Successfully producing a major hit in an already established game series has proven to be an almost unattainable task as of late (just ask the developers of Diablo 3), but that’s exactly what developer EA Games and Maxis intend to do with their next installment of the ever popular The Sims series with the release on September 2 of The Sims 4.
We need only briefly look back to relive the way EA trashed the Sim City series with their graphics intensive, game play- and geographical expansion limited release of Sim City 5, and their graphics intensive, and game play content downer previous to that, Sim City Societies. In both titles, after the brief 15 to 20 minute time frame of awe inspired by the games’ cool graphics, the player is left in a stunningly disappointing position of absolute boredom when he or she realizes there is very little to no depth to the game play. EA has somehow done what few other developers have accomplished so consistently. That is, EA has taken amazing legendary titles (like the Sim City franchise) inherited by companies it has bought out (like Maxis) and consistently turned them into a big stinky pile of poo. When it comes to game development, we could say EA has the opposite of the Midas-touch.
Fear not fellow gamers, for now, according to SegmentNext, EA says its soon to be released The Sims 4 is “… the best life simulation game ever.” A mighty claim indeed, but considering EA already owns the rights to all the other life simulation games ever made (namely The Sims 1, 2, and 3), and The Sims is one of the best selling PC games series of all time, let’s hear them out on this one.
According to Ars Techinca, EA producers debuted their newest addition to The Sims franchise at last week’s E3 (read more about E3 2014 from the Inquisitr). The new release of The Sims 4 will dramatically jazz up the character development part of the game by introducing new sliders in the character creation screen like aspirations, hobbies, emotions, lifestyle, and social style. What’s more is that a character’s in game interactions will affect and become affected by their predetermined character traits. For example, as Ars Technica states, a character’s “computer whiz” aspiration will dole out a personality bonus if a goal is achieved, and a corresponding trait for being computer-savvy will lead them to that goal whether they are working or being social.
The Sims 4 world also got a big upgrade as well. We’ve probably all built a rough looking starter house for our sims while leaving them to starve and urinate on themselves as the trash piles up and dirty dishes litter the counters until a left on appliance sparks a house fire, which quickly gets out of control and regretfully causes one or both of our sims to turn into ghosts. Or maybe not. Who would do something like that anyway? In any case, the point is, in The Sims 4, you’ll be able to engage in all those mundane or fascinating social interactions within your own house (as always) or around an improved neighborhood, which will contain piano bars, a gym, night clubs, and a central park filled with a plethora of activities for your sims to enjoy… or hate…or whatever you would have them do.
Lastly, in a departure from some recently released EA games (like Sim City 5), The Sims 4 will not require an internet connection. As stated by Ars Technica, the game will allow players to access custom content online and even to paste pre-made rooms and portions of rooms into their houses, but having no internet is by no means a deal breaker.
The Sims 4 developer has high hopes for the latest installment in The Sims series, but based on EA’s previous track record of re-inventing everything that Maxis did so well, please forgive me if I don’t hold my breath. In all seriousness though, I do hope EA scores a home run out of the park this time and that fans of The Sims series will be delighted.