Since its announcement in May of last year, I've been avidly looking forward to the launch of The Sims 4. As some may know, my history with The Sims dates back to the launch of the first game and my relationship with the franchise has been quite the rollercoaster of emotions. Between the greed of Electronic Arts and the crumbling of Maxis, which seems to have been rebuilt, for a while, I wasn't sure if I was going to continue to support the franchise I loved.
Since the launch of The Sims 3, the franchise has been a cornerstone of controversy in the gaming world due to EA's greed and...stupidity, for lack of a better word. It all started with the expansion packs, when we were essentially expected to purchase the same expansion twice (one for The Sims 2 and one for The Sims 3) and for a lot of people, that's when they decided to bow out from the franchise. It is indeed a ridiculous practice, but that doesn't lessen the overall enjoyment that The Sims brings to the table.
When Electronic Arts...or Maxis, whomever you wish to refer, announced The Sims 4's Create a Sim demo, I was about a week late to the party and of course, missed the chance to get an invitation. I ended up having to wait and rely on the rumours of its pending availability for all. As rumour had it, yesterday, it was released for everyone and I almost fell out of my chair in excitement.
I installed the demo and loaded it up, being presented with a quaint introduction video before I was able to click play. I immediately took to creating myself which I found to be ridiculously easy thanks to the new Create a Sim features that pretty much allows you to sculpt to your imagination's end. I created what I determined to be a spitting image of myself and then moved on to make my best friend, my boyfriend and of course, Hayley Williams from the band Paramore. I started making random Sims from my imagination and giving them their own little back story.
To my disappointment, I got so lost in creating Sims that as soon as I was finished, I searched high and low for the 'next' button to bring them into the neighbourhood. I'd completely forgotten that it was merely a demo and I had another three weeks before the game's launch. Quite saddened for a moment, I merely shrugged my shoulders and continued making more Sims.
From the beginning, I noticed quite a few missing elements from The Sims 3's Create a Sim. For example, there is no more colour sliders, so you aren't able to incorporate just any colour to your Sim's hair or eyebrows or facial hair. Instead, there's a pre-selected palette of your basic hair colours with a couple of out-of-the-ordinary ones. It's a slight disappointment, but I never really branched out from the average hair colours anyway.
Subsequently, there are no more textures and no more Create a Style; instead, every article of clothing and such has its own texture like denim, leather, etc. and you're able to filter through clothing with different filter types. What I found truly disappointing was the significant lack of clothing selection; if I'm not mistaken, The Sims 3 base game had a lot more. However, I keep reminding myself that it is after all the demo and the actual game might have more. Especially considering the fact that some clothing items seen in gameplay videos are not in the Create a Sim demo, like beanie hats.
The traits and aspirations are back, with some being renamed but their basic concept still intact. Favourites have been done away with, it seems, as we are unable to select our Sim's favourite colour, food or music genre. In its place, you can now change the way your Sims walk and there's three different voice types, with a slider to make it low-pitched, high-pitched or something in between.
Lastly, what I'm thrilled about is the body sculpting. Similar to the facial feature, you can now essentially manipulate every part of your Sims from their shoulders to their feet, making them curvy in the hips or the waistline. You're basically able to create more realistic Sims than ever before and it's no more of simply skinny, fat or built. You can do everything in between and it works beautifully. You're able to make some truly different, unique and diverse Sims.
I'm truly looking forward to seeing The Sims 4 for what it is and I can't wait to start building homes. The Sims 4 launches September 2, 2014 on PC.