Make way for emotions

Who I am
Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
Author and references

It is difficult to evaluate a game like The Sims and this is because there are not many criteria for comparison: The Sims has always been a unique title, with a rich and varied gameplay, resulting in a hybrid between the management system and the simulator, without ever reaching its maximum form. because, of course, the world of The Sims is anything but realistic, in the strict sense of the word. In short: The Sims is The Sims! The only comparison that can be made is with its predecessors and The Sims 4 is confirmed, without a doubt, as the chapter with the most sophisticated gameplay, even if this new minimal style certainly makes the most hardcore gamers regret something.



Fresh, lean and intuitive, The Sims 4 proves to be a successful bet

Create your Sim

Let's introduce immediately one of the keywords that The Sims 4 is all about: intuitiveness. The new Create a Sim mode has undergone a major makeover, gaining in simplicity: the choice of predefined physical traits always remains within the menu, but those are only the starting point on which to model the final appearance of our Sim.

In fact, the whole body of our friends can be modified with a simple click and drag, giving life to an incredible variety of Sims, to which you will then also have to assign voice, walk, aspiration and disposition. The part dedicated to the formation of the Sim's character is extremely important because, depending on what you choose, you will affect your gameplay: playing with a Sim with creative aspirations will be very different from dealing with a science lover or an animal. Obviously there is also the part dedicated to clothing and accessories which, as we had foreseen, does not differ much from what the old chapters offered, thus finding ourselves dealing with many anonymous and a little "cheap".



There was a very nice house ...

After creating a Sim, the second step is obviously to build a house for our friend. For some, this mode, more than the actual gameplay, is the beating heart of the game and for this reason even more significant changes have been made compared to the phase of creating a Sim, in order to make it more enjoyable and dynamic. The dynamism is to be referred to the flexibility that the mode offers to the player, adapting to his needs: if before it was necessary to know almost by heart all the sub-categories of the menus (both for the construction part and for the furniture), now the navigation it is very simple and, thanks to the addition of some clever innovations, you will have various ways to proceed in the construction of the house.

The interface has evolved a lot: to get an overview of all the elements of the inventory, just click on the icon of the desired object that you will find in the house and rooms diagram, near the navigation menu. In this way, by visualizing a room, you will have quick access to all the elements that make it up; in addition to this display order, you can also access the inventory using the classic cataloging by function (all surfaces, all appliances ...). If, on the other hand, you are a player who does not like to waste time (i.e. getting lost in the inventories sifting through the entire catalog), during this part of the game you can directly choose rooms already built and furnished to quickly assemble a house from scratch, sacrificing character and customization. Of course, you can add and remove elements to this building block and you can also change its size: a very intelligent addition was in fact that of being able to move the walls, and with these also the furniture leaning against them, with a simple click on the arrow of the desired direction, thus replacing the mangy demolition with a simple slip. Through the editor you can also choose the height of the walls (very important new feature for placing windows, paintings and shelves at staggered heights) and the inclination of the roofs, thus creating a variety of structures and shapes that in the previous chapters were not achievable even with the most complex of tricks. Whether you are a player who devotes a lot or a little time to this mode we are sure that you will find an action strategy that is well suited to your way of playing. Sore notes: as already widely discussed, it is worth noting the lack of various very important elements, such as garages (and attached cars) and swimming pools. To replace the latter, fountains have been added, visually very pleasant but with a very different purpose. Although this choice is more or less acceptable, there is no doubt that this lack causes the loss of some considerable points to the title, especially aware of the fact that, probably, these historical components will be offered to us later on for a fee. The last note to report about this mode are the game controls, slightly different from previous titles but impossible to use if you are old players accustomed to the ancient system of commands: fortunately you will have the possibility to choose which one to use from the game options menu.



The open world that doesn't exist

Another totally different thing, but which this time plays in favor of the title, is the subdivision of the neighborhoods into small neighborhoods. This change is between The Sims 2 and The Sims 3: we can then view a certain number of buildings in the area adjacent to our Sims' house and visit them by clicking on them, or we can travel to a community lot or a house that is out of bounds neighborhood.

In fact, the choice to leave a totally open world neighborhood allows shorter loading times and, although many have complained about the additional click to travel outside the boundaries of the neighborhood, we do not believe that this apparent step backwards will worsen the gaming experience. . The neighborhoods are therefore more "navigable" and graphically very pleasant: new animations have been added to both the scenarios and the Sims and the building materials (in particular the reflective textures of glass, metal, plastic) are realistic and very convincing. Despite this pleasant appearance we had the impression that there hasn't been a lot of progress on the visual aspect, and this especially when you consider the leap made in the transition from The Sims 2 to The Sims 3. Another thing we had already talked about in a previous preview, is that the dominant architectural style is the American colonial one, although there are various buildings built according to a contemporary taste. In itself this is not a mistake, but this stylistic closure has always been strongly present in The Sims and, until now, only developed in the building plans. In The Sims 4, on the other hand, the influence of the American style of living is reflected in the complete structure of the default house, both inside and out; It is not clear whether this choice, perpetrated over time, is a deliberate distinctive feature or the result of excessive patriotism, but in our opinion this, in the long run, will penalize the game because it will bore players who will not feel represented by American habits and style .



The game of emotions

There is also a lot to say about the actual gameplay, this too revised in many respects but slightly disappointing compared to what we have covered so far. Before the game was released, one of the highlights that featured in every presentation of The Sims 4 was the realism and intelligence of the Sims, but they are not present in the game to the extent that we expected.

A lot of work has been done on emotions, and in fact these are what affect all the actions of our Sims: a discouraged Sim, for example, will achieve mediocre results in every activity we make them do while living that particular state of mind, while on the contrary a satisfied Sim will do great things, gaining rewards at work, advancing the levels of their skills faster and socializing with more ease. The mood of the Sims is so important that, within the game interface, it has been loaded with a graphically greater weight than the needs, a choice that we do not feel like sharing since the state of the Sim (hunger, sleep, bladder ...) has always been central to gameplay. And again to mark this "emotion-centric" choice, there is not only a musical accompaniment that is sometimes too aggressive but you soon realize how contagious the mood is and how a disgruntled Sim is enough to ruin your day. This is the clear example of the poorly developed realism in the game: the mood is in fact determined by objects or other Sims with a particular emotional aura, but it is enough to move away a little or even move from one room to another that the mood suddenly changes. , making not only the whole situation unrealistic but above all complicating the player's life, who will find himself at the mercy of the whims of his Sim. No significant changes have been made to the automatic actions (cleaning the toilet, clearing the table), which are stopped as soon as a new command is issued or, even worse, if "inspiration" hits a Sim from free will. An example of successful realism, on the other hand, can be found in the interaction with other avatars, since now the Sims relate to their fellowmen in a more natural way: our friends in fact do not necessarily have to be in front of each other to socialize, but they can happily chat while they train, while eating, while sharing a bench ... actually these new Sims chat a lot and this is a great benefit to the player.

As for the game interface, as we said a moment ago, much importance has been assigned to mood, which we will find in the main panel at the bottom left together with the actions, the list of controllable Sims, the Simoleons and the mobile phone, with which we will be able to call and text our friends, look for a job and move from the lot we are visiting.

At the top right we will have the classic menu, with the image gallery and the notification board, view of the walls, view commands and options. Finally, at the bottom right we will find the most important part relating to the game interface; or at least, more important before the advent of emotions. In particular we will have the aspiration, the career, the skills, the relationships, the simology (the nature of our Sim) and ultimately the needs. This last grouping and the order in which the various drop-down menus were placed is very reminiscent of the criterion with which they were ordered in the chapters for Game Boy. We are therefore no longer dealing with the massive and detailed graphics of the previous chapters but with a streamlined interface divided into various corners of the screen, a choice that certainly makes us appreciate the game in its entirety, but that for the purists of The Sims could be very uncomfortable. The inventory will collect all the items our Sims create or discover as their technical skills increase. There are many types and they are cataloged from the most common to the rarest. One thing the Sims team never denies is the musical accompaniment: the background music is always pleasant and catchy, calmer or more lively depending on the mode we are in. As we mentioned before, the sound effects become more intrusive during the actual gameplay because they accompany every single change of mood of our Sims and, having to deal with some little too fickle types, after several hours of play this pleasant accompaniment it gets a bit annoying. The general satisfaction, however, has a slightly bitter taste because until the last we hoped for a surprise collaboration with some famous artist, making us regret the high standards that were achieved at the time with the wonderful soundtrack that Black Eyed Peas edited for The Urbz: Sims in the City.

Social Sim

In The Sims multiplayer mode never existed but despite this the community that revolves around the brand is active and very collaborative: in fact, thousands of players have always tried their hand at creating new objects, accessories and textures to enrich the inventory and the gaming experience, and thanks to the introduction of social activities, doing it with The Sims 4 is even easier. In fact, having an Origin account you can upload predefined families, lots and rooms (which you can save with a specific command from the build and buy mode) in your Gallery and share them in the common catalog making your creations visible and downloadable to other players in the community; you can also follow other users and keep up to date on their publications, which will be reported to you in the notification area. At the beginning of the game, on the main screen, you will find the link "The challenge of the week" where you can share the images of your Sim created by following the instructions of the contest and using the indicated hashtag on social networks.

PC System Requirements

Test Setup

  • The editorial team uses the ASUS CG8250 Personal Computer
  • Intel Core i7 2600 processor
  • 8 GB of RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti video card
  • Windows 7 operating system

Minimum requirements

  • Windows XP (SP3), Windows Vista (SP2), Windows 7 (SP1), Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
  • 2 GHz Intel Core 1,8 Duo processor, AMD Athlon 64 Dual-Core 4000+ or ​​equivalent (on computers with integrated graphics chipsets, the game requires 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 64 GHz AMD Turion 2 X62 TL-2 or equivalent)
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • 9 GB of free space plus at least 1 GB of space for custom material and saves
  • Video card with 128 MB of memory with Pixel Shader 3.0 support Supported video cards - NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or better, ATI Radeon X1300 or better, Intel GMA X4500 or better

Comment

Digital Delivery Origin, Official Site Price 59.99 € Resources4Gaming.com

8.5

Readers (234)

7.7

Your vote

The Sims 4 goes a long way from its predecessors by showing that a game like this doesn't have to be complex to be enjoyable. Fresh, lean and intuitive, this last chapter of the series is confirmed as the title with the highest playability, even if the excessive focus on some details and certain shortcomings make it lose the handful of points that would lead it to excellence. This chapter more than any other demonstrates to the skeptics who accuse the saga of being "static" and "always the same", that even a game like The Sims is able to experiment, evolve and change, sometimes making mistakes, but always trying with the aim not to disappoint and without distorting the essence of the brand.

PRO

  • Minimal, fast and intuitive
  • A new world well anchored in the spirit of the old The Sims
  • Superlative "Create a Sim" and "Build and Buy" modes
AGAINST
  • The lack of swimming pools and garages is felt!
  • Sometimes the game gets lost in trying to explore new solutions
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