Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sims 4 First Impressions

Hello, all! Come on in and make yourselves comfy. There's been a lot of haterade floating around out there concerning the Sims 4. Much of this before it was even released. As usual, your friendly neighborhood Lizzy is here to set the record straight. ^_^ Yeah, it's kind of a side-hobby.



Sims 4! Okay, so for all intents and purposes Sims 4 is another Sims game. You control your Sims in their little worlds, keep them clean and fed and satisfy their wants and desires along the way. If you haven't started playing 4 yet and plan on doing so, especially if you logged many an hour on 3, there is an option under settings to revert camera control back to the Sims 3 style control. I suggest doing that because the new controls are a little... confusing. Especially on top of all the other new stuff you're trying to learn.

First let's cover a few technical things I found fun and interesting. Starting with unlockable buyables:



For me this lends increased playability. There are some things I never end up doing (even after years of play) and for me this is an incentive to try new things. Want the best (so far) bed? Make yourself a painter Sim and get painting!

Second: jobs. Sims 4 is not a whole open map like 3 was. The upside is that the game runs more smoothly overall, but it is also divided into chunks so you do have to "travel" places a la Sims 2. Which means that when a Sim is "at work", they just disappear off the lot. However!



There are things your Sim can do at home to make them better at their job and earn promotions quicker. Their Lifetime Aspiration works much the same way:



This creates a more hands-on experience as far as their lifetime goals and, in my opinion, more well-rounded Sims. [Side note: that bracketed part - the top present icon is rewards you can purchase with their "happiness points", the bottom star lets you change their aspiration if you decide you want to take the Sim in a whole different direction] Once she accomplished those two things she leveled up her aspiration and was presented with a few more goals to achieve.



See, now she must throw a dinner party to advance in her "Master Chef" aspiration. I feel like this is much more realistic than the basic "reach level 10 in cooking career" of Sims past.

Ah, speaking of achievements!



In addition to unlockable buyables there are game achievements! Much like the xbox achievements. I don't know if they mean anything or unlock anything or... anything at all, but I'm a sucker for achievements and, again, it gives me something else to work towards and keeps me trying things I might not.

On to my Sim! Remember Bunny? The pink-haired glutton? Here's her starter home:



Yes, it does look a lot like Sims 3 at the moment, but I'm okay with that. I mean... a house is a house. Since her Master Chef aspiration requires cooking I started with that and was pleasantly surprised that Sims can now cook any recipe at any time of day. Also, there is a slew of new recipes!



Like this hamburger shaped cake! When you have a fresh cake, even this silly burger cake, you can add birthday candles or a wedding topper to make it special. How cool!

Now... since she is a glutton she has the option to dig in the trash for food...



Which she found...



And when she ate it she got very happy...



Which is good, because I also made her gloomy. So even if she's happy like this she can get depressed out of nowhere and her interactions suffer from her melancholy. The emotions were handled really well, I think. When she's depressed she can eat some cake and be happy again, even if the "sad" moodlet is still hidden in there ready to come to the surface until its time expires.

Another thing I'm really impressed with is the multi-tasking.



Here she is sitting, watching tv and talking on the phone at the same time! I know she was watching the tv because I had it on the cooking channel and her cooking skill was still going up. This multi-tasking is very helpful in social situations. I sent her out (which I'll get to in a sec) and she was dancing with another Sim and wanted to "enthuse about interests". In previous Sims this would mean stopping the dancing and going into "conversation" mode. No longer! The "enthuse" interaction dropped right into the action sequence and she was able to fulfill her want while continuing the dance. So much better!

Travel! The one kind of weird thing so far. Since the world is broken up into chunks you have to "travel" where you want to go. Which means loading screens, but (for the moment, at least) the loading screens are way quicker than previous versions. In order to travel somewhere you have to scroll (with the Sims 3 camera control activated, I didn't try with the new ones) all the way out and click the "travel" icon:



Then it brings up the map. So far there are no car options so I guess they just kind of teleport? I dunno. Ultimately unimportant as far as I'm concerned. Just means I don't have to take the three day stress-fest to teach teens how to drive. :p

I thought she'd enjoy the Juice Bar and ordered her a "buffalo wing cocktail"... she seemed to enjoy it.



That was another multi-tasking marvel as the bar was quite full and she had to wave to the bartender over the other patrons and reach between them to get her drink. Wow!

Multi-conversations!



While group conversations were sort of possible in 3, they upped the game a bit here. Each of the translucent plumbobs is a person involved in the conversation. All talking to each other like a normal group of people. The empty seat I have marked is where Bunny was sitting until she had a disagreement with that Sim and she got up and changed spots to get away from him. Again: wow!

Here are a couple of odd/interesting things I found on my first go at the game. Before we figured out how to make two separate game saves. I had me-sim and Aaron-sim living together, but hadn't make them a couple. Aaron-sim tried flirting with Liz-sim over a nice salad and flubbed it pretty bad, leaving him with this:



LMAO!!! He was so embarrassed he just wanted to hide under his sheets. XD The next day this happened:



They had a perfectly good couch and dining table and yet they decided to eat/read while sitting together on the bed... uhm... yeah...

Okay, here's the skinny on performance. I have a basic, cheapo eMachines with integrated AMD Radeon dual core video card and it's running really smoothly. Again, so far, because I know expansions are coming and I hope to have an upgraded pc before too many pile on. They really did make this game able to run on regular computers. Which I appreciate greatly. Even if I did want to throw down a couple grand on a "gaming" computer, not everybody can. Sure they cut some things, but they added so much more and made it accessible and enjoyable for so many more Simmers. I have not been disappointed by the new emotions and the personalities the Sims gain from their combination of emotions and traits. Each Sim can really be it's own person.... except the other weird thing where Bunny, who is both a "glutton" and "lazy" took a brisk shower. The brisk shower made her feel "invigorated" and suddenly she wanted to exercise. Like, a lot. Now, I'm lazy as hell and no shower in the world is going to make me want to lift weights every five minutes so that was a bit odd, but I guess it will come in handy if I ever want to get her into shape. Which I don't. I think she's cute just the way she is. ;)

So there you have it. My first impression after a few hours of gameplay. Would have been more, but Aaron likes Sims, too, and has been at it more hardcore than I have. lol That'll wane, I'm not worried. He'll get bored and then leave it alone until the first expansion. As always if you have any questions at all go ahead and ask! I'll do my best to answer. Hopefully tomorrow I'll remember to get batteries for my proper camera so I can get some better pictures of my new polish. Stupid phone just didn't quite cut it... Anywho, time to go back and see if I can't meet a few more Sims and get this dinner party underway! Hope everyone is having a great week so far. Take care! Love you guys!! (^_^)"/"

4 comments:

  1. i might like some trash mac too if it had a tag on it telling me how long until it expired.

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    Replies
    1. That would be exceedingly helpful, wouldn't it? ;)

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  2. Replies
    1. Indeed. lol You're a big ol' cheater like Aaron, though aren't you? He's been having a hard time keeping their needs fulfilled because he can't find the "static needs" cheat....

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