The Sims 4 (PC) Review

By Lilly K. 23.07.2020

Review for The Sims 4 on PC

The Sims 4 is, unsurprisingly, the fourth game in the Sims franchise. This series of very successful games has been published by Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), a company also known for titles such as Battlefield, Need for Speed and Mass Effect. EA is an American video game company that was founded in 1982 and counts as of today as one of the largest and most successful gaming companies in the world. The Sims series were developed by Maxis, a division of EA. Most people have heard of it. The Sims 4 is a life simulation game that enables players to create virtual characters; Sims, that act human-like. Players can also build towns and houses, and control their Sims' lives. This title was released worldwide for PC in 2014.

The gameplay is very straightforward. A tutorial is available which can be turned on or off, which is very helpful and appreciated. While this looks more refined than its predecessor, it feels somewhat more restraint in that it doesn't seem to allow players the same level of creative freedom with themes in clothing or furniture design. On the other hand, the building tools have been extended in a way in which houses can now be even more modified to someone's specifications, and everything looks a little bit clearer, and a touch more realistic.

Screenshot for The Sims 4 on PC

Actually managing to build what one wants to, is incredibly challenging, however. The building mode seems to be so oversimplified at this point, that it is actually difficult to navigate. The sheer amount of instances when trying to build something as simple as a foundation, and it simply not being straightforward, is truly astonishing. Building became a chore, and is simply not fun. Building and buying modes have been combined into one which is incredibly practical, since now there is no more clicking between modes to build a single room.

Things have changed since The Sims 3. The display of wishes is no longer in the window, but instead Sims' emotions can be influenced by certain actions. In some emotional states, Sims may not be able to carry out certain actions, which makes for a new challenge. The Sims 4 creation menu has also been changed. For the better or not should be for the player to decide. Instead of navigating around different parts of a Sim to change looks by using a slider, the new menu is laid out to be much simpler. Players can simply click on a part of a body and drag it to make it look like the way they want it. While this may work better for some players, others may feel overwhelmed. As a new feature, it is neither better nor worse than what came before.

Screenshot for The Sims 4 on PC

A lot of focus is on Sims' personalities in here, down to choosing the kind of walk for a Sim when creating it. Generally, Sims' movements are more realistic than they were in The Sims 3. A new part of the game is the city layout. Sims can still explore their neighbourhood, but the way of travelling has completely changed since The Sims 3. Exploring the neighbourhood means exploring the immediate neighbourhood. If a player wants to visit the library for example, they may have to travel to another neighbourhood, in which case the player has to "travel" there.

While The Sims 3 had more of an open-world approach, in which the whole city was available for the player to walk around and explore, The Sims 4 has traded this feature for smaller, exclusive neighbourhoods that Sims need to actively travel to in order to explore. While this makes for shorter loading times, some players may dislike the extra effort of choosing the action to "travel" if they just want to visit the fitness studio. In the end, each player should decide if they prefer shorter waiting times over an open-world approach, and whether this combined with the other features of the new game is worth it.

Screenshot for The Sims 4 on PC

A couple of other features are also missing. When playing in English, the only clock available is 12h, but not 24h, which can be confusing for some players. The fourth speed setting from The Sims 3, which allowed players to speed through the current interaction, and would automatically return to normal speed when the interaction stopped or finished, is not part of The Sims 4, which is also disappointing.

The layout of the game is very bright and shiny. The Sims move much more natural than ever before, and yet still retain some of their goofy selves that are so typical for these games. The new soundtrack is very upbeat and updated in general. It does remain relaxing, and a nice background sound for Sim creation and building modes. Sims still speak their native language of Simlish that nobody will ever truly understand, but is just part of this franchise and somehow almost nostalgic. The main game is simple and while playable, players may wish for more opportunities and special features. Like the games before this, new features can be installed by buying expansion packs.

Screenshot for The Sims 4 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

While an enjoyable title that has been polished up and seems generally very modern, it cannot be expected that The Sims 4 is not going to be compared to The Sims 3. In this respect, it seems that while the game took a few steps forwards, it also took a few steps backwards by abandoning features that were very helpful and appreciated in the previous versions. It does have new features that people have been waiting for, such as emotions and more personality for the Sims. As for now, for some players it may not quite be worth to abandon The Sims 3 for it, but for new players looking for a first experience with the franchise, they may have an easier time navigating than former The Sims 3 players. People that have previously enjoyed the latter may be disappointed by the menus (Sim creation, building, or navigating town), as they have been so massively oversimplified that they are now actually confusing.

Developer

EA Maxis

Publisher

EA

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  6/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

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