Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Sims 4 Revisited

Did you know that The Sims 4 has been out for 2 years now?
Neither did I.

After watching Lazy Game Reviews on YouTube talk about the game I decided I'd have a talk about my feelings.
It wasn't even a week ago when I realised there was an entirely new expansion pack coming out that I hadn't even heard about.
Whether that's because I haven't been actively looking into the series or because they haven't done a great job at sharing about it is up to debate, but I will admit, since Sims 4's release, my love of the entire Sims series has lessened.... A lot.

I've been with the series since a little after the beginning. One of the computers at my school had Sims 1 on it and I FELL IN LOVE. What is this?! People, but a game?! HOW! I nagged and nagged my dad to buy my Sims 1 (and all of the expansions) and almost made my entire collection!
Then Sims 2 came out. IT HAD TELEVISION ADS! I was obsessed.

I think my most visited website would have been thesims2.com. I vowed to myself that I would make sure I got every single expansion that came with The Sims 2, hell, I was even continuing to collect the expansions from Sims 1!
Sims 2 was amazing, entirely new graphics, new buildings, more items, wants and fears, more life stages, new things! Customisation was insane and I lived and breathed every minute of it. I was on the site reading stories, looking at custom content and literally consuming every piece of this game that there was.
Except, of course, the stuff packs.

Who is she?

What is the point of paying for items when it doesn't even alter the gameplay? I could just download custom content.

And then THE SIMS 3!
Omg omg omg omg omg omg

This has OPEN WORLD! Sims that actually walk around, live their lives autonomously, the world is constantly growing and changing, TOTAL CUSTOMISATION! New(ish) art style, available on Mac, wants and fears had been re-branded so to speak as desires, the game seemed brighter graphically and your Sims would animate according to their personality traits, the game just seemed so big!
Except... The expansion packs are kinda recycled versions of the ones in Sims 2. That's okay, I liked the expansions then, I'm sure I'll like them now.
Oh... And more stuff packs. That's alright, I didn't buy them in Sims 2, I can live without them now.
Wait... You can pay for new worlds now too? I mean.... Okay.

Sims 3 had some incredible expansions beyond recycling older ones, for example Into The Future and Island Paradise. However Island Paradise had a terrible bug that destroyed the game and the company never got around to creating a bug fix, which meant I never really got a chance to really play and experience that pack.

And then we have The Sims 4.
They took away open world.
Took away toddlers.
Took away pools.
Brought in different CAS.
Added some features to build mode.
Shrunk neighbourhoods and worlds.
But hey, emotions!
Oh... Emotions are pretty pointless.

But hey! They'll add all the stuff that should come with the base game in the future maybe! ...Probably in an expansion pack that we have to pay for.
So far there have been 8 stuff packs, 2 expansions with one on the way and the introduction of what seem to be mini expansions called "game packs", which have seen 3 releases.
So far I have one of the expansions, none of the stuff packs and none of the game packs.
And, beyond my actual financial investment, I literally had no idea about the newest expansion that is planned to launch November 1st (3rd for me).
It feels different.
I have no emotional connection to my Sims.
It feels like they don't behave the same way as before.
There's no progression, the world doesn't change, outside Sims don't appear to be changing.

At the end of all this I seriously just miss the older games, 2 being my personal favourite for pure nostalgia, but 3 probably being the best as far as gameplay is concerned.

I can't really tell if this is an open letter to EA to bring back the game of old, or if it's simply just me needing to rant. I'm seriously and sorely disappointed in the way the franchise has moved. I have no emotional connection to the brand as of late. It feels like an entirely different game, and for all the wrong reasons.
I mean, hell, toddlers have been around since Sims 2! Babies have gone back to The Sims 1 style! Yeah sure maybe they're releasing other things as digital release, for example the Day of The Dead competition, and pools were brought out shortly after the game launched, but it's kinda like EA are simply trying to recover from their complete and utter failure of a game.

Sure, it's more approachable for newcomers to the brand, but completely isolates and neglects the hardcore simmers who want the same level on improvement seen in Sims 2 from Sims 1 and Sims 3 from Sims 2.

I will try my best to play it more, I'll even force myself to buy the expansions if I need to, but I really don't see me enjoying this game the way I once did.
EA, I only hope we can rekindle our love in The Sims 5.


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