What is The Sims 4?
The Sims 4 is the latest instalment in the PC series and will focus on increasing the Sim customisation options and greater world personalisation.
EA Games and Maxis promises that The Sims 4 will let you play like never before, with enhanced intelligence and emotions and making sure every action is informed and has a chain reaction.
There’s been a few new Sims 4 trailers trickling in of late, giving us an extended look at the new Create A Sim tools. Take a look at how you’ll be able to personalise your Sims below.
There isn’t actually a huge amount of detail surrounding the game so far, but we’ll keep this page updated with all the news as it comes in.
The Sims 4 Review – First Impressions at E3 2014
With brand new emotions and more immersive story creation tools, we were pretty excited to see some live gameplay demonstrated at E3 2014. You can read our full first-look The Sims 4 review, but it was the slick Create A Sim and new worlds that left the lasting impressions.
“It looks like The Sims 4 has taken the life-simulator series to the next level of realism, adding emotions, better immersion and more personalisation options to the already feature-packed game. EA is drip-feeding us new features and game tweaks, so no doubt we’ll have to wait until September to find out the full details.”
The Sims 4 Release Date – When is it coming out?
The Sims 4 release date was officially confirmed during the EA Games E3 2014 press conference as September 2. From the looks of the EA Origins website and numerous other retailers, it will arrive on PC only at first, hopefully with a Mac launch arriving later.
The game was originally due to launch in the summer, but was pushed back to the autumn to give the developers additional time to prepare the game.
The release date delay was to help “fuel [the] development process, helping The Sims 4 to be the most ambitious and the best game our studio has ever made,” according to The Sims 4 VP Executive Producer Rachel Franklin.
Currently there are two versions of The Sims 4 that you can pre-order now from the EA Origin Store to digitally download when the game is released.
Both the Sims 4 Limited Edition and Sims 4 Digital Deluxe Edition come with pre-order bonus digital content called “Life of the Party”, where you can “gather ‘round the Flaming Tiki Bar in spectacular party costumes.”
The Limited Edition costs £49.99, but if you paid £59.99 for the Digital Deluxe Edition you’ll also get access to the digital Sims 4 soundtrack, unknown additional digital content and the “Up All Night” DLC.
The latter extra content will let you “party till dawn with a laser light show, hot new parties, outfits, decorations and recipes.”
The Sims 4 News – What we know so far
No toddlers or pools at launch in The Sims 4
Following the gameplay demonstration shown off at E3 2014, EA Games issued a blog post outlining that several key features would be missing from The Sims 4, at least at launch. Those included the ability to create pools in the game, which is one of the most popular ways fans have killed off their Sims in the past.
“While it’s not possible for us to include every single feature and piece of content we added to The Sims 3 over the last 5 years, we’ve added features that you’ve asked for and that offer a whole new intuitive and fun way to build. These are features like Wall Height Adjustment, Dynamic Foundation Sizing, and Smart Windows!” read the blog post. “And though pool building won’t be available in September, we do have a new Fountain Tool so you can create sophisticated landscapes.”
What’s more saddening though is that The Sims 4 will not let you create toddlers at all in the game, with Sims going from baby straight to child like they did way back in The Sims 2.
“We’re particularly proud of our new Genetics system, where you can create relatives from any other Sim. It’s like a game in itself! As for ages, we have babies, teens, young adults, adults and elders.”
The comments on the blog post of course were absolutely outraged by the lack of toddlers in The Sims 4. Our guess is that both pools and toddlers will arrive in a DLC package or expansion pack at a later date, getting fans to fork out for features that have become a staple of The Sims series.
No Create a Style either
Those of you familiar with The Sims will know about the Create a Style feature introduced with The Sims 3, which let you choose and change the patterns and colours of your furniture, clothing, walls, floors and other content.
Although it wasn’t mentioned in the aforementioned blog post, EA Games has confirmed that Create a Style (CAS) will not be featured in the game.
Hopefully CAS, along with toddlers and pools will be added at a later date.
Russia brands Sims 4 “gay propaganda”
The Russian government has branded The Sims 4 its equivalent of an 18 certification as it allows same-sex relationships and therefore falls under its notorious law against “gay propaganda”.
It is being classed “prohibited for children” due to its homosexual content and falls under the law entitled “On Protecting Children from Information Harmful to Their Health and Development”.
Said law came under international scrutiny, particularly after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
However, The Sims spokesperson Deborah Coster said the developers have “no plans to alter The Sims 4”.
“One of the key tenets of The Sims is that it is up to the player to decide how to play the game. We provide the simulation sandbox and player choice and creativity does the rest.”
The Sims 4 Gameplay
The first Sims 4 gameplay details were revealed way back in August 2013 and neither EA Games nor Maxis has given much more information on the differences between Sims 3 and Sims 4 since then.
The actual look of the menus and the way you’ll interact with the buildings, the neighbourhood and the Sims themselves is currently unknown. We wonder how different they’ll look and what exciting new options will be available when the game launches later this year.
Create a Sim
It looks like The Sims Studio has made it a lot easier for you to customise your sims with the new Sims 4 Create a Sim studio, allowing you to make each person much more unique than previous Sims games.
“Create and control the most intelligent and relatable Sims ever with new intuitive design tools. Customise your Sims’ appearances personalities aspirations walk styles and even their relationship to others”, explains the official Sims 4 website.
From the gameplay trailer released in August, the Sims 4’s Create a Sim studio will let you click directly on your Sim to change and tweak their body contours and facial features. Gone are the sliders of the Sims 3, instead you’ll only need to push and pull on the areas you want to change.
This isn’t just for larger body parts either, you can go down to fine details like the shape of your Sim’s eyes, nose and mouth, just to make sure you can get as close to the Sim you want as possible.
Aside from the way they look, you can also be more specific when developing your Sims’ personalities, right down to their voices and the way they move.
“We’ve completely reinvented our technology so that Create A Sim is tactile, more intuitive and much more powerful,” said Ryan Vaughan, Producer on The Sims 4.
Although there are quick push and pull options for larger scale modifications for your Sims, you can also enter “Detail Mode”, where specific regions are highlighted to let you make smaller, more precise tweaks to faces and bodies.
This will let you bring out more of your Sims’ specific personalities it seems, even down to the amount of wrinkles or laughter lines they have.
Building on the Create A Sim of The Sims 3, the new version lets you add layers of accessories, different clothes and much more realistic makeup. Of course, The Sims 4 also lets you add tattoos to your Sims.
If you’re not feeling that creative and want to make a quick Sim, The Sims 4 Create A Sim has a new feature called Styled Looks, which offers a range of pre-set outfits and styles for you to choose from.
Personality Traits and Lifetime Goals from The Sims 3 are re-introduced with The Sims 4, although from the looks of the latest video, you may only get to choose three Traits rather than the original five, but this may change when the game launches later this year.
However, once you pick your Sim’s lifetime goal, it does unlock an additional Trait such as Gregarious or Quick Learner.
The Sims 4 is the first title where you’ll be able to monitor your Sims’ emotions as well as their needs. These will help you control how they think, feel and experience the Sims 4 world around them.
Using emotions like “Confident”, “Hysterical”, “Bored”, “Fine”, “Sad”, “Furious”, “Flirty” and “Depressed” you’ll be able to create deeper storylines for your Sims and they’ll let you know when to mix things up.
It also looks like there will be brand new interactions to play with depending on what mood your Sims are in, such as using a voodoo doll to make others’ lives a misery when one Sim is feeling sad and blue.
The whole Build Mode and creation tools have been redesigned to be “more intuitive and fun” for gamers. Changes can be made much more quickly and easily than in previous Sims games, dragging the shape and size of the rooms you want, similar to the way you can modify your Sims.
Instead of having to bulldoze areas of your home that you’re not quite happy with, The Sims 4 will let you move entire rooms and their contents to a different part of the lot.
You can even choose to use a preset room that comes fully furnished and styled that’s been created by EA, helping you to make lots quickly and easily if you don’t fancy building a house from scratch. These rooms can still be adjusted too, with the contents intelligently adjusting as you move walls.
EA has now released a new Build Mode trailer for The Sims 4, giving us details on a few additional features arriving with the game. Firstly, you can set the walls of your new home at three different levels, depending on the house style you’re trying to achieve.
Thought adding windows to your house in The Sims 3 was tedious? Now you can add windows to a whole room with one click, adjusting their placement on the wall according to your preference.
As for the roof of your Sims’ house, it now works in a similar fashion to the Create A Sim tools, as you can push and pull the roof into the shape you want – whether that be domed, convex, or triangular. The roofs can also be finished of with a variety of trims, to make your home look a little more refined.
Foundations can also be added at any time with the Sims 4 and, like the walls, can be height adjusted.
There’s been no information as to how the Buy Mode of The Sims 4 will look, let alone any of the content that will be included within it. Hopefully we’ll get some more information soon, but there’s talk of some classic Sims items making a reappearance in the Sims 4.
However, we have seen how the new Gallery mode shown off during the E3 presentation. In The Sims 3, if you wanted to download and install user created content you had to go to The Sims Exchange website and go through the laborious launcher and start a new game before you could even access it.
In The Sims 4, there’s a Gallery button in-game that you can press for instant access to all the content usually housed within The Sims Exchange, including Sims, lots and individual rooms.
By clicking on items you can download them directly into your game in real-time, with lots replacing existing homes if you choose, or Sims added into your game immediately. Rooms can also be added to your house with a click of a mouse.
Neighbourhoods and Worlds
The world we saw shown off at E3 was called Willow Park, which housed a brand new neighbourhood called Magnolia Blossom Park within it. It all looked very green and lush, but what’s more interesting is that The Sims 4 will let you travel between worlds as well as neighbourhoods for the first time.
“Did you know that for the first time ever in The Sims, your Sims will be able to not only travel between Neighborhoods, but also between entire Worlds without having to start a new game!?,” explained Sim Guru Ryan in an official blog post. “This is something that I always wanted in The Sims 3, and I’m so excited to finally have it in The Sims 4.”
“Neighborhoods and Worlds will be separated by a short load screen, but for the first time you’ll be able to live in one world and work (or play) in another! All of your Sim’s personality, accomplishments, and relationships stay with them as they travel around the best play-space we’ve ever created in a The Sims game.”
EA Games has confirmed that there will be “additional fun and social gameplay elements for players who choose to go online”, but will reveal more on that at a later date.
Of course, the core Sims 4 game is designed to played offline, but you’ll be able to choose how you want to play as and when The Sims 4 comes out.
Similar to The Sims 3 and its various expansion packs, you’ll be able to take part in a rewards scheme with The Sims 4.
Apparently you’ll be able to obtain new outfits, object, traits and other perks by unlocking achievements and discovering collectibles in the game.
The Sims 4 Trailers
At the time of writing there are only two official trailers for The Sims 4 – the original launch trailer embedded below and the first gameplay trailer as included in the gameplay section above.
It’s time that EA Games released a new one and we’ll add any fresh releases to this round-up article, so keep it bookmarked for all the latest on The Sims 4.
The Sims 4 System Requirements
Although there are no official or rumoured system requirements for The Sims 4, Maxis has confirmed the game will be designed to run on a range of PCs.
Basically, the developer will make sure the game will run well even on low-end machines, unlike previous Sims games. This is down to the new technology powering the game, which EA is calling “SmartSim”.
“We’re really excited to say that players on lower end machines are going to have a much better experience on The Sims 4 than they did with The Sims 3,” said The Sims 4 producer, Ryan Vaughn.
“We know that our players have a wide range of different PC specs. We want to make sure that somebody playing on a lower end machine has just as great an experience as somebody on a higher end machine.”
“Right now we’re doing a lot of work to optimise the game’s performance, cut down on loading screens and make sure everything still looks as beautiful, and the Sims feel as vibrant and that your gameplay is just as much fun regardless of what spec you’re playing on.”
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Read more: Best games 2014