#thesims4 The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: my first impressions. #eagames

My novel characters, Bas and Mimi, having a cuppa coffee over an engaging conversation.

My novel characters, Bas and Mimi, having a cuppa coffee over an engaging conversation.

So Sims 4 came out this week, hurrah! But there hasn’t been a lot of praise online. And understandably so.

EA promised us the moon, only really talked about how there weren’t going to be swimming pools and toddlers…and they were very wise to only mention TWO of what was going to be omitted in this version. Because right away, when you load the game and enter Create A Sim (CAS) you’ll notice one huge thing missing. And at first you’ll probably be disappointed if you’re like me and been playing since the Sims 2 (or even the original Sims).

The first biggest change you’ll notice is the animation style of the actual Sims. There’s been a lot of grumble lately that it has been TOO cartoon-y and not the “more lifelike Sims EA promised”.  At first I had the same thought. But then I realized it was similar animation style to the Disney and Pixar type animation with the computer generated – and that made it kind of fun to pretend to be inside a Disney movie. But yeah, they could have been less Cartoon like. They even have sound effects that resemble cartoons whenever you use the sledgehammer tool and the wall placement. The ground shakes and dust unsettles every time you place a wall in Building mode. I can’t decide if that’s good or bad yet. But it helps me understand why people think it is more cartoon like than realistic.

So let’s get down to the Good, the Bad (things that are annoying aren’t included but can live without) and the Bad (the stuff you wonder what the heck EA was thinking and why they would go backwards).

1. The Good

There are obviously some major improvements that all Sims fans have probably seen from the promo’s. EA was smart to hype up the good, and put on the DL what they took out. The Good is pretty sweet, especially in building, but I can understand all the grumble too. But here is what you can look forward to:

  • “Easier” CAS – simply grab and drag the body part of the Sim you wish to change. Curves are nice because you can make your Sim have big hips but a small butt if you wanted to. So the control option is nice, but I’ve had some trouble with it – especially in the face region. Positioning the cheeks haven’t been an easy thing to get exactly where you want. But overall, it’s pretty neat. I still miss the old CAS, and I’ll explain why in the Ugly.
  • Building mode: over all, except for one major setback, building is so much easier. It is smoother, faster process. You can pick up entire rooms and rotate them – or complexly move them around your house. And not just rooms, hallways and great rooms too!
  • Smoother game-play experience – my game doesn’t crash as much and I even have up to six Sims in my house now. Very fluid movements from each Sim.
  • Better moodlets – Moods have more of a variety. For instance your Sim can go from Confident to Very Confident to help him complete tasks without fear, they have bad days at work or school which they can vent to other Sims and other Sims can help calm them down, and if they are in a bad mood they will probably get in more fights with Sims if not careful.
  • Showers – showers in Sims 4 do more than clean, they can change the Sims mood. Brisk showers can do a burst of energy, perfect for working out. While thoughtful showers can make a Sim either inspired or focused – great for going to school or finishing a novel.
  • They Kept Cell Phones – which was a fun feature that was added to Sims 3 Universities, but it is not exactly a Smartphone (will cover in the Bad).
  • Cute rugs and clothing – I HATED most of the rugs in Sims 3, so it was nice to have such a variety of rugs. They also have nice paintings and cute clothes to choose from.
  • Multi-tasking – The Sims now can hold two drinks in one hand, work out while chatting with other Sims and other multi-tasking capabilities. How’s that for life like?
  • No toddlers – people complained right away when EA announced there’ll be no toddlers. But to me this is GREAT, I don’t have to put on fastest speed for three days while I wait for my toddlers to age up.
  • Decay Needs in cheats mode – this lets you disable the Sims from having to pee, getting hungry, and other needs. Great for gaining skills faster without interruptions. Who needs sleep anyway?
  • Better interaction with online store / community – download lots and Sims directly from the game.
Novel characters Bas, Mimi and Captain James Donnan plus Donnan's lady friend Dina are having a great group conversation over drinks.

Novel characters Bas, Mimi and Captain James Donnan plus Donnan’s lady friend Dina are having a great group conversation over drinks.

2. The Bad 

This list is little annoyances I wish wasn’t there, but can live without.

  • In cheat mode, you can’t individually alter the Sims Needs. In the Sims 3 we were able to individually alter the needs. For instance, you can make their bladder fine and still have them tired if you want them to get a good night rest. But not in the Sims 4, all you can do is “make happy” which is annoying that it changes all the needs to positive. I’d like to be able to alter each need as needed.
  • No Swimming Pools. I didn’t think I’d miss this one when it was first announced, but when designing the house, I’d leave room for a pool in the back yard – only to remember there ISN’T any pool. I think for me the biggest problem is we CAN’T have it. It’d be nice to have a choice. I am hoping they will have a dedicated swimming pool expansion stuff pack which would be awesome, but I’m not holding my breath!
  • Can’t mute the volume of the TV – in Sims 3 I liked having their TV on in the background but have the volume on mute. Can’t do that in Sims 4.
  • No cars, trucks or any transportation –  what I missed most about this was the garage, houses seem incomplete without one.
  • No public wohooing – so no fun Stride of Pride mood the Sims had. On this note, the only place you can Wohoo is the bed. Boring.
  • Can’t get in trouble for teen Sims past curfew.
  • Can’t view Sims place of work or school – sad and boring.

3. The Ugly

These features that are excluded I couldn’t understand why EA did without them and I want them back. Like, right now!

  • Oh my god they took away Create a Style! This means in clothes, objects, and building mode you CAN’T MODIFY specific design. All you can choose from is three to five different colors. You can’t even change the shade of the colors. This was one of the biggest selling points of the Sims 3, I truly do not understand why they removed it.
  • No camera tilt – in both live mode and building mode, I can’t tell you how annoying it is to only have the top view mode in Sims 4. NOT the same as the camera tilt. And I keep looking for it but it’s just not there. Sigh. In the video preview below, you can see how awkward game-play is trying to get the right angle/zoom without the familiar camera tilt we got used to in Sims 3.
  • The town SUCKS – I don’t use this word too often in the blog-o-sphere but really what were they thinking with the neighborhoods? They look cheap and retro and a major step back.
  • LOADING SCREENS ARE BACK – I miss being able to walk to the store. Seriously EA, what happened?
  • Bring back the ghosts! I am hoping they will have them in a Supernatural expansion pack.
  • If you use the cheat to add a Sim to the family, you can’t change their name.
  • If you use the cheat to edit the Sim in Create a Sim, you can’t alter their body.
  • Not so smart smartphones – the phones have gone back to basics, the smart features we got used to in the University expansion pack has been removed. Including social groups.

Video:

My Sims got married! In the kitchen! Congrats, Bas!

 

Now on first glance it looks like the Good out-weighs the Bad and the Ugly. But trust me, the Ugly is so Ugly it makes you want to scream while playing it. At least during the set up and building process. Once you play, it’s actually a really fun game.

I think Sims fans would appreciate Sims 4 as it’s own separate thing rather than an “improvement” because to me it’s so different than Sims 3 the less time you’ll be happier while playing. First time Simmers would be very happy as it is a really cool game. But if you’re coming in from Sims 3, you’ll be shocked – and not always in a good way.

But there is an important fact to keep in mind and give Sims fans hope: this is just the first release. They’ll be updates, stuff packs, and expansions to help keep the game constantly improving. I hope they release an update to fix some of the Bad stuff and hopefully they’ll listen to their fans. EA is usually pretty good on that. So let’s make enough noise so they listen!

So have you brought the Sims 4 yet? What are your first impressions?

Leave a comment, would love to hear if other people are slightly disappointing as well!

Have a great day,

Claire

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