Sims 4: Of Pools and Toddlers

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Chances are that you’ve already heard the surprising news that The Sims 4 base game won’t include some features that players take for granted: pools and the toddler life stage. This was recently announced in an official blog post. I thought I would add my two cents about some of the points brought up in the post.

First and foremost, you the player have complete control over your Sims – and now their emotions.

They’re really pushing this emotion thing, and I’m intrigued to see how it actually works. I remember the first time I played The Sims 3, how impressed I was by the way Sims behaved – it was a huge improvement over The Sims 2. I’m hoping the same will be true when I load up The Sims 4.

Build Mode truly is the most powerful, and fun, Build Mode we’ve ever created. While it’s not possible for us to include every single feature and piece of content we added to The Sims 3 over the last 5 years, we’ve added features that you’ve asked for and that offer a whole new intuitive and fun way to build. These are features like Wall Height Adjustment, Dynamic Foundation Sizing, and Smart Windows! And though pool building won’t be available in September, we do have a new Fountain Tool so you can create sophisticated landscapes.

From the few videos they’ve shown of Build Mode, I must say I’m looking forward to it. Of course they can’t include everything from five years’ worth of Sims 3 expansion packs, but it does sound like they’ve made some improvements to make it easier to build houses. This sounds like good news for me, as I’m a very lazy builder!

The decision to exclude pools from the base game is an interesting one. They’ve been part of the Sims franchise from the very beginning, both for recreational purposes and as tools of murder. However, their usefulness for a quick and easy death for Sims was greatly reduced by the Island Paradise expansion, which is when (I think) Sims became capable of climbing out of pools even without ladders. Still, I think it’s a weird thing to leave out.

When it comes to connecting with other players online – The Sims 4 is the game you want it to be. You can browse other players’ creations or share your own directly from the game to the all new Gallery, or you can turn it off with a click of a button.

I’m glad that EA/Maxis have learnt something from the SimCity disaster. Making single player games online-only is just asking for trouble. I must admit I’m totally indifferent to the online features of The Sims 3. If only it didn’t add a minute or two to my game load time, I’d like it a whole lot more.

As for ages, we have babies, children, teens, young adults, adults and elders.

This has got a lot of people upset. Toddlers have been a part of The Sims 3 from the beginning, and they are certainly more interesting than babies, who do nothing at all. That being said, in a normal Sims 3 game, I generally turn the baby and toddler life stage lengths to the minimum as I find both to be rather dull. Plus I’ve found that there have been very few toddler and child options in most of the Sims 3 expansion and stuff packs. So if removing toddlers is going to allow the team to focus more on the other life stages, and perhaps make children more interesting, then I’m all for it.

Neighborhoods and Worlds will be separated by a short load screen, but for the first time you’ll be able to live in one world and work (or play) in another!

A short load screen? In a Sims game? I’m pretty sceptical about this, as all the Sims games have always had excessively long load times (this is the reason why my Sims never go anywhere, like university or on holiday… I can’t bear the load screens!). The ability to travel between worlds and neighbourhoods sounds great, but the actual load times will determine how much I use this feature.

All in all, it sounds like there are some cool things coming in The Sims 4. The adjustment of going from a game with 10+ expansion packs and tons of DLC etc. to a plain base game is always painful, but hopefully The Sims 4 base game can deliver enough to tide us over until the expansion packs start coming out.

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