The Sims is one of the bestselling PC games of all time. On the list of the bestselling PC games ever made, the Sims series occupies three of the top twelve spots.
The Sims 4 is the latest entry in the series and it’s facing its fair share of criticism – and love – from fans of the series.
So should you buy the most controversial Sims game yet? Here are three reasons why you should buy The Sims 4 and three reasons why you should not:
The Sims 4 includes a lot of cool home design features that help you bring out your inner interior designer.
You can now place decorations anywhere on a wall, for example, and you have a greater variety of placement options.
Unfortunately, as you’ll discover below, The Sims 4 also removed a lot of design features from The Sims 3 – like basements, pools, terrain modification, and the ability to have different-level foundations on the same lot.
This is really the best part of The Sims 4 – your Sims will now multi-task almost everywhere they go. You can quit your job while sitting on the toilet, for example (so realistic!).
Better yet, your Sims will automatically interact with anybody who’s in the room. If one Sim is cooking while the other Sim is watching TV, then your Sims will talk to one another and build their relationship.
At the same time, Sims now feel emotions which go beyond the “moods” of previous games. Sims feel happy, lonely, tired, hungry, or uncomfortable depending on their needs.
One of the most entertaining parts of The Sims 4 is designing your Sim. The Sims 4 features a vastly improved character creation menu. You can choose the Sim’s walk style, for example (like “tough” or “feminine”).
You can also push, pull, and tweak various aspects of your Sims’ bodies in order to perfectly create your ideal Sim. Do you want a Sim with a little bitty waist and some junk in her trunk? You can do that.
There is one problem with character creation: you have limited clothing options. There are no bathing suits, for example, and there’s a disappointing lack of outfits.
One forum post about the missing features in The Sims 4 went viral. Unfortunately, that forum post was on the official EA forums and EA locked the thread.
That’s why the forum post moved to a Tumblr called TS4Truth.tumblr.com. At that site, you can view the list of about 100 significant features that EA has removed from The Sims 4.
Here are a few missing features people are particularly mad about:
-No “toddler” stage of life (Sims are born as babies and become children after three days have passed)
-No terrain tools other than paint (all Sims 4 lots are perfectly flat)
-No cars or vehicles
-No basements or different foundation layers allowed (all buildings on a lot must have the same foundation)
-No way to create or place new lots (you only have two empty ones to use – that’s it)
-No way to follow your Sim to work (they just disappear down a “rabbit hole” when it’s time to work)
The problem with this is obvious: EA is going to make millions off selling DLC for The Sims 4. I would be extremely surprised if EA doesn’t release a “Pool Party DLC” for example, for $9.99. The fact that there are no bikinis, swimsuits, or pools in the existing game creates a perfect opportunity for pricey DLC.
There may also be a “landscaping DLC” – because having flat lots and no terrain modification tools is boring.
Ultimately, you’ll have to pay literally hundreds of extra dollars to get the same features you got in The Sims 3.
Other missing features – like the lack of “acne” on Sims and the lack of a cleaning skill – weren’t essential for most players.
But just like with previous Sims titles, EA has left out obvious content that was included in previous expansion packs and DLCs. There are no pets, for example, or universities, or workplaces, or grocery stores, or family trees.
Could these be added in a future DLC? Probably.
Look, I don’t have a problem with a lot of DLC when it genuinely adds value to a game. But when EA removes value from a game and then adds that value back at a price, that’s just evil.
The Sims 4 has loading screens everywhere you go. Anytime you leave your home, you’re faced with a loading screen.
One of the best parts of The Sims 3 was being able to travel anywhere in town without encountering a loading screen.
Apparently, EA re-added loading screens to make the game more accessible to people on average PCs. But still, it’s an annoying feature. The Sims 3 was released way back in 2009 and people didn’t have trouble running it – why are loading screens back in 2014?
You don’t have to read too many reviews before you learn that The Sims 4 is filled with bugs. There’s the terrifying “demon baby” glitch, for example, which has given people around the world nightmares.
Check out 21:15 of this video to see the demon baby glitch in action:
Pretty freaking weird, right?
Other problems include trees clipping through walls and a general “incomplete” and unpolished feel to the game. Sims have trouble walking around objects and their pathfinding can be weirdly bad at times.
Other people have experienced complete “crash to desktop” errors.
Ultimately, I’m not going to decide whether or not you spend $60 on this game. If you already own The Sims 3 and a few expansion packs, then you’re not going to find a whole lot of different content in The Sims 4.
The new architectural tools are cool – but they came at the expense of landscaping tools. And the new create-a-Sim features are cool – but they came at the expense of clothing options. And the new multi-tasking and emotions systems are cool – but they came at the expense of re-adding loading times.
But if you don’t mind buying into EA’s method of business: where they charge you $60 for a base game and then charge you $10 to $15 for added features that should be in the original game, then go ahead.