|Release: September 2, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Angelo M. D'Argenio
Somehow, we just never seem to get enough of controlling tiny little micro A.I.s. Yes, The Sims is coming back with The Sims 4, a game that will supposedly change the way we think about life Simulations. We got to see the game in action at E3 2014.
The idea behind The Sims 4, is that everything is smaller and more real. Not more real in that you won’t be able to be vampires or furries or abducted by aliens. All of those goofy quirks are still in the game. No, The Sims 4 is more real because it Simulates Sim personalities. Instead of Simply operating on a base system of needs, Sims will now have deep and detailed personalities. This goes beyond liking or not liking some music. Sims will have political beliefs, spiritual beliefs, personal demons to excise, and more.
This philosophy has been saturated into every aspect of the game starting with the create a Sim system. As before you can change any aspect of your Sims appearance, from how tall they are to how fat they are to how their features are shaped. You can change their hair color, their clothes, give them tattoos, and more. However, now you can also change how your Sim moves. You can alter how they walk, or how they speak with other people. This will affect other Sims’ impressions of them, and how the rest of the Sim world interacts with them.
You also get to choose personality traits and aspirations as well. Want to be an ambitious Sim? You can do that. Want to be a Sim with a short temper? You can do that. Introvert, extrovert, hippy, activist, businessman, luchadore, basically anything you want is in your grasp.
That being said, your aspirations don’t necessarily immediately translate into careers. More so, they translate into actions that your Sim might take. Let’s say, for example, that your Sim has a love of physical activity and a lot of pride, but is soft spoken. Their soft spoken nature might lead them to getting picked on. However, their pride won’t let them take that, so their love of physical activity will make them go to the gym, start bulking up, and defend themselves more actively.
These skills and personality traits also help decide how Sims will interact with one another. Say that you have a Sim that is very good at video games. That Sim can help teach another Sim to be good at video games. The same holds true for Sims trying to get in shape, Sims trying to learn business skills, and much more. Simply by existing alongside other Sims, your Sims will grow and evolve.
The Sims 4 will benefit from an asynchronous online catalog, a lot like Spore did. Everything you build and create will be uploaded to servers so that other people can take advantage of them. Need a new neighbor? Just choose someone else’s Sim and drop them into your game. Need a new room for your house? Look at the other rooms people have designed and build it all at once. Even better, if you want to skip the whole house building thing entirely, you can just drag and drop a house someone else has built onto an empty plot of land. Nearly everything can be supplemented with the creations of other people, and when the game has released, you’ll even be able to alter the in game content itself, making your own couches, fridges and other items.
The one thing I worry about really has nothing to do with the mechanics of The Sims 4. Rather, it has to do with EA’s online policies. Once again, we are seeing a Sim game build to be an online only experience. You will move in and become part of a community and other players’ Sims will interact with you. But if this means that the game cannot play without an online connection, we are likely to run into problems. Most notably, we will likely see the same game crashes and problems with signing into servers that we did when Sim City first released. This could be a nail in the coffin of this game before it even releases. Not to mention EA has announced that many features, like babies, swimming pools, and lots of pieces of furniture, will be unavailable when the game first launches.
However, if none of this bothers you then The Sims 4 does look like a fun time. If you’ve stuck with The Sims this long, you likely aren’t going to give it up now. The Sims 4 will release in September later this year.
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Date: July 2, 2014