The Sims 4: Perfect for New Simmers, Not So Much for Veterans

Sims 4 is all about figuring out what makes sims tick. No, we’re not just talking about slider bars here. We’re talking about Sims that actually mope around when they break up with their girlfriend or go to the gym and brag about their biceps just to soothe their ego. The intricate web of feelings and accompanying traits will surely be a treat for Sim fans who want to add some believable drama to their experience.

However, this does not mean that The Sims 4 is perfect out of the box. There are a number of features that don’t make a comeback off the bat or even at all in the fourth base game. Are you curious about what you’re gaining and actually giving up? Here are a few features of note that were tweaked, replaced or completely removed from The Sims 4.

What Got Cut Out

So let’s begin with a few small details that got the axe. There will be no acne for your skin pH-challenged Sims, no male body hair and no makeup opacity. Presuming that you don’t always zoom in on your Sims and they are fully clothed most of the time, then they are will not be that missable. However, having no way to adjust the makeup on a Sim is kind of a big let-down if you’re aiming for a natural look. Not everyone cakes colors on their faces. Solid lines and shades are just a tad too intense and they tend to make character models look cartoony, even somewhat clown-like. As for the body hair, well, it was a patched feature in The Sims 3 so there is still hope for hairy men who want to play this game. Overall the Sims 4 character creation tool is a lot more limiting in terms of creating specific details than the Sims 3 Character Creator, it’s that much more limiting you’d probably get more satisfaction with web based creation tools like the Mii Creator.

Sorry swimmers and automobile enthusiasts, pools and cars have been done away with as well. While some may argue that these are underused, strictly visual features, we do still question the decision to leave them out of the core game completely. Part of the game immersion is the environment. So even though vehicles serve no purpose beyond being driven away from a lot, they so still add to the illusion of having and interacting with a “real world”.

For those who love random visits from your friendly neighborhood burglar, exterminator or repairman, well, those are gone too. The impact of these missing features really depends on how much you enjoy strategically placing your alarms or missing out on your bills. It may also affect your Sim’s love life is he or she is aspiring to marry a random thief and have his sneaky little babies. Having no repairman, however, can be considered a good thing. After all, having your Sims learn how to fix things themselves helps them gain a new skill anyway.

Plenty Got Cut Out, So Here’s More

Among the major features that are not included in The Sims 4 is the missing CAST (Create a Style Tool). This allowed players to alter the colors and patterns of in-game objects –handy when personalizing and creating cohesive themes for a room. Due to the new system, this feature is scrapped and technically impossible to implement even for future expansions. All hope is not lost, however, as there are some pros that come with this decision. The game will run smoother now that there’s no need to re-render every piece of furniture in a room. Also, there is a staggering number of new presets in both The Sims 4’s Build Mode and Create a Sim tools. After choosing one of several base options, it will be a breeze to tweak body parts by simply pulling on the feature to mold it to perfection. It’s certainly more intuitive and the slider-free system is a lot friendlier to new Simmers.

Hardware Considerations

Speaking of new fans, the Sims 4 is not 64-bit executable. Instead, it is limited to 32-bit and you gain no benefits beyond 4GB of RAM. While this may sound like a bad thing, it actually isn’t. Having a lighter game will make it run better even on slower systems and thus, allowing more people to enjoy the series. For those who have actual gaming PCs that are capable of running resource hogs, well, you’ve got other titles for that. The Sims 4 is meant to be enjoyed by anybody from tweens, teens and Grandma. Let’s all just learn to share.

Having no normal careers, such as those in the Medical, Business or Law Enforcement tracks, is possibly one of the more baffling no-shows. Another is the lack of cemeteries. So what if you were a Surgeon in The Sims, The Sims 2 and The Sims 3? It doesn’t mean you suddenly want to switch careers in The Sims 4 or create a character online and start again. Players should be free to pursue the same career tracks if they wish to simply because it serves no major purpose and adds no technical improvements by just outright removing the options. The latter, on the other hand, is something that may be missed if you’re intending to add a dash of drama to your stories. Experiencing some death, after all, is a part of playing with life.

Let’s Hope EA and Maxis Do It Right

So does The Sims 4 get a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down? It depends entirely on how flexible you are with your expectations. The game does take away a significant chunk of the things Simmers have grown used to, but it does replace it with goodies such as a satisfying reward system, achievements and a reliable auto-saving feature. For fans that have been there since the start, it may be an advantage to fire up the demo to see the game in action. Otherwise, the game’s user-friendly tools, light weight requirements and fresh storyline make it a great choice for budding Sims fans. After all, you can’t really miss things you haven’t seen, can you?