enjoys the previous installment, they will most definitely have unrealistically high hopes for the upcoming one, though a lot of times they have to prepare themselves for disappointment. I enjoy and still play The Sims 3 until today, but I cannot say that I was completely satisfied with it at the time of its release. Having grown up obsessing over The Sims 2, the most successful and critically-acclaimed out of all, The Sims 3 felt lazily put together and even though EA tries to better it through a string of expansion packs, nothing can hide the fact that it is inferior to its predecessor. However, by watching trailers and reading test drive articles online, I believe that The Sims 4 will be able to reignite the success of The Sims franchise. So far, it does look promising with all its new innovations. Of course, we will never know how good it is until the games comes out, but until then, there is no harm in a little speculating and enthusiasm to fill the gap until Fall 2014 arrives.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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Arlinka is an aspiring screenwriter who spends her free time browsing for dusty books. She drinks green tea three times a day.
Edited by Misagh.

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35 Comments

  1. The Sims 2 was my favourite Sims game, an all round improvement on the original but when EA took control of the franchise from Maxis and produced the Sims 3, it went downhill.

    It had less customisation, less control, stupidlooking clone-like poorly shaded characters, poor graphics, rabbit holes everywhere. The open world was nice though.

    • Arlinka Larissa

      Yeah the open world is definitely a plus. The thing that I missed about Sims 2 is the great plot they wrote for the three main towns. I actually really enjoyed playing the premade families in it.

  2. kadargo
    0

    I hope they allow all Sims 3 content (furniture, skins, Doors/windows) along with custom content bought online at The Sims Store to be integrated into the Sims 4. Huge money grab to force everyone to buy “updated versions”

  3. Sims has always been a multiplayer experience for me. Until they go back down that road I just don’t have any interest in getting another one. Still happily playing Sims 2 on my 360 with split-screen.

  4. The Sims 3 hooked me with the music in Late Night, then the building got me. A new engine and choice in editing the world, as well as the ability to disable some of the features would be what would have me buy this. Pretty sure I won’t play just a Base game though. Historically expansions are what flesh out the games. My take is that we spend a ton of cash on other entertainment without a thought, so why would we complain about what a game like this costs when it gives years of fun? One of the best things about the game was the fact that each expansion was/is a simple insert disc, click, next, next. Each expansion or stuff pack had the patches and updates to the one before, and personal experience has shown me that still happens with people who don’t have a net connection. I saw a young one installing last week. No Origin, no Steam, just the box copy. Just saying.

    • Arlinka Larissa

      I don’t play just the base game too. Just thought that the expansion packs for TS3 are not very well thought out. I still buy them though. And yes the Late Night music is amazing!

  5. J. Lund
    0

    Religion would be nice to add so that sims will have a church to get married in or attended masses and get involved.. And would be a cool career choice something along the “profession” idea they got…

  6. Just a list of ideas for this sequel:

    1. Bring the core importance of some expansions
    and bring it to the main game. Like: pets, weather, season, the generation
    features such as better wedding and proms, etc. Basically, what a typical Joe
    can’t avoid in real life, put it into the main game.

    2. The rabbit holes. Put some interactivity to it
    by letting us view it. What’s better is if we can control our
    “automated” sims while it’s in the rabbit hole for some actions we
    want to do ourselves. Automated because while a sim is in a rabbit hole, he is
    in an automatic state doing what he is automated to do: work hard, take it
    easy, etc.

    • Arlinka Larissa

      I can’t agree more with your suggestions. I don’t care if the game will be more expensive than TS3, they should include seasons, pets and generations in the base game.

  7. jimmie f
    0

    Sims 4 after what they did to Sims 3, NO thanks EA needs to get out of these companies and let them go back to making great games again!

  8. Loved Sims 2 and Sims 4 looks promising! Sad that the wants and fears option is going but the multitasking does make things easier. Just hope it fulfills expectations!

  9. Riviera Handley
    Riviera De TyTy
    0

    Oh dear, 14 years ago since the first instalment. One does feel old!

  10. Hopefully the Sims 4 sims look more like they did in the Sims 2 than 3, quite excited!

  11. J. Bryan Jones

    I didn’t have a computer at the time that could run Sims 3, so I got it on the 360. Big mistake. You can’t even make a second family to interact with in there. Just thought it was worth noting. Sims on PC forever.

  12. The Sims 4 looks like a really great one, especially the idea of simplifying after the video games in general have reached a point where everything is just too complicated. I’m also looking forward to the multitasking option, which was long overdue.

  13. Kathryn Talbot

    I loved the article- I haven’t played Sims in a while, but mostly just because I know I am going to be so into the game my life goes on hold! Although, you missed out on the main joy of the Sims franchise. Step One: Put Sim in pool. Step Two: Delete the ladder. Step Three: Sadistic joy.

  14. I hope the sims 4 includes more options then the sims 3 i will sadly miss constrainfloorelevation code.you can’t build modern homes in 3 floors or less. If only they could add a 6th or seven level i would possibly even pre order it! and they need a CAW tool also. Thanks! The realism shouldn’t suffer i don’t want a cartoon looking world…..EVER Real Trees Real Climate! XD I USE CAW A LOT btw!

  15. Rachel Elfassy Bitoun

    I really love this game, so many possibilities of creation and imagination, it’s like directing your own film! I haven’t played for a long time but The Sims 4 looks promisingly innovative.

  16. flintysteph

    It’s a great game, but I definitely wish that they had options for smaller versions so everyone could play the game on their computer. I have a pretty high quality laptop, but it still cannot run the Sims 3. I finally got it to run on a different computer (a desktop), but it’s never the same as being able to chill in bed while building life on your laptop 😉

  17. Oh man I haven’t played the Sims since middle school! While I’m totally excited for this one, the first Sims is by far my favorite, just because of the wackiness of it. Also money cheats. And that cheat where you could delete people. That was awesome.

  18. I started playing The Sims in 2002 and I agree as a child I played the game because I could be an adult and make my own decisions. As I grew up I continued to to play the game and buy the expansion packs because I liked the idea of living a different life other than my own. Now that I’m 21 years old I still find myself turning the game on every so often and revisiting families that I have abandoned since the last time I played. But I don’t think that I will buy The Sims 4. The problem I have with the idea of another base game is that they won’t have the things that I love the most about The Sims-The expansion packs. Give it a couple years until the release a deluxe Sims 4 with an expansion pack and a stuff pack and put it on sale on Black Friday and maybe they’ll get my attention.

  19. all i have to say about this is that it’ll be released and then take EA a year to fix to make it enjoyable and playable

  20. Simplifying building mode is what sold me. I loved all of the games in “The Sims” franchise but building a house has ALWAYS been so desperately complicated. I also hope that the games can be played on laptops without the game developing glitches. That was my main problem with The Sims 3. People don’t have desktops as much anymore, therefore the game should be able to be played seamlessly on laptops as well!

    • Yeah I agree, I thought the Sims 3 was going to be mazing but it still was limited. I still hate the fact that you can not see inside the Sims workplace and school! or be able to build your own work place and school. Your right about the expansion packs too! I loved open for business! that was a awesome one, and I loved when you could get rewards for each career. I also miss being able to shop at the store for clothes and going to the super market like in Sims 2. I loved also how you could create your own town completely and Sims 2 night life is awesome!. Heck I even miss Sims1 because even though it was limited, It still had the best furniture and skins ever! I also liked the houses better and when the Sims could go on vacation! Anyways it just was better, Sims 3 is just limiting, however to be fare I don’t own all the expansion packs so maybe I am wrong. I only have Sims 3 and Sims 3 ShowTime, which I really like a lot however I feel like there should of been more options with that.

  21. Personally I was not that excited for the Sims 4. I was not impressed by the trailers for the game, but now that I read this I might be willing to look at it a bit more favorably. Granted I will wait a while, EA has never been know for its customer support in recent years. Plus I have a bad feeling EA has not completely learned it’s lesson from Sim City, and “always online”, and might try to sick that requirement in some way. But with time I might buy it, although definitely not right away.

  22. I loved the Sims 1 Makin’ Magic and Superstar expansion packs. They were my fave. When it comes to the Sims 2, letting my Sims relax for however long I want them to in the Far East, or the Forest campsites or the beaches was very very pleasing. The fact that World Adventures limited your Sims trip was a little frustrating; having to strive to earn enough visa points to get a vacation home and whatnot. Forget that mess. I’m impressed so far from what I am seeing with Sims 4, but I am preparing myself for some disappointments. We all can’t get what we want and I do want to avoid custom content and mods, as it messed up Sims 3 really badly, I had to re-install the whole series and start all over. I had a perfect Sim with a lot of skills raised high. I spent hours on her and for me to start ALL OVER made me just want to quit. I come back to Sims 3 once in a while, but I’m bored. I giggle or laugh here and there with little quirks I find, or become amazed with some neat things I didn’t notice before (had the games for 3 years now) but then I lose interest. Fast. Sims 4 might just keep my attention long enough like Sims 2 did. I just really hope the wants/wishes/fears system returns. I really liked when my Sims (Sims 2) would trip out and see a shrink or the Social Bunny. I really miss the Social Bunny…

  23. Maysam Al-Ani

    I am not sure that the The Sims 4 would receive as much exposure and popularity as its previous versions did (The Sims 2 particularly). I think this mainly because of its stable game play in each of its version. There aren’t huge differences or mind-blowing improvements. Surely the character creation is astonishing, but other than that, its the same game.
    Maybe I’ve just increased my gaming standards for 2013-14 because of the rise of MMORPGs and their graphic advancements. The Sims 4 has to do something great in its game play to get its foot in the door against FREE MMOs!

  24. shannon
    0

    I was wonderin if in The Sims $ will we be able to actually see our sims in their jobs now or not? I have always thought that would be a great aspect and was curious if that is finally comin about or not?

  25. Anna Williams

    I’m not sure if my laptop will have space for Sims 4 but if it does then I probably will buy it. Depends how pricey it is too.

    I hope that the loading screens won’t take too long this time around, I’ve often read parts of a book in real life whilst waiting for my fav household to load (in Sims 3) 😛

  26. Taylor Holmes
    0

    I am really excited for sims 4! I got addicted to sims just by playing sims freeplay! That’s when I recognized I had my sims kingdom and sims and sims party games for my Nintendo! Now I play with all my devices on sims! I never played sims on my laptop though, so I can’t wait to try sims on there. Plus, I have a sims 4 wallpaper for my laptop lock screen!

  27. Jordan David

    September 2nd! I can’t wait!

  28. Tashawn Grin
    0

    They should bring back multiplayer mode like on The Sim’s Bustin’ Out

  29. The Sims as overall the best out of them. I liked that they had a bit more realistic look, and the house were detailed I cannot wait rubric I get my game today of the Sims 4. I like the way it’s starting to look!

  30. I am an avid Sim-er but haven’t bought Sims 4 yet. I’ve always been more into building things than actually playing. I think building was more limited in Sims 3 than Sims 2 and I would hate to see it even more limited in Sims 4.

  31. I prefer the Sims 3 to the Sims 4. I felt the Sims 4 was lacking in a lot of areas, but perhaps the publishers did that on purpose to make us buy the expansions.

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