The Sims 4: Playing God in an emotion-driven worldPublished February 3, 2021
The Sims 4 is a virtual life video game developed by Maxis and published in 2014 by Electronic Arts. The fourth entry in a 21 years old franchise represents a stellar upgrade that displays more depth than the previous installments. Characters in The Sims 4 show an array of personalities and emotions that influence their decisions and impact their lives.
The game plot doesn’t drastically stray away from the previous entries. Yet, it takes the series to a new level with superior visuals, unique Sims interactions, and creations that have never been this customizable. Everything you love about The Sims is here: the option to build diverse characters, lavishing houses, and pick your favorite décor.
The main difference is more emotion-centered gameplay. Thus, you can freely travel to various neighborhoods without disrupting the timeline, characters can multitask, and you can enjoy the Gallery content sharing system.
The fascinating element of the game is the ability to play God. The fourth entry makes that even more fun than the previous installments because you can model every detail of your Sim’s body and behavior.
If you’re curious to know what to expect from the immersive world of The Sims 4 and how it differs from the previous entry, you don’t have to wonder anymore. Here’s everything you should know about the latest entry in the Sims series.
The world of possibilities: all the things you can do in The Sims 4
Every Sims installment follows the same premise. Create a Sim, build a house, decorate the furniture, earn money, develop connections, and keep your Sim alive. Some might find it too simple, basic, or even pointless. But a staggering fact says that in the last 20 years, players created 1.6 billion Sims characters.
There must be something highly addictive about this game, which could explain why The Sims 4 is the most discussed and most shared PC game of 2014. Since the early days of this cultural phenomenon, people have wondered what makes a video game simulating life so entertaining.
In 2018, the psychoanalyst Steve McKeown said that life simulation games such as The Sims are a healthy escape from reality. They allow us to live an alternative life in the way we want. Perhaps, the more a game resembles our everyday routines and experiences, the more immersive it is. That probably justifies why The Sims 4 is the best-selling base game in the franchise and why it hit 200 million copies sold on PC in 2020.
Due to its astonishing visuals, riveting features, and engaging expansion packs, The Sims 4 indeed feels like real life where a player gets to play God maneuvering characters that have never been this authentic. The game starts with customizing the appearance, style, aspirations, and personality traits of your Sim.
Depending on a life stage, characters have up to three traits from different categories. The starting aspiration dictates the bonus attribute. That’s the principal drive of every Sim, and they’ll tend to fulfill it, or they will be unhappy. But you can change them at any time. These aspirations shape the story of a character. But once you establish your Sim, their usefulness fades.
One of the highlights of The Sims 4 is how far players can go to create the appearance of their characters. You can control the body fat and muscles of your Sim, even the details, such as whether they will walk seductively, have a perky chest, crooked nose, or a noticeable tummy. Thus, you can have up to five outfits for each available category, but there’s also a cheat that allows you to unlock additional diverse clothes.
Once your Sim is ready, you get $20.000 to purchase a house in different neighborhoods. Then comes the addictive part of remodeling or furnishing your home. Like in previous entries, everything you buy should align with the six needs of your character.
The next step is to set a career for your Sim, find work, and develop their skills so they can progress and earn more money. Here’s a little warning: like in real life, choosing an artistic path will generate fewer revenues. The Sim starts all these actions through the phone icon, which you can also use to throw parties and hire services.
You will also have to fulfill daily activities that will affect the performance of your character. It is why you’ll have to purchase skills and hobby-related objects and engage in indoor and outdoor activities like reading or interacting with other Sims. Emotions are not measurable, but the visible moodlets will let you know whether your Sim is enjoying a good meal, social interactions, or making babies.
To network, build relationships, find a partner, and have a baby, you can meet other Sims by visiting other neighborhoods or greeting characters on the street. You can also install the SimDa Dating App Mood to go on dates or even have one-night stands.
Conclusion: immersive, but not groundbreaking
With all its changes and new features, The Sims 4 indeed takes the franchise to a new level. That isn’t necessarily a better level, but it’s different, and it might take time to get used to these modifications. The Sims 4 is objective-based, and it brings the emotional and professional development of the characters to the forefront.
Every Sim will have to achieve milestones and goals to progress and improve its socioeconomic status. Their traits and emotions will influence these inclinations. It is why the Mood meter also transformed into a tracker that measures emotional states. These modes depend on external stimuli, which is why your Sim will become embarrassed if others don’t react well to their joke.
Despite the game emphasizing professional progress and rewards, when your Sim is at work, don’t expect to see what they’re doing there. Instead, they’ll be absent during their shift, and all you can control is whether they work hard. The life in the Sims 4 is also safe to the point of occasionally missing thrills and excitement. For example, there are no burglars, aging can be disabled, and the external world is still.
The Sims 4 created a happy place where you can endlessly customize characters and manipulate their facial features to look like you. Their careers and moods will flourish if you nurture them and fulfill the given tasks. That might sound like an ideal escape from the post-pandemic world.
Yet, the game can become overly nirvana after playing for some time. That creates an incentive for buying expansions to add spice to the Sims universe, but adding too much spice can cost a fortune. It also makes you crave more, and that coincides with the recently confirmed rumors that The Sims 5 is in progress and prototyped in Unreal Engine. The hopes are high that the next installment will bring back the excitement of The Sims 3 while keeping the realism and depth of the Sims 4.