First Look: The Sims 4 Official Gameplay Trailer


First Look: The Sims 4 Official Gameplay Trailer

So far, this looks intriguing. I didn’t get into the Sims 3, because of the more narrow focus of gameplay versus the god-mode of Sims 2. It will be interesting to see what the rest of the gameplay is like for Sims 4.

The character creator with the push and pull action is a nice change from the sliders, allowing for the builds that many mod-users looked for. Some people complain about the cartoonish appearance for Sims 4, but I think that it works in its favor by avoiding a dive into the uncanny valley. Besides, the Sims has always had an active modding community. Someone or three will come up with realistic skin and hair textures to download.

The emotional aspect looks interesting too, but I wasn’t much of a soap opera player in the previous iterations. It’s also nice to see the crazy, over the top elements pop up, like the voodoo doll. Hopefully, the emotional aspect is a harbinger of an improved overall AI for the Sims. Having to micromanage the survival functions of the pixelated lemmings was not my favorite aspect of the game. Sometimes I would just throw my hands up in the air, declare Darwinism, and let the morons die.

Onto the aspect of the game that I liked the most: Construction. Faster and easier house building with the option to move entire rooms around? Yes, please! Diagonal furniture without a cheat code? Finally! That the decor affects moods will be an interesting thing to play with.

My biggest reservations about the game come from the publisher being EA. So far, the site states that Sims 4 won’t require a persistent online connection and that it’s designed to be played offline. It looks like EA learned its lesson from the spectacular fail that was the SimCity launch earlier this year, but there’s no full guarantee of that. It will require an EA Origin account to install the game. So, there’s still the risk of having to deal with login server overloads just on that point. While the game is designed for offline play and no persistent online connection, that doesn’t exclude the possibility of the game requiring an online “check” to begin playing each session and flirting with the disastrous server overload message.

With the game slated to come out in 2014, my first instinct is to wait a month or two after release to consider purchasing it. That will let me see how EA will try to control their game, plus allow for patches for the inevitable release bugs.

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