So I pre-ordered The Sims 4 because, reasons, and I thought, hey, I should write about here, also because reasons!
So first of all, the sims themselves and the graphics are dramatically improved and I’m not even running at the highest settings.
Overall, I’m really happy with it – I can tell EA put a lot of effort into making the sims super interesting to play and create – they even made the build tool better, which is great. They also changed a bit how skills work – the skill log is a pop out section of the UI that you can scroll down, with progress bars on where your skill is within the level, and the level number on the side. It’s harder to tell what level your sim is at when you’re looking at skill books – in fact, they can read books above or below their skill level, but they’ll get grumpy.
Some of the controls are different and take a little getting used to, but that’s not anything super new. The sims themselves are more interesting to play, but there are some things from the Sims 3 that I really miss.
In order to leave your house/immediate lot area, you have to travel, and in the Sims3 this meant you biked, walk, took a taxi, or drove…
But in the Sims 4, you use your phone and then you are literally taken out of the game and to a loading screen just to get to the library. If you want to get to the library to the park, same thing, and the same thing for the park to home.
On one hand, from a work level, I understand why it takes you out of the world, to a loading screen, back to the new location (so much less to render). But, the rest of everything else is lovely and immersive and being taken out of it is jarring just to switch locations. It kinda ruins the illusion.
I also miss being able to follow my sim to their work building. The towns in the Sims4 starter are a lot smaller than in the Sims3, which is fine, but you don’t go to the science center to get the science career – only one of the towns has a library, there’s a restaurant/night club/lounge in town, and you don’t go there to work in the culinary career…
I feel like there’s a bit of lost opportunity because the careers are so much more interesting, and you have to train your sim in their career to advance, that I wish we could follow them to their building and see what that was like, and be in a location where some or all their careers are visually accessible.
I’d like to see where my comedian goes to do stand up, and where my mixologist goes to practice, it would be so much more interesting than watching them walk out the front door and disappear on the sidewalk, while I stare at a dark house for 3 minutes.
I also miss pets.
But, the environment in The Sims 4, so long as you don’t leave the location, is a lot more immersive, the sims a lot more interesting with being able to see how their emotions work, and I can have the sound on without driving myself crazy. I also love that they have a programming career and geek traits mean you have to play games….
There are a lot of little things that really make the game, and I suspect that all the things I miss will be addressed with future expansions (not unlike The Sims 3, tbh).