Over a year ago, EA Games announced their plans to bring out The Sims 4 but it was only last month that the release date was finally confirmed. The game will be coming in early September and for now, it is only being made available for PC. According to creators, this latest version of The Sims is built upon an entirely new technology. It has been designed with the intention of giving the player a chance to “play with life like never before”.
The new Create-a-Sim mode promises a completely different experience than before. Rather than using multiple sliders, players can now click directly on the face and body to change a Sim’s appearance. This option will allow for more unique and detailed characters. Players can also deck their Sims out with various accessories and tattoos; choose a walk-style and even change their feet size! Last week a CAS demo was given to selected Sim players and this is expected to be available to everyone at some point over the summer so be sure to keep an eye out for it!
Also in Create-a-Sim, players give their characters three traits that will determine their personality and also one aspiration which can unlock specific traits. For the first time, emotions will be introduced which will affect everything your Sims do in their day-to-day lives. I’m so looking forward to this aspect of the game — bring on the tantrums, breakdowns and happy dances!
Build Mode has also been completely reinvented. All-new tools make it faster and easier to create a home. Walls can be set to different heights; windows no longer have to be in a single line; a whole foundation can be added and altered at any time. If you’re in a hurry or not a fan of building, you’ll be glad to hear that fully furnished rooms can be selected from a menu and placed directly on your lot. Finished rooms and even the entire building can be moved in one single motion. I enjoy creating and designing new homes but I find it so frustrating when I make a big mistake or change my mind and have to start again so this new mode really appeals to me.
So far, it seems that the general response to Create-a-Sim and Build Mode has been relatively positive. Of course, there has been a bit of an uproar over certain changes — specifically the fact that there will be no pools or toddlers in The Sims 4. Executive producer Rachel Franklin defended this decision with the explanation “rather than include toddlers, we chose to go deeper on the features that makes Sims come alive…Instead of pools, we chose to develop key new features in build mode”.
I’ve got to say that while I don’t use pools all that often in my games, I do like having the option. Pools have been a part of the game since the beginning and a lot of other players do seem to love them so it is a shame that they’re being left out. I’m personally more disappointed, however, that there won’t be toddlers. They’ve been a part of the series since The Sims 2 first came on the scene way back in 2004. For players like me who love the family aspect to The Sims, it will be hard to imagine the game without those little guys. It seems instead that babies will now develop directly in to children like in the original Sims games. I guess that means that things like teaching offspring how to walk, talk and so on will no longer be an option. I’ve always felt like a Sim’s parenting skills came out the most during the toddler stage so that’s the main reason why I’ll miss them in The Sims 4.
One positive on the family front is that there are no more so-called “burrito babies” where the infants are completely swaddled in a pink or blue blanket. They now have their own tiny little legs and arms which is admittedly pretty cute. I’m hoping that they’ll require a bit more attention and that there will be more interactions available between parent and baby. EA have already confirmed that mamas will be able to breastfeed their newborns. It would be great to see more of this realism throughout the game — perhaps in the form of spit-up, random tantrums and dirty diapers that don’t just magically disappear in to thin air!
Overall, I’m excited about the new game and I’m looking forward to its release in September. I created a post last year in which I detailed my hopes for The Sims 4 so it’ll be interesting to compare these expectations with the reality in autumn. If you’re a Sims player, what are your thoughts so far?