Yesterday was of course filled with all sorts of information about Sims 4. I am now trying to sort through all of it and maintain some balance on the subject. It has occurred to me that this is much the same scenario as having read a book then seeing the movie, or vice versa? If you have not experience one, then you will most likely be quite happy and impressed with the other. For those who have experienced one before the other, it is almost impossible to remain objective and not compare the two. This is how it is with Sims3 verses Sims4 for me. I find myself unable separate the two in order to make a completely clear and objective decision on Sims4. I will most likely purchase the base game at some point, if only to review it honestly and fairly. I will probably wait until after the release date so that I can see more complete game play and building coverage.
I was initially excited by some of the pictures released yesterday and by some of the information given. The adjustable windows and wall heights are a Godsend for builders and I was truly impressed with that. The animations described will add much detail and realism to game play and photos so I do appreciate that. The things that are concerning me though are serious issues for builders, story tellers and movie makers.
The illumination of move objects cheat affects us in more ways than just decorating. While the added animations and multi-tasking provide us with much more variety and versatility for game play and realistic photos, not having move objects extremely limits our abilities to set up photos. Move objects allows us to go into buy mode and physically move sims where we need them to be for a good photo. So much of the story telling and the modeling competitions are based on this flexibility that I can not foresee any workable solution to this very important issue. So, as I stated, this issue is not just a minor deletion affecting only how we decorate the homes. It affects a wide span of creative users of the game! I feel much empathy for the many photographers and fashion/style creators! This loss will cause them no end of frustration.
My other major concern and disappointment right now is the loss of terrain sculpting on individual lots. The lots will remain flat with no ability to add any dimension to them. For me personally, this is a huge blow to my creative process. So much of my building and landscape revolves around being able to terra form the lot that this loss is almost a breaking point for me. Not being able to terrain sculpt in any way also prevents us from putting a pond on any individual lot. The elimination of terrain sculpting is tied to another much used cheat so appreciated by builders… The CFE cheat has also been eliminated. I know that many people are trying to justify this with the fact that they have incorporated some of that cheat into the adjustable wall heights and adjustable roofs. There is so much more to the CFE cheat though that goes beyond those two things. The game players who ooooh and ahhh over the amazing creations put out by dedicated and highly talented builders usually have little idea what actually goes into many of those creations made possible by the CFE cheat. For some added perspective on this elimination, you can read MeestorMark Sim’s thoughts on it here:
One last concern, frustration and disappointment has to do directly with game play. First of all, they eliminated the toddler life stage and gave us a great many reasonable explanations for that. I guess that many of us assumed that they would put more quality into the baby stage? Now, we have been informed that the baby is not really a baby at all per say… but treated more as an object attached to the crib?! From what I can gather, now the baby is completely tethered to it’s crib and all actions concerning the baby are via the crib! I don’t normally do a whole lot with babies as far as my story telling but this just feels quite bizarre to me! I am not even sure you can pick said baby up and walk around with it, hold it or play with it out of the crib?
These recent revelations and details are huge blows for me and I am having a very difficult time finding any balance in the trade offs or non-judgemental comparisons between the games. I know that EA keeps telling us that is a different game and we should experience it as such… I suppose maybe we should, and as I mentioned earlier, I will most likely try it out for that sake and perspective. That does not mean that I will be enthused or impressed enough to continue with it and spend the amounts of money on it that I have with Sims 3. It only means that I will spend the $60 on it in some attempt to give it an unbiased and honest review, then possibly kick myself for having wasted said $60?!
For some additional reading so that you can make your own judgements:
SimsVIP does have an excellent overview of the game