I purchased the Sims 4 a while back when it was on sale. I got it for $29, new, via. Origin during a nice promotion sale.
I’ll admit, even opening the game and messing around for the first couple hours didn’t wow me, but I don’t feel like it was a total waste of time. I am back to playing Sims 3 and likely do not have any intention to return to Sims 4 for some time.
Let’s talk about a big issue:
In The Sims 4 basegame, there is very little for your sims to do. You can have them go visit the couple of community lots available, either in your neighborhood or the other neighborhood, but let’s face it: No one wants to wait for a loading screen.
I get what the developers wanted to do: Narrow down the world, make loading times faster, make the game run on lesser hardware, and resolve “routing issues” and other bugginess that happened with the Sims 3 open world.
This came with quite a cost, though. I feel locked to my neighborhood when playing TS4 and I rarely have the patience to have my sims leave the area. I have a good computer that runs the game nicely, but when I’m gaming I don’t want to wait around for things.
TS3 was cool and different from Sims 2 in that you could freely travel the entire world without the trouble of loading screens. Gym? Grocery store? Library? Pool? Park? No problem. This got even cooler when expansion packs started really making the game lively with all sorts of cool locations to visit, my top favorite being bars (Late Night) and the central festival parks (Seasons).
Hobbies and skills… It was nice that TS4 had more instruments than the TS3 basegame. Also, a craft table for handiness skill plus everything we were familiar with in TS3.
Gardening, on the other hand, was left to crap in TS4. Seriously, have you tried having a lot of plants in TS4? Not sure what is going on with their idea, but a sim garden shouldn’t take so long to maintain.
Collection in TS4 is lame. I loved finding bugs and seeds everywhere in the game and having my sims collect them, and then all the additional stones and minerals introduced in later expansion packs. Sims 4, on the other hand? Just a handful of wild plants and a couple little areas where your sims can dig to find annoying and useless trinkets (and frogs).
Fishing is lacking here, too. I enjoyed going up to any lake, pond, river, or ocean and having my sim cast away.
At least building is kind of cool in the Sims 4, although I find it harder to make some of my stranger ideas come to life. Ceiling heights are a really cool option introduced in TS4, and curved fences are cool. The ability to raise and lower windows in the basegame is also neat, something that TS3 only introduced for some decorative objects later in the game.
One thing I can say I like about TS4 that is a huge advantage over TS3 in visual appeal is consistent graphics. TS3 was a big hodgepodge of different texture qualities. Even though TS4 might not have textures as high as quality as some of what was included in TS3, it all looks like it flows together as one world.
Gameplay music, both for the interface (build/buy/create sim/world view) and the in-world music that sims listen to was better in TS3, and TS2. I thought this was an interesting budget item to cut.
Don’t believe me? Just listen to the build/buy music from Sims 1, 2, and 3.
This stuff is the shit.
Sims 1 soundtrack (I maintain, the interface music of TS1 was the most excellent of all Sims games, but maybe not so much sim radio…)
Sims 2 soundtrack
Sims 3 soundtrack
I won’t link to the music that played on Sim’s stereos, but I loved all the old goodies. EA seems to have spent a lot more money making that game of the aspect seem enjoyable in the past, but not so much now.
As a wrap-up, I don’t feel like I wasted my money on The Sims 4. It provided me amusement just long enough to have made it worthwhile. Perhaps expansion packs will make the game more fun, at least to myself, in the near future. Until then, I’ll just wait. (And yes, I realize there is one expansion pack for it already, but that isn’t going to sell me just yet).
There are still parts of Sims 1 and Sims 2 (with EP’s) that I still consider more magical than both TS3 and TS4. Like Sims original (TS1), “Makin Magic”, which featured magic in a way that was far more exciting than what we find in TS3 or TS2. Or TS2’s “Open for Business”, which I found to be the most fun of all Sims expansion packs for all the games, and for quite a long time I continued playing even though I had TS3 just because I liked managing a business. Or, who remembers “Hot Date”, where sims could actually go eat out at a restaurant (and not just a bar) with their date?
But, that’s just me.