SPEEDY RELEASE: Sims 4 has received mixed reviews from gamers.
SPEEDY RELEASE: Sims 4 has received mixed reviews from gamers.

Sims faithful down on oversimplified Sims 4

NAOMI has everything you can buy for the Sims 3: every expansion, every item. She's remodelled countless neighbourhoods, sofa by sofa, until they're, in her eyes, perfect, and learned everything there is to know.

Is Sims 4 looking like an improvement over the Sims 3?

I had my reservations from the start because there was less than a year between the announcement and the release date.

None of the features they advertised were improvements, other than being able to add any hat to any hair style. Also, they removed pools and they removed toddlers.

People have been calling the simplification of room-building an improvement, is that not true?

If you were lazy and don't want to personalise things, maybe, but if you're that lazy, you can probably find an existing house that appeals. What has improved is that you can now edit any lot in the neighbourhood even if another household is living there, and you can replace lots with a single click.

Have the so-called improvements to emotions benefited the game experience?

They have changed the font on the moodlets from the description appearing when you hover to the moodlets to being summarised in a single word, like inspired or happy or embarrassed. Sims have always had these emotions, they just didn't take up one quarter of the screen. The emotions in Sims 3 just felt more accurate.

So the changes are superficial?

In Sims 3, moodlets added up to you being happy or sad, so you could be feeling embarrassed and inspired, but overall happy. In Sims 4 they've picked a primary emotion that you're feeling and put that in big writing.

In Sims 3 a positive mood always contributed to increases in skills, in Sims 4 the specific emotion is just an additional contribution to what you're doing. The advertising said your sims would have emotions for the first time. That's not true.

What's the story with dropping the open world aspect?

They advised us the neighbourhood would be divided into sections, therefore we were expecting loading screens when going from section to section. It turns out that even the sections themselves aren't open world, and when you go from lot to lot, there's a loading screen.

The open world was a big selling point for Sims 3 and this takes everyone back to Sims 2.

Why do you think they've done this?

Because they didn't give themselves a proper amount of development time and just wanted to pump something out before exploring where they could go.

Is there anything good at all about the Sims 4?

They've removed travel times because they've gotten rid of vehicles. So they've ended the annoying dance the sims would do when their ride to work arrived. They've also figured out how to add auto-save, and it's a lot quicker with the stripped-down game.

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