What’s Next for The Sims 4?

 

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Sims 4: Get Together is a fantastic addition to the game. Alongside Get To Work, Sims 4 has expanded options in two major all aspects of play, with huge amounts of cross-expansion gameplay. The game packs have helped relieve the dry patch between the two, if only slightly.

So where do we go now?

How was The Sims 3?

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I still miss that old save file… Too bad I lost it.

While Sims 3’s expansions may have been much larger, cross-expansion gameplay was unmanageable. Save files were limited to one town for most of the game’s lifespan.

What it did provide, however, were ways to me to step outside basic gameplay and experience the crazy, kooky, and outright weird.

I had two main households during my tenure binge-playing Sims 3. The first was about a wizard named Aidan who, alongside his girly man-fairy sidekick, lived in a mansion owned by a reclusive, brooding vampire. Despite being a loner, the vampire somehow gained 5-star celebrity status. Aidan became the president of the known world and the fairy went on Indiana Jones esque adventures through China, France and Egypt.

By the time I was done playing, the brooding vampire was beginning his career as a celebrity fire fighter and I was preparing Mr. President to go on a long vacation so he can attend university and use his wizard powers to have sex with everyone.

When crafting my second household, I decided to start rather simply. By that point I finally bought Generations, but never got around to fully experiencing family play. So I created a father with two twin sons. They lived in Isla Paradiso on a houseboat. The kids joined different clubs (one sports, one ballet because why the hell not, right?) and the father worked in a restaurant.

I don’t know how it began, but things quickly became weird and awesome. The father went from restaurant cook to resort tycoon, owning three largely-successful resorts and buying a private island to send the kids when going to bang-town on every attractive chick in town. At one point, the twins had to survive the night during an honest-to-goodness zombie apocalypse on their private island. When I stopped playing, one of the twins became a professional deep-sea diver and accidentally became a mermaid.

Down To Earth

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The Sims 4 is down-to-earth in comparison. Instead of expansions offering alternatives to basic gameplay, they have fit into the base game like pieces of a puzzle. Everything works like a well-oiled machine.

And I like it that way.

Don’t get me wrong – I have fond memories of the crazy antics my sims went through in the Sims 3. But I can play Sims 3 whenever I want to experience that again. Like the games before it, The Sims 4 needs to continue the Sims tradition by rehashing old expansions while also creating its own identity.

What my sims do are relatable and comparable to my own life and the lives of my friends and family. A business owner had to deal with an angry customer and had to fire two of his employees. A cop had to arrest her friend, then get yelled at her boss and forced to work overtime. A party-goer won a dance-off against a rival and made out with three different sims during the same party. He then got in a drunken fight with a larger sim and walked home dazed and slept on the couch.

There are still out-of-this-world aspects to the game, like aliens who can disguise themselves as humans, cloning machines, males giving birth to alien babies, and satellites that make an entire neighborhood angry, dancing, and having to use the bathroom at the same time. But it’s muted in comparison to Sims 3’s many quirks.

So what expansions could help craft Sims 4’s identity? I’ll name three:

Seasons

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So far, two major aspects of Sims 4 have been expanded on: work and socializing. The next aspect that I would like the developers to focus on is time.

My second favorite Sims 3 expansion was Seasons. Before it launched, the world felt like a timeless, unchanging realm only affected by the comings and goings of randomly-generated neighbors and passers-by. Seasons gave the world a sense of time and purpose.

The expansion adds a weather and temperature system that changes with the passing seasons. Sims have to adapt to their environment by wearing warm clothing or donning umbrellas to stay dry during the rain, and make sure not to get sunburns by tanning too long during the summer. Seasons also added yearly calendar events and I could look forward to celebrating these events with neighbors and family members.

While it fit in great with Sims 3, Seasons would fit in much better with the setting of Sims 4. The graphical engine would allow for better and more immersive effects. Sims 4’s social event system would mesh very well with Seasons’ holidays, and it would give me a reason to finally buy Spooky Stuff.

Until then, I recommend the mod First Snow by French modder SimCookie.

Generations

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We need something to placate family-oriented players in the Sims community. Family play in Sims 4 is underwhelming compared to Sims 3’s base game, and the inclusion of Generations only adds more fuel to the fire of complaints constantly barraged in the feedback section of the official Sims 4 forums. We’re in desperate need of a family-focused expansion that can give sims of each life state more stuff to do.

But toddlers. Toddlers need to be a free patch to the base game. I’ll get to that next week.

Sims 3: Generations was absolutely fantastic! It’s my favorite TS3 expansion because while I may not be a hardcore fan of family play, the expansion expanded every aspect of the game. It expanded school-related options, added new activities and clubs, and – most importantly – it allowed old people to carry canes! Canes, I tell you! That’s the dream! That’s the dream right there!

Get To School

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Yes, I know there is a mod pack called Go To School. But when I think about expanding scholarly play, I want something more ambitious and more… official.

I want a school-related expansion that adds elementary school, high school, and a number of colleges to the game (including a prestigious one). Younger sims could be students and older sims could be teachers or professors, with their own offices and lounges. It’s the best kind of new active career, allowing players to experience the same environment from both sides of the spectrum.

Clubs, games, sports, and events could happen in the form of live, fully-experienceable social events. There could be tons of cross-expansion gameplay: students could train to be merchants by running the School Store, or join special school-only social groups called “Cliques.” And college degrees could affect careers and skill gains out-of-school.

 

I could go on for days about expansion ideas. I wish I wasn’t kidding. I’ve been playing Sims 4 since launch, and look forward to its continual improvement.

Have any ideas for expansions? What’s your version of the ideas I presented above? Feel free to share ideas in the comments section below. I’m happy I chose this as the first topic for my blog.

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