Getting emotional: The Sims 4 game review

Newest installment of the famous life simulation game brings emotion to the Sims


Game: The Sims 4

Platform: PC

Developer: EA Maxis & The Sims Studio

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Released: Sept. 2

Grade: B

Grilled cheese seemed like a good idea until the stove caught on fire, setting the Sim on fire and destroying the entire kitchen. After dousing himself in the shower, he returned in time to save the living room from a fiery demise, but it was already too late for the kitchen.

The room you spent 30 minutes designing is destroyed in an instant because of a failed attempt at grilled cheese. But nobody is upset. Half of the fun of The Sims is watching the ups and downs of everyday computerized life.

The Sims 4 is an entertaining advancement in The Sims series, but the new release lacks features offered in the series, which has been around since 2000. The game is a life-simulator in which the player controls one individual character, a “Sim,” or an entire family.

The games are open ended, meaning the player has no particular goal or storyline. You choose whether you want to make their lives fantastic or awful. The newest installment brings notable new features, such as emotions, multi-tasking and in-depth career options. It doesn’t have some luxuries and options previously included in the series such as swimming pools, basements and vehicles.

The most innovative feature is the emotions system. It brings more comical humanity to each Sim and gives the users more ways to play.

If a Sim has a bad day at school, you may find him hiding under his covers or trying to give himself a pep talk in the mirror. If a Sim cooks a good meal, then he or she may feel confident, unlocking new actions to choose from such as admiring himself in the mirror, using a daring pick-up line or “peeing like a champion.”

The new system could use some fine-tuning in its manifestation. Sometimes, moving from room to room can change the character’s emotion drastically. These mood jumps can cause difficulty for the user to keep up with his or her Sim and maintain digital homeostasis.

Sims can now multitask. They can now eat while walking or speak while running on the treadmill. This feature creates more realistic gameplay with characters moving more naturally throughout their setting.

But not all the multitasking activities make sense. Sims can often be found eating in weird places – like drinking orange juice on the toilet.

The biggest problem with The Sims 4 is the game lacks many simple features that users had grown to love. Without the existence of pools, how are we to “accidently” delete the ladder and force our Sim swim around for a while?

The latest version of the game also omits the “toddler” stage of development – instead of teaching a 3-year-old Sim to walk, characters transform from the “baby” stage into the “child” stage – that’s how the game was back in earlier editions. It’s also disappointing that there are no more cars as a means of transportation and you can’t create a basement in a house.

The omission of such basic features can mean one of two things: The game was rushed and features will be added in free patches, or these features will be included in paid expansion packs, which would be an inconvenient measure to take for features already present in earlier iterations of the game.

If you enjoy Sims games, then adding The Sims 4 to the collection is definitely worth it. The new features improve the entire experience of the gamer-created world, producing a smoother, more cartoonish sequel to its predecessor. Just be mindful: You might wind up paying for features that were already available in previous games.