The Sims series of simulation games has been around for quite some time; the original game released in the year 2000. During the 14 years since the original title, we have seen many hugely successful spin-off titles, such as MySims and The Sims Pets. Of course, The Sims itself was originally a spin-off of SimCity. Today, we will be reviewing the fourth entry in the main Sims series, The Sims 4.

The Sims 4 presents a huge amount of change from its predecessor; almost everything has been tweaked in some way. One of the first things you will notice about the game is the huge amount of customisation now possible in both Create-a-Sim and Build modes. The game now offers you a huge amount of freedom in customising your Sims; every limb and body feature can be clicked and edited in multiple ways! This allows you to model Sims more accurately than ever before.

Build mode has also been given a complete overhaul. Everything is no organised into a clean, easy-to-use interface which allows you to pull up items by clicking on different areas of a sample room plan in the Build menu. Everything is neatly organised into easy to access categories which make building more simple than ever before. More tools have also been given to the user for quick creation of rooms, patterns and plans. The improvements to build mode is one of the highlights of The Sims 4.

Another thing you will notice after playing the game for a while is that The Sims 4 is a lot harder to play than its predecessor. The lifetime of your Sims flies by very quickly, and Sims can die very suddenly. Developing the skills, careers and relationships of Sims takes a lot longer than it did before, and the game presents more challenges to development. In this sense, The Sims 4 behaves a lot more like reality. Goals are more difficult to reach and success is uncertain. You and your Sims will need to work hard in order to do well.

The Sims 4 also looks fantastic graphically. The lighting engine, textures and environments have clearly been rebuilt from the ground up, and it certainly shows. Everything looks polished, fresh and vivid, with Sims appearing better than every before. The world around your Sims also looks vibrant, dynamic and full of activity from day to day. Overall, the development team did a great job with design.

Sims themselves are a lot more intelligent. As the mood of your Sims change, new action choices will become available depending on their characteristics, feelings and needs. For example, Sims who are talkative will gain new conversation options when they are angry. Small subtleties in the world can make an effect on the mood of your Sims. For example, a dark room might make a sad Sim get even closer to crying. Sims are also able to multitask, for example, having a chat while watching TV or eating. In this sense, The Sims 4 presents Sim behaviour with stunning realism. Social development and health are also much more active and require attention. You must remember to keep your Sim healthy and allow them to keep in touch with friends in order for them to remain happy.

Big life events still must be decided by the user as Sims will be lazy and won’t strive to achieve goals unless they are motivated by the player. You still must plan their lives and manage their career paths in order to achieve wealth and success. Of course, the game still has bugs, which is understandable. Sims can sometimes refuse to perform commands or act unnaturally. Overall, these glitches do not happen very often.

One criticism I would have about The Sims 4 is that there is a bit of a lack of content. Pets and toddlers are not currently available in the game, and the world is not very large. However, more content will certainly be added in upcoming expansion packs. Fans of The Sims will certainly be kept busy with what is in the base game until the first expansion pack arrives.

Overall, The Sims 4 is realistic, fun, polished and fresh. While it may suffer from a lack of new content, the technical and behavioural improvements are fantastic. Additionally, the game has presented a massive graphical improvement and fans of the series will certainly be happy with what the game delivers.