The Sims 4. PC/Mac. Electronic Arts. September 2, 2014. $39.99.
Imagine a world that was yours for the creating. Every person, home and life is created and controlled by you. No, you’re not some kind of higher power, but you’re probably an owner of one of the “The Sims” games. The most recent version, “The Sims 4,” has come a long way since the initial release of “The Sims” in 2000. New technology and a massive fan base has allowed the “The Sims” to expand more than anyone imagined.
“The Sims 4” is available on PC and Mac. The game falls under the simulation genre, as the name cleverly suggests. “The Sims 4” is a single-player game that allows users to create characters (AKA “sims”), move them into a neighborhood, move in to or build a house, find a career, form relationships and build a family. All in all, it’s a virtual world of characters that you get to control. The precise customization options and advanced interactions allow the game to adapt to anyone’s interests. “The Sims 4” is an improved version of “The Sims,” but there are certain elements that upset loyal fans.
“The Sims 4” has changed drastically since the release of the first version 17 years ago. The first version, “The Sims,” had pixelated images and very few interactions between characters. “The Sims 2” improved upon both of these items and added in a complex storyline that users could choose to play off of. “The Sims 3” created an open world, which meant no loading screens, and greatly expanded the experiences for the players. “The Sims 4” is the most advanced in terms of character interactions and graphics, but the open world and some of the most loved features were removed. Many of these items were later introduced in game patches and expansion packs, but the initial shock of losing out on these features left fans torn.
“The Sims 4” is extremely realistic in terms of day-to-day life once you get past the idea that it’s just a video game. The character’s interactions with each other are so complex that players can play out almost any scenario. Characters have jobs, homes, friends and families – all of which present new opportunities for gameplay. Players have the choice to create the picture-perfect family or the anti-social cat lady who lives in the neighborhood’s weirdest house.
“The Sims 4” has premade families that players have the option of using. They always have a complex life with social networks that interconnect with other interdependent characters. Since the whole point of the game is for the player to create their own characters, it’s up to them to create the best and most interesting story for themselves. That’s the best part about “The Sims 4,” there are endless storylines to create and experience. “The Sims 4” can appeal to almost anyone because of its ability to adapt to anyone’s preferences.
Many loyal players complained that “The Sims 4’s” graphics were too animated compared to past versions of the game. However, “The Sims 4” provides the most detailed and realistic graphics that any previous version has ever had. Bushes and trees blow in the wind, shadows shift as the time of day changes and food moves around in bowls as the character’s cook. There are so many minor details, some of which may go unnoticed, that add to the overall effect of the game. “The Sims 4” definitely has the best graphics of any of the previous versions of the game.
As mentioned earlier, “The Sims 4” does not have an open world, which is a pain for players who were used to “The Sims 3’s” gameplay. “The Sims 4” has loading screens if characters leave their house and travel. Although the wait time is usually brief, it really takes away from the whole “my character, my world” idea that “The Sims” puts out there. Other than that, “The Sims 4” has improved their camera tools and there are rarely any glitches in the game.
The soundtrack and voices are a big part of “The Sims.” Some songs have been used in every version of the game and are very familiar to users. They are light and upbeat, but not as annoying as elevator music. The characters are known for speaking their own gibberish language, which has become an iconic part of “The Sims” games. The music and voices are enjoyable and generic enough that players aren’t reminded of real-world examples that may alter their game experience.
All in all, I really like “The Sims 4.” I’ve played every version of the game, and although “The Sims 4” has some minor drawbacks, it’s definitely the most advanced version of the game to date. “The Sims 4” allows players to create their own kind of game instead of following a strict plot. It’s simple, yet surprisingly entertaining at the same time. Even today I enjoy opening up the game and escaping into a virtual world that I created the way I wanted it to be.
“The Sims 4” is an extremely fun and quirky game. While the newest version experienced some backlash from fans upon release, the new features really wowed everyone. The newest game patches and expansion packs continue to improve the game and create more and more experiences for players. It’s the perfect game for anyone who enjoys fun and easy entertainment.