As someone who likes to indulge in the shaping and destruction of the lives of digital people around him, there are few joys like a new Sims game. The Sims series has always offered you a way to be the best and the worst of humankind whenever you saw fit. But with The Sims 4, is it too realistic? Will I suddenly reconsider a room with wood tables, a fire place, and no doors so that I won’t feel bad for my Sims digital pain? From what I’ve seen so far for The Sims 4, maybe.
Maxis has been in the Sims making game for a long time now. They have sharpened their teeth over time through trial and error and consistency. And what Maxis has brought to the table this time is truly amazing. The Sims 4 feels more like crafting people than it does playing with toys. The character creation is smooth and intuitive; you push and pull parts of a generic Sim to craft your own Sim. The same complexity in simplicity can be found in the personality creator. Given what you have already made and a random roll of the dice, your Sim will have a preset personality. You can go in and change this too; even down to the way they walk around the world. All of these things will affect how your Sim interacts with the world around them and other Sims. You can make them a happy-go-lucky Sim brimming with confidence or a sulking sack of angry and discontent, and they will behave naturally to how they are programmed. A happy and confident Sim might be more positively social, while an angry Sim may want to yell at everyone and everything.
As always, the continued fun in the Sims is seeing what you can make and build. The building tool allows for large scale changes as big as moving an entire house. It also lets you change the smaller details, like the patterning in a rug that ties the room together. More options have been added to the building and buying menus, but it will still feel like the Sims in all the best ways. Hopefully the excitement for this new Sims game will rise in the mainstream, giving this fourth installment a long life. Because the longer the life, the more people will make Mods for it.