The Sims 4
|The Sims 4|
Original Box Art
|Writer(s)||Danielle von Mayrhauser|
PlayStation 4, Xbox One
The Sims 4 is the fourth major title in the life simulation video game series The Sims developed by the Redwood Shores studio of Maxis and published by Electronic Arts, The Sims 4 was originally announced on May 6, 2013, and was released in North America on September 2, 2014 for Microsoft Windows. A Mac compatible version of the game was made available for digital download on February 17, 2015. The Sims 4 is the first PC game to top all-format charts in two years. The game has received mixed reviews since its release, with the majority of criticism directed towards its lack of content.
Eight expansion packs have been released. The most recent is Discover University, which was released on November 15, 2019. There have also been several "game packs" released, as well as free updates that include major changes such as the addition of a toddler life stage that was previously non-existent.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Development
- 3 Marketing and release
- 4 Expansions, add-ons and editions
- 5 Reception
- 6 Notes
- 7 References
- 8 External links
The Sims 4 is a life simulation game, similar to its predecessors. Players create a Sim character and control their life to explore different personalities which change the way the game plays out. Sims can now multitask. Sims' moodlets also change the gameplay by influencing the sims' emotional state, introducing new interaction options.
Similar to previous Sims games, player-created challenges abound. One of the most prevalent is the Legacy Challenge, in which players create a single Sim and try to make its family line last for ten generations.
Create a Sim (CAS)
One major change to the Sims 4 Create A Sim functionality is that sliders have been replaced by direct mouse manipulation. By clicking, dragging, and pulling with the mouse, players may directly manipulate the facial features of a Sim. Players can also directly manipulate any body part including the abdomen, chest, legs, arms and feet. In previous Sims games, only the fitness and fatness can be manipulated on a Sims body; however, fitness and fatness levels may still be adjusted in The Sims 4 with sliders as in previous games. The base games comes with over 40 hairstyles for both men and women. There are up to 18 hair colour options per hairstyle. Selections of premade designs of Sims are available to choose from, which range in body shape and ethnicity.
Seven life stages are available including baby, toddler, child, teenager, young adult, adult and elder. The baby life stage is accessible only through the birth of a Sim and not available in Create A Sim. Toddlers were initially absent from the original game release, but were added in the January 2017 patch.
Each Sim also has three traits and an aspiration containing its own hidden trait.
Compared to previous Sims games where everyday, formal, sleepwear, athletic, party and swimwear outfits were restricted to having their own clothing options, all clothing options are now available across all outfits and players are allowed up to 5 outfits per category. There is also a filter panel where clothing options can be sorted by color, material, outfit category, fashion choice, style, content and packs.
In a summer 2016 update, gender options were expanded in the game, allowing any gender expression. With this update, haircuts and outfits can be worn by any Sim of any gender, and pregnancy can become a possibility regardless of the gender.
In The Sims 4, build and buy modes have been combined and is now treated as a single feature.
A detailed build-and-buy system is included along with neighborhoods and landscaping. Some locked buy mode items may be unlocked through the progression of career levels. Entire buildings and rooms can now be moved across a lot. There is a search option to search for build and buy mode options. There are now premade rooms that can be placed instantly. Wall heights can also be adjusted. There is also a pool tool feature with triangular, square and octagonal pool tools. There are build mode cheats such as "motherlode", which enables the player to automatically gain §50,000 (simoleons) added to a Sim's household.
The Sims 4 includes social features, such as importing Sims, lots, and rooms other players have made from The Gallery into the player's game. Players may publish their creations into The Gallery for other players to download into their game instantly.
On January 9, 2015, EA released a version of The Gallery for iOS and Android devices.
The Sims 4 base game originally shipped with two worlds: Willow Creek and Oasis Springs. Both worlds contain five neighborhoods and a total of 21 lots. With the release of Outdoor Retreat and Jungle Adventure, the worlds Granite Falls and Selvadorada, respectively, became available for visiting on outdoor vacations. Newcrest became available with a free update, having three neighborhoods with five empty lots in each, for a total of 15 lots. Magnolia Promenade came with the Get to Work Expansion Pack, and Windenburg was introduced in the Get Together Expansion Pack. The City Living Expansion Pack, released in November 2016, introduced the new city of San Myshuno. The Vampires Game Pack added the neighborhood Forgotten Hollow. In November 2017, the seaside town of Brindleton Bay was added in the Cats and Dogs Expansion Pack. In November 2018, the town of Del Sol Valley was added with the Get Famous Expansion Pack. In February 2019, the desert town of Strangerville was added with the release of the Strangerville game pack.In September 2019, the world of Glimmerbrook and its magic realm counterpart (which is accessed via portal) were included with the release of the Realm of Magic game pack. In November 2019, the college town of Britechester was released with the Discover University Expansion Pack.
The Sims 4 is a single-player game, and does not require a constant Internet connection to play. Players need an Origin account and Internet access during the initial installation process for game activation. Ilan Eshkeri serves as the composer for the game's orchestral soundtrack, which was recorded at Abbey Road Studios and performed by the London Metropolitan Orchestra.
On April 25, 2013, several screenshots from mock-up flash videos of the user interface were leaked online. On May 3, 2013, Electronic Arts sent out an e-mail to several fansites stating that there would be a big announcement on May 6, 2013, which many speculated would be The Sims 4.
On August 20, 2013, The Sims 4 was revealed via gameplay demo and release trailer at Gamescom. Previews of the building and character creation systems debuted earlier in 2014. Additional game footage and the release date were revealed at the Electronic Entertainment Expo on June 9, 2014.
Gameplay was unveiled during Gamescom 2013, held at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany. Unveiled features focused on the improved Create-a-Sim with an all-new click-and-drag feature omitting the use of sliders and the addition of emotion-based gameplay. Select players called Yibsims who mostly manage fan sites and YouTube videos were invited to Sims Camp to see the game before the public and press, consequently the game received minimal coverage outside fansites. Maxis stated the game would run better on lower-end PCs than The Sims 3, which was plagued with performance issues on low-end and high-end PCs.
On May 14, 2014, producer Ryan Vaughan unveiled another Create-a-Sim trailer on the official The Sims YouTube channel. This included a preview of what the premade Sims Bella Goth and Mortimer Goth would look like in The Sims 4. The development team unveiled another trailer on May 28, 2014 that showcased the new Build Mode features. Players can choose between three different wall heights and adjust the location of a window on a wall, as well as be able to move an entire room from one position to another.
EA unveiled another gameplay trailer including more gameplay footage and announced the release date of the game, September 2, 2014, during a press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo on June 9, 2014. The Sims 4 was released on September 2 for North America and September 4 for EU, Australia and Brazil.
On June 28, 2014, a video was released showing the "originality" of each sim and their emotions.
In June 2018, it was announced that The Sims 4 will continue to produce new content through 2021.
On September 26, 2018, plans were announced to add mouse and keyboard support to the console version of the game.
In October 2018, according to an article published by Gamespace, a live stream was held by Maxis Monthly announcing new features such as terrain manipulation and the Style Influencer career. It was also announced that The Sims 4 will be upgraded from Python 3.3.5 to 3.7.0, which will result in script mods no longer working.
Upon first announcement, EA stated that The Sims 4 was in development for both Mac and Windows, both to be released in 2014; however, closer to release date, the company stated that they were "focused [on] Windows" and had "no updates on the Mac at this time". In October 2014 further information was disclosed suggesting the future release of a Mac version. Vaughn told International Business Times that the team was "working on a Mac version right now." On January 13, 2015, EA confirmed the release of the Mac version to be February 2015. On February 2, they announced via the official The Sims Twitter feed that the Mac version of The Sims 4 would be released on February 17, 2015.
Earlier in the development process, a fan-site interview with a producer had revealed Create-a-Style (CAS), a customization feature introduced in the previous Sims game, would not be added to The Sims 4 in lieu of other features. The developers then announced through a series of tweets that the game would ship with a "stripped-down" version of story-progression (a gameplay mechanic controlling neighborhood autonomy), and that basements, grocery stores, and school and work locations would not be featured in the game. While careers and schools would still be featured, they would be represented differently from The Sims 3, more akin to the way they were featured in The Sims 2.
These announcements sparked criticism among many fans who speculated that the exclusion of arguably core features were intended by the developers or parent company to be left out for later paid content, or in order to make rushed deadlines. A petition was launched by some fans to have the features restored for the initial release, even if the release date were to be pushed back.
Maxis contended that it was not possible to include every feature in the new game that had been added over time in the six years The Sims 3 was in development, and that these could always be added at a later date, although they did not confirm exactly how this would be done, or whether it would be free or at a cost. Some speculated that many new features would be released through paid expansion packs, but others speculated that some of the more "basic, core" content (i.e. pools, toddlers) would be released as free patch updates, similar to how some new features were patched free into The Sims 3, such as basement features.
Questioned as to why some features, such as a cupcake machine, were implemented over what many viewed as key gameplay, Maxis and The Sims producer Graham Nardone attributed the sacrifice to time constraints, the workload and distribution of developers (and the comparative lack of available developers to some areas of production to other areas), as well as risk factors:
You can't weigh features by how much you want them in the game, you have to consider how many development resources it takes to create them. The tram? A couple of days from one of our FX guys and it's finished... very low risk, very low complexity (using entirely existing tech), and adds a nice visual punch to the neighborhood. I can’t recall ever scoping against FX... they always have time to be adding more stuff.
Our FX folks submitted their own long list of things they wanted to work on because there wasn’t enough for them to do. Now, you can’t take the FX team and ask them to add pools to the game. They don’t have the work skills to do it; neither do I. Pools, toddlers... they’re extremely complex features that require months of man hours of work across multiple disciplines and introduce significant risk.
If we were to have added one of those to the game, there would have been two choices for us... cut many small features, or cut one other significantly large feature.
Maxis and The Sims producer Rachel Rubin Franklin later elaborated in an official blog post, acknowledging the concerns of fans, and explained the issue on the developer's focus on The Sims 4's new core game engine technologies, and that the sacrifices the team had to make were a "hard pill to swallow":
It begins with new technology and systems that we built for this new base game for The Sims... the vision for The Sims 4 is a new experience... to do that, our technology base needed a major upgrade.
...when we sat down and looked at everything we wanted to do for this game, all the new tech we wanted to build into it, the fact was that there would be trade-offs, and these would disappoint some of our fans. Hard pill to swallow, believe me, but delivering on the vision set out for The Sims 4 required focus.
Franklin stated new features such as Sim emotions, advanced Sim animation, interaction and behaviors, as well as the new Create-a-Sim and build mode tools as a large part of the reason that detracted focus from features such as swimming pools and the toddler life stage.
On October 1, 2014, Maxis confirmed that one of its missing features (swimming pools), along with other new updates and features, would be added into the game for free in November, and this happened in the form of a game patch. Other features like basements have later been added in subsequent patches, and the missing "toddler" life stage was eventually added for free in a patch released on January 12, 2017.
|Patch release date||Significant features added|
|October 1, 2014||Ghost, a new type of sim that is an optional addition to the game, the Deathflower plant, and the "Ambrosia" cooking recipe; Star Wars costumes: Yoda, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, and Darth Vader.|
|November 4, 2014||Swimming pools; various swimwear.|
|December 16, 2014||Two new active careers: Business and Athletic; Paid Time Off and Family Leave options.|
|February 3, 2015||Genealogy panel, displaying a Sim's family tree.|
|March 26, 2015||Basements, down to two levels down, and an additional above ground floor, bringing the total floors available to six; the Notebook feature on the phone, which catalogs a Sim's gardening or fishing discoveries; Paint by Reference option on the easel.|
|May 4, 2015||New Star Wars costumes: Boba Fett, Darth Maul, and Aayla Secura; Revamped the loading screen.|
|June 11, 2015||Newcrest, a new world containing fifteen empty lots within three new neighborhoods; the Welcome Wagon from new neighbors; the Custom Room Tool.|
|July 9, 2015||Half walls; locked doors; King's and Queen's Door, which allow only just the men or women to pass through it, respectively; towel full body outfits.|
|August 6, 2015||A dishwasher is added to the appliances, which needs to be slotted into an existing non-island counter.|
|September 24, 2015||New Trait: Jealous; Limited Interaction Trick or Treat; Claiming beds; Resizeable rugs; Underground Saunas.|
|November 3, 2015||New Hire Service: Repair Man.|
|December 4, 2015||64-bit executable; Automatically disable mods after patch; Change in Sims groups; New NPC Interaction; Fire and Death Reaction Systems; New Venue Type: Pool and New Option to color water; World maps updated; Put grills in inventory.|
|February 4, 2016||New Trait: Kleptomaniac; New Hire Service: Gardener; New Aspiration; New Content in Build Mode.|
|April 21, 2016||Returning NPC: Tragic Clown.|
|June 3, 2016||All Create-a-Sim content is available to both sexes, as well as gender customization.|
|June 23, 2016||Child Sims can now experience a 'Monster-Under-The-Bed', appearing as tentacles which children can either befriend or ask Adults to Spray. Adults cannot see this Monster, however. A light for warding away the Monster has also been added, which features an image of the new character 'Coolala'. This character appears in the new Kids Room Stuff as well, released June 28, 2016.|
|July 14, 2016||Nannies have been added, and the ability to adjust all lights in a room in one go has been introduced.|
|August 18, 2016||Sim Cell Phone covers can be customized.|
|September 27, 2016||Mexican 'Day of the Dead' CAS Items are added; A Mexican dish, Pan De Muerto, is added to the cooking recipes.|
|October 27, 2016||Eight new lot traits have been added to the base game; A copy paste function for build mode has been added.|
|January 12, 2017||The Toddler age group, along with unique Toddler traits, skills, outfits, objects and the ability to customize your sims teeth (includes the other life stages), have been added with a free game update.|
|February 2, 2017||Redesigned the Main Menu.|
|May 25, 2017||Updated the Load / Save menu.|
|November 11, 2017||Four new roofs are added in Build Mode: Pentagonal, Hexagonal, Octagonal, and Round Roofs; Advanced roof curvature mode and additional manipulation points to Gabled and Hipped roofs; Photography is made available to all players; A new Maximum Sim Count option in Gameplay Options; Objects can be shrunk using the Size Down cheat.|
|February 6, 2018||New female hairstyle and ten new skin tones were added in addition to an anniversary T-shirt.|
|June 19, 2018||Added glass roofs, cold and hot weather outfit categories to CAS in preparation for the Seasons expansion pack, a swimwear category for toddlers, and revamped the Gardening skill.|
|August 16, 2018||Caribbean-Inspired Content. New hair styles, clothing, sliding doors, and ceiling fan.|
|November 13, 2018||Added terrain tools, a first person camera, as well as the Style Influencer and Self-Employment careers.|
|February 5, 2019||Lunar New Year content, including recipes, clothing, and Build mode items.|
|April 16, 2019||Freelancer career, new Build mode items, and new clothing items.|
|June 18, 2019||Pride month content, 350 door color swatches, Off-the-grid and Clothing Optional lot traits, Part-Time jobs for Adult, 1 lounge chair, Stilt Foundations, Fishing update.|
|September 5, 2019||Middle Eastern clothing, build mode items, and configurable stairs allowing for them to go in different directions.|
|November 12, 2019||New clothing, multi story columns, and 4K user interface scaling.|
Marketing and release
SteelSeries and Electronic Arts announced a series of themed peripherals to promote The Sims 4, including a pair of headphones, a computer mouse that lights up in accordance with Sims' in-game emotional states, and a mousepad featuring a render of various Sim groups.
A demo was released to the public displaying the new Create a Sim partition of the game in which is supplied, free of charge to anyone. TV spots were also produced narrated by actor Charlie Day.
On May 9, 2014, it was reported that The Sims 4 has been rated "18+ (Prohibited for children)" by Russia. This decision was based on the game's portrayal of same-sex relationships contravening the Russian LGBT propaganda law that prohibits portrayal "of non-traditional sexual relationships" to children (see also LGBT rights in Russia). Previous entries in The Sims series have routinely been rated as suitable for lower ages; for instance, The Sims 3 was considered suitable for ages 6 and up in Germany, The Sims 4 is suitable for ages 6 and up in Germany as well. In Japan, The Sims 4 is rated CERO C (ages 15 & up). Also, in South Korea, the game is rated for ages 15 & up. In many European countries, like Spain, UK, France, Poland, and the Czech Republic, the game is rated PEGI 12 (12 & up).
Expansions, add-ons and editions
|EP01||Get to Work||PC:
||The first expansion pack adds three new playable, active careers: Doctor, Detective and Scientist. Get to Work also gives the opportunity to build your own retail store and start your own retail business. The expansion pack also adds a new neighborhood called Magnolia Promenade, and planet Sixam, an alien home world, as well as playable alien Sims. It also adds two new skills (Baking and Photography), new objects and clothing.|
||Get Together is the second expansion pack for The Sims 4, which was announced on August 5, 2015 at Gamescom. The main new feature of this expansion pack is Clubs. The player can create and join Clubs with distinct interests, personalities, and styles where the player can set the rules, define their look, and customize their hangouts. Furthermore, there are brand new activities such as foosball, darts, Don't Wake The Llama and arcade machine. There are also all new DJ & Dancing skills. This expansion pack features a new world of called Windenburg, with scenic neighborhoods and picturesque landmarks, including the sprawling hedge maze at the Von Haunt Estate, the alluring pools along the bluffs, and the mysterious ancient ruins. Other new features include: emotional texts, natural pool colours, new foods & drinks, barista & DJ NPCs, and new Closet WooHoo & Bush WooHoo.|
||The third expansion pack features a new city called San Myshuno with four unique neighborhoods. City Living introduces new careers reflective of our time including the returning politician career and two new brand new fields never seen in the franchise: social media and critic. The expansion pack focuses on city life and reintroduces apartments into the city, ranging from fixer-uppers to penthouses. There are many new lots and activities for Sims to explore such the Spice Market, Karaoke Bar, Geek Con with video game competitions, the Spice Festival with curry eating contests and a Romance Festival for love-seeking Sims. Apartments will feature lot traits which can be assigned to any lot. The new lot traits are available via patch to players who do not purchase the expansion.|
|EP04||Cats & Dogs||PC:
|The fourth expansion pack introduces creation of pets such as cats, dogs, and items catered to Sims' furry friends (similar to The Sims 2: Pets, The Sims 3: Pets and The Sims: Unleashed). This also allows players to pursue a veterinary career and create their own veterinary practice.|
|The fifth expansion pack introduces new weather and seasons systems similar to the systems found in The Sims 2: Seasons and The Sims 3: Seasons, which allow Sims to experience winter, spring, summer, and fall. The pack also introduces new outfits as well as a new career, the Botanist.|
|The sixth expansion pack allows sims to become famous (similar to The Sims: Superstar) through the addition of an acting active career or a social media influencer. A variety of expensive objects are added to create luxury mansions, in the brand new world of Del Sol Valley.|
|The seventh expansion pack focuses on sims living in a tropical paradise world called Sulani (in a similar vein to that of The Sims 3: Island Paradise). Other features include the conservationist, diving, fishing and lifeguard careers, playable mermaids, boats and the island locals.|
|The eighth expansion pack introduces your sims to the university (similar to The Sims 2: University and The Sims 3: University Life). There is a new world, Britechester, with has two universities, "University of Britechester" and "Foxbury Institute". It also adds the possibility of riding a bike.|
|Adds a new world called Granite Falls. Within the new world Sims can vacation outdoors in a national park. This pack also adds a new skill (Herbalism); a new collectable (insects); and several new Sims traits, achievements, aspirations, outfits, objects, and game interactions related to outdoor activities.|
|Adds a new building type, the spa. This pack also includes a new skill (Wellness) as well as several new outfits, objects and game interactions related to the typical features in a spa like massages, meditation, mud baths, saunas and yoga.|
|Allows Sims to visit restaurants, as well as build and run their own restaurant. Those that own restaurants can experiment with new foods, employ staff and succeed in cooking. This pack also comes with a variety of items in Create a Sim.|
|Allows Sims to become Vampires with different powers and weaknesses. A new residential world with five lots, Forgotten Hollow, is also introduced. The pack also comes with a new aspiration, new lot traits and numerous CAS and Build mode items that fit the darker Vampire theme.|
|Allows adult Sims to control and shape their child or teen's life. New features like cursing, acne, school related projects, and many more. Toddlers, children, and teens can now be rebellious to their parents and other siblings. Parents can treat this new behavior by being strict, or they could be nurturing and hope that good things will come.|
|Adds a new destination world called Selvadorada. New food, dance moves and music are added. Ancient artifacts and mysterious relics can be excavated and examined.|
|Adds a new residential world named StrangerVille with a mystery to be solved. A new aspiration, build mode items, and CAS items were also included.|
|GP08||Realm of Magic||PC:
|Adds two new worlds, Glimmerbrook and the Magical Realm. Adds Spellcasters and magical gameplay as well as Art Nouveau style build mode items and three different styles of Spellcaster CAS items.|
|SP01||Luxury Party Stuff||PC:
|Includes several luxury party outfits and items, including buffet tables and a table-top cheese/chocolate/drinking fountain.|
|SP02||Perfect Patio Stuff||PC:
|Includes patio furniture, including hot tubs, as well as new outfits.|
|SP03||Cool Kitchen Stuff||PC:
|Includes kitchen counters, cabinets and appliances, such as an Ice Cream Maker with over 30 different flavors.|
|Includes Halloween-related costumes, items including spider webs and a pumpkin carving station, and a new spooky-themed party that Sims can throw.|
|SP05||Movie Hangout Stuff||PC:
|Includes Bohemian-styled clothing, home theaters, and items such as the Popcorn Maker.|
|SP06||Romantic Garden Stuff||PC:
|Includes garden objects, new outfits, and new gameplay modes.|
|SP07||Kids Room Stuff||PC:
|Includes items for children's rooms, including new beds, a puppetry, a new game, and new hair and clothes for children.|
|Includes items for the backyard such as slip 'n' slide and bird feeders, and new hair and clothes.|
|SP09||Vintage Glamour Stuff||PC:
|Includes vintage style items such as a vanity table, new Old Hollywood inspired clothes and hair and the ability to hire a butler.|
|SP10||Bowling Night Stuff||PC:
|Includes items such as bowling lanes allowing players to build their own bowling hangout(s) for their Sims to visit. A new five level bowling skill, new themed clothing items, furniture, wallpapers and floorings are also included.|
|Includes new items such as the rock climbing treadmill, workout videos and earbuds. Also included are more fitness apparel.|
|Includes new playground equipments for toddlers to use.|
|SP13||Laundry Day Stuff||PC:
|Includes new home technologies to help your Sim with domestic responsibilities and live an eco-friendly life. Marks of the return of laundry, washing machines and other laundry related items.|
|SP14||My First Pet Stuff||PC:
||Includes hamster, rat, pygmy hedgehog, or miniature bubalus as new pets. It requires the Cats & Dogs expansion pack, and is the first stuff pack to require another piece of Downloadable Content.|
|New clothing and décor from Moschino and Freelance Fashion Photographer career.|
Additional downloadable content (DLC)
|N/A||Rewards||PC:||Bonus content for the owners of The Sims 3 Expansion Packs.|
|N/A||Digital Deluxe Upgrade||Life of the Party||PC:
||Included in the Limited Edition and up. Adds the Flaming Tiki Bar and additional outfits.|
|Awesome Animal Hats||Included in the Digital Deluxe Edition and up. Adds a collection of animal hats.|
|Up All Night||Included in the Digital Deluxe Edition and up. Adds the Laser Light show, face paint, additional party decorations and outfits, two new party types, and new cooking recipes.|
|FP01||Holiday Celebration Pack||
||A free downloadable content pack. Adds winter holiday decorations and outfits. New content was added every year from 2015 to 2018.|
|FP02||Grim's Ghoulish Guitar||
||Bonus content for signing up to the newsletter|
||Bonus content for signing up in The Sims Mobile at the launch day.|
|Features||Standard||Limited Edition||Digital Deluxe||Premium Edition||Collector's Edition|
|In-store or Origin download||Origin download only||In store only||Int. Release|
|Additional downloadable content
|Life of the Party|
|Awesome Animal Hats|
|Up All Night|
|Creators' guide book|
|USB interactive Plumbob by SteelSeries|
|The Sims 4 Premier Edition||PC:
||Digital Deluxe, Dine Out, and Kids Room Stuff. (Origin Access Premier membership only)|
Compilations of expansion packs, game packs and stuff packs without the core game have also been released.
|The Sims 4 Bundle: Get To Work||PC:
||Get to Work, Outdoor Retreat, and Luxury Party Stuff.|
||Get to Work, Dine Out, and Cool Kitchen Stuff.|
|The Sims 4 Bundle: Get Together||PC:
||Get Together, Spa Day, and Movie Hangout Stuff.|
|The Sims 4 Bundle: City Living||PC:
||City Living, Dine Out, and Bowling Night Stuff.|
||City Living, Vampires, and Vintage Glamour Stuff.|
|The Sims 4 Bundle: Cats & Dogs||Console:
||Cats & Dogs, Parenthood, and Toddler Stuff.|
|The Sims 4 Bundle: Seasons||Console:
||Seasons, Jungle Adventure, and Spooky Stuff.|
|The Sims 4 Back to School Bundle||Console:
||Get Together, Romantic Garden Stuff, Bowling Night Stuff, and Fitness Stuff.|
|The Sims 4 Live Lavishly Bundle||Console:
||Get Famous, Spa Day, Luxury Party Stuff, and Movie Hangout Stuff.|
EA did not provide review copies of the game until September 1, meaning that critics were unable to review the game before release. In the absence of initial reviews it was indicated that players were generally dissatisfied with the game, especially the ones who were familiar with the previous games in the franchise.
Hardcore Gamer gave The Sims 4 a 2.5 score out of 5 and commented "it’s a half-hearted experience wrapped in a neat and pretty package that beams a potential to both fulfill and crush your inner-Sims’ dreams." They criticized the game for the lack of content and having many bugs.
Jim Sterling of The Escapist, in a mixed review of the game, found there to be an "overall lack of engagement." Although he noted some positive changes, he was critical of the game in comparison to previous entries in the series, declaring that "The Sims 4 is basically The Sims 3, but shrunken and sterile;" he recommended that game be played instead. He also complained of being "harassed" by tutorial messages. His final score for the game was 2.5 out of 5 stars.
ABCNews.com's reviewer Derrik J. Lang praised the game for being "remarkably more intuitive at the start," stating that the Sims are now smarter than before, have emotions that affect their moods, and are able to multi-task. Despite the praise, Lang awarded the game with two stars stating that he encountered annoying glitches and that he misses content from previous games, like dishwashers.
Kevin VanOrd of GameSpot gave this game a 6 out of 10. Despite praising the visuals, audio, and the new multi-tasking and moods system, he states that he misses the two main features of The Sims 3: "Create-a-Style" and the open world. His conclusion is: "The Sims 4's biggest problem is that The Sims 3 exists".
Other reviews were more favorable. CraveOnline.co.uk mentioned in an article that "the awful user reviews indicate a strong backlash;" however, the website added that "Sims fans who haven’t paid much attention to the ongoing controversy surrounding the game may look at those Amazon review scores and, without knowing that many are immediately dismissing the game due to its cut content, decide that they won’t purchase it."
Kallie Plagge of IGN gave The Sims 4 a 7.5 out of 10. She was disappointed by the lack of content from previous games, and the lack of "cool" objects that could adequately replace them; and the too frequent, albeit short, loading screens. The score she gave is relatively high, though, because "The Sims 4 does succeed in being a deep and complex game when it comes to Sim interactions, with lots of entertaining emotional potential [...] Plus, excellent building tools make architecture more fun than ever". Her conclusion is that "it’s a good start to what may eventually be expanded into a great Sims game, but it’s not there yet".
The Independent's Jack Fleming praised the game for "The Gallery" feature that allows users to showcase their creations easily, the new multitasking system, the visual design, the personalities and emotions, the unusual careers (that, for example, allow the sim to travel into space), and the new build mode. On the other hand, he voiced his frustration with the loading screens, the new camera controls (while noting they can be reverted to The Sims 3 style), and noted the lack of content from previous installments (such as swimming pools and toddlers) made many fans upset. In conclusion he writes: "The Sims 4 is an easy game to get into (though the constant tutorial-ising at the start can actually get a bit frustrating) and the reasons that people love this series are still present. The game’s creators have tried to make the appeal as diverse as possible and have in most ways succeeded; however, I couldn’t help but wish I could actually go to space and drive that spaceship around..."
Nick Tan of Game Revolution states that the game is a case study for loss aversion. He explains that the reason for Sims fans expressing so much anger and dissatisfaction with it is because people "strongly prefer avoiding losses than acquiring gains". That, combined with the hatred for Electronic Arts that greatly intensified after the release of the latest SimCity game, resulted in such a backlash. Tan gave The Sims 4 a 3.5/5, calling it "woefully incomplete, despite being unexpectedly solid and entertaining in its current state".
- Blind Squirrel Entertainment co-developed the PS4 and Xbox One versions
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