Sims 4 was released last Friday (5th September) and as all Sims-addicts probably have done across the country, any other game hasn’t even had a look in, as I’ve been managing the lives of an artist and her family.
I’m sure by now there are plenty of posts out there, slamming some or many of the changes Maxis decided upon for Sims 4 like removing pools, and lack of design options etc but this isn’t going to be one of them. Nope this is going to be a positive post, looking only at what I consider to be the best things in Sims 4 over Sims 3.
So let’s start in reverse order, and look at number 7.
Money, at least for my Sims family was very easy to come by, and I didn’t have to enter a cheat or anything. I created an art loving, creative materialistic painter and her paintings really started to rake the money in. Starting from around 200-600 simoleans, but at level 10 I was getting up to 12000 simoleans for a masterpiece. I think I had the aspiration reward to get more moolah when I sell things, but still, considering it only takes an hour or so of sim time to paint a picture, this kind of cash turnaround is pretty amazing. More cash = bigger and better houses.
Heading in at number 6 is the new way that plants grow. It might seem like a small thing, but they work much more logically now. In Sims 3 even if you took perfect care of a plant or tree it would still eventually die and you would have to plant another seed, fruit etc to grow a new plant. In Sims 4 they don’t die if you’re looking after them you can evolve them to have a better quality. This is easier and it makes a lot more sense than in Sims 3.
5. It’s the Little Things that Count
Throughout Sims 4 there are lots of small things that are a result from traits and character types, and aspirations and so on, that just help to pad out your Sims character and help them to have a more organic and natural feel to them. For example, the father of my family has a fondness of taking photos of his food, presumably to upload to the Sim version of Facebook, and the more kids you have the more likely to put on baby-weight etc. These are just two of the little things added to Sims 4 that help to make each Sim much greater than the sum of their parts.
4. Toddlers and Babies
A lot of people have moaned and whinged about how the toddler life-stage has been removed, well I for one think it is a good thing. The toddler stage was just a giant waste of time for me. In fact most of the time when I was playing Sims 3 I would cut the span of that stage to as short as possible just to get it out of the way. Sure, if you trained your toddler to walk and talk, and use the potty you got to choose a trait, but that wasn’t enough to make the stage fun and worthwhile.
Babies are now more mysterious in regards to their needs. I don’t mean that they all wear little capes and lurk in the shadows but you don’t instantly know why they are crying, their needs bar is hidden. Just like a real baby one might almost say. You kinda have to go by guesswork, except for when it’s pooped itself; you get the green haze for that one. Oh, and you can age the baby to a child as soon as it arrives as well, Hoorah!
3. Multi-tasking & Autonomy
In Sims 4 your Sims can do multiple things at once. Tell a joke to someone while painting a picture? No problem. Listen to the radio while eating your dinner? Yep, sorted. Woohoo while playing the piano? Umm no, not this one actually.
2. Easy Housebuilding
House building and improvement is now so much easier. Especially if it’s not your thing and you just want to get on with the running (or maybe ruining of your Sims lives) You con plop whole rooms down, fully furnished and equipped, and then drag walls in or out to make it the perfect size.
It was annoying in Sims 3 when you wanted to make a room bigger but you couldn’t because either the foundation got in the way or there were pictures attached to the wall, so you had to remove items of furniture, and diagonal walls, and drain-pipes and any of the other hundreds of things which always seemed to get in the way. Sims 4 has rectified that, and everything moves when the wall does.
1. Aspiration/Career Overhaul
Remember in Sims 3 when all you needed to be an astronaut, a bestselling writer, or an international super-spy was to turn up for work feeling good and have about ten friends? Well, it’s a little trickier than that in Sims 4. As well as a performance rating there are little tasks that you have to do as well. These vary considerably in nature and can include emotions, skill increases and activities. My musician had to serenade someone while feeling flirty, spend 4 hours listening to the stereo and practise his guitar for 6 hours. My artist had to create 5 emotional paintings, and get to painting level 6.
It doesn’t just stop at careers, aspirations also follow this process. Even my Sims son, had to play 10 hours of video gaming, get two skills to level 4, and go to school while energised. I can’t remember the last time, I was told to play 10 hours of video games to get on in life.
All in all I’m enjoying playing Sims 4. It is always a little tricky when a new Sims game comes out, as you miss so many things that were in the previous one. It takes a while for any Sims game to get padded out, but I have high hopes with this one. I just hope that they release a lot of free stuff as well, because I sense they’re going to break the mould with the amount of expansions with Sims 4.
What are your best bits of Sims 4?
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Jim Franklin is a freelance writer, living in Derby UK with his wife and his player 3. When time allows he likes nothing more than losing himself in a multi-hour gaming session. He likes most games and will play anything but prefers MMO's, and sandbox RPG's.