The Sims 4 Review: Sims on Casual

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Published by 7 years ago , last updated 3 years ago

Posted on September 19, 2014, James Heaney The Sims 4 Review: Sims on Casual

For the sake of all that is holy, do not buy The Sims 4 yet.

At least wait until after you have read this review. Even after getting to the end, and hearing that I have had a lot of fun playing it,still hold off. Wait for publisher Electronic Arts and developer EA Maxis to polish up what would have been a great “Early Access” title, and turn it into a standalone game worthy of its price tag.

Elements of The Sims have clearly been tuned toward casual players –from the quick fixes for your Sims mood through satisfaction points, to the ability of grabbing rooms and placing them in one swooping move. — but even this late in the series, the title is missing key features that actually make playing it more casual. The Sims struggles with stability, and lacks what feels like the most basic and important element to making the game approachable and persistent: reliable autosaves.

The Sims 4
Platform: PC (Reviewed)
Developer: EA Maxis
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: Sept. 2, 2014
MSRP: $59.99

It’s an embarrassment that developer Maxis did not add a casual gamers’ save system to what is clearly the casual gamers’ version of The Sims. I have dumped nearly 30 hours into the latest installment of life simulation from EA, and in those 30 hours, I have had three crashes that resulted in the loss of more two hours of life progression. During those lost hours, my sim experienced major life milestones, such as; getting married, having children, and even dying.

None of these life-changing moments triggered an auto save.

Full disclosure: I was streaming while recording footage and I would not argue with someone telling me these crashes because of it, but nonetheless, the game handles saves terribly. It took a mod to add an autosave feature to The Sims 3, and I thought that would be a lesson that EA and Maxis would learn. In all likelihood all of those were user error, but hey, I cannot be the only idiot playing The Sims.

Despite the setbacks, I have to admit I had fun every time I restarted from that same save. Sure, I immediately jumped back in and tried to recreate the exact same events and choices. But, no matter how hard I tried, each time was like seeing Ashton Kutcher try to recreate the past in The Butterfly Effect.

While one timeline had my sim sweep his lady off her feet on the first date, the other was a struggle. The second time it felt as if his lover almost gave up fighting him off. In total, the marriage played out three times; once in a park, once at a lounge, even once at his house. Never could I get the groom to stay awake through the whole event, but only once was he in his underwear as he kissed the bride. In the final of dimensional timelines, the bride needed to leave halfway through to give birth.

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