Sims 4: Worth waiting for some more

Sims 4 came out this Labor Day and was met with mixed reactions. Those of us who grew up playing the first three Sims were excited to see what came next. Would Sims 4 feature an improved open world, expanding on their efforts in Sims 3? Would the game expand customization and fix some of the problems of Sims 3? Would they finally introduce multiplayer?

The resounding answer to these questions is no. Sims 4, unfortunately, eliminated many of the features fans of the previous Sims iterations loved, while still managing to be just as glitchy, if not more so.

What Sims 4 does do is lay the foundations for the numerous downloadable content (DLC) expansions to come. While swimming pools, toddlers, weather and the complete open world of Sims 3 neighborhoods are missing, Sims 4 does feature a segmented open world experience and the addition of emotions.

These emotions are about the only truly new mechanic introduced. When your Sim is inspired, their chance at creating masterpieces is much higher. The energetic mood allows Sims to do push ups or work out longer. Focused Sims read faster and tend to divert their attention by pursuing the sciences. Confidence boosts your Sim’s social interactions while embarrassment often makes your Sim want to hide alone in their bedroom. The emotions are overall fun and entertaining; they add some variety to Sims’ day-to-day actions, as well as adding some emotional consequences.

The other improvements in Sims 4 make the game easier on the eyes and easier to play. With multitasking, your Sim can do some actions simultaneously, like eating and talking to their family. This not only makes the gameplay more realistic, it also makes fulfilling Sims’ basic needs much easier. The game graphics are also greatly improved. While on a jog through the neighborhood, your Sim can even see the petals from a cherry blossom tree wafting down around them — a definite improvement to the ambiance of the environment. Pathing, or the way Sims move around objects and each other, is also improved upon, much to the delight of anyone who played previous versions of the Sims.

That said, the game is fairly rough for a big name release. Random glitches like silverware getting stuck in hands or phasing through counters interrupt gameplay. Travel between neighborhoods also frequently crashes the game — making going to the park, library or even another house in the same neighborhood frustrating.

The customization is also trimmed down across the board. This limits the appearance of your Sims and  their homes. Hopefully, DLC will expand on this, but fans are wary since previous versions of the Sims contained much more customization options in their base games.

All in all, Sims 4 isn’t a bad game. The $70 price tag is a little steep for the reduced content and abridged open world. If you’re a fan of the Sims, buy it, but wait until the price is a bit lower and it comes packaged with DLC. By then the game will hopefully have some neat player made content and a few bug fixes too.