The Sims 4
So, The Sims 4 launched today, and I was pretty eager to check it out. I had pre-ordered and pre-loaded the game, so I didn't have to worry about waiting very long. Unfortunately, the game's kind of a mixed bag.
Create-a-Sim(Unfortunately I don't have any screenshots for this section, as the current build of the game doesn't allow screen-capture for the CAS area. One minor letdown.)
When they were advertising the game as having a much more in-depth character creation system, they weren't kidding around. When it comes to physically sculpting your characters, the new CAS is miles ahead of the CAS of the previous iteration. It's also much easier to create characters of different ethnicities. I tried creating a family of 8 different ethnicities/regions in the demo and managed white/black/Chinese/Japanese(2)/Korean/Indian/Native American. Couldn't quite get Filipino right, at least not to the point that I could call the character that with confidence. Then again, the only two visual representations of Filipino that I could remember at the time were Mark Halcomb (of Periphery fame) and Chouzuki Maryou (Japanese/Filipino descent, ero-cosplay model). But I digress, and have just given away too much info about my browsing. Oh well
.(Have yet to try other ethnicities yet.)
The in-depth character creation system does come with a sacrifice, though. Namely, the ability to customize outfit colors. Where TS3 allowed you to use a color wheel to choose a color, you only get a few pre-set color schemes this time around. Kind of bummed about that, to be honest.
Let's get one thing straight: I don't give two shits that pools are not in the base game this time around. While they do make a house look better, my characters rarely used them, so no big deal. Anyway, long story short? Over-all, Build Mode is a step above the previous iteration. Here's a list of some of the things I've noticed so far that I like about it:
- Pre-set room designs, and the ability to create and save your own.
Wall-lights and certain wall decoration items can now be stacked, occupying the same vertical column as long as there is room.
Adjustable window height position.
Overhang accents. I forget exactly what they're called, but kind of like fancy awning-like accents.
Adjustable wall heights.
Here's some examples of the first house I've built:
Playing the game, if you're just into directing your characters throughout their lives, should feel on par with what you'd expect. The one thing you'll notice right away is how much more believable the Sims are in their motions, emotions, etc. Well, they better fucking be, EA based the whole advertising campaign around the new "emotions".
But yeah, they have subtle little movements that make them seem more alive and real. Well, minus the walking styles available from the CAS menu. Those are cartoony as fuck
. The fact that Sims can now multitask also adds to the realism. Wanna talk to someone while eating? Playing games? Cooking? They can do all that now, and then some. No longer do you get these robotic transitions between activities, it all flows together quite nicely.
That said? This game is a major fucking cock-tease to those who would aspire to make machinima or more natural photographs. By that, I mean that there are key features missing, and it is frustrating.
First, let's talk about camera control. By default, you can only rotate on a horizontal axis, zoom in/out, and switch to "Top-Down View". Forget about pitch control, it isn't happening. You can switch it to TS3-style camera in the Game Options, but while that allows for pitch control via clicking the middle mouse button, you still cannot move the camera up or down freely. Or if you can, I haven't figured out how yet. Secondly, the input command to turn off the overhead effects, like the speech bubbles and Plumbobs, is buggy, only working about half the time. It is a major
disappointment, as I'm not too fond of having those in my shots. They're good when you want to make up a funny conversation on the spot, like in the GFF Meet Sims 3 shoots that were done in previous years, but for natural-type shots, they're a nuisance.
In all? The game's ok. Not great by any stretch, but ok. At least it didn't release in the form of an unplayable complete mess like other EA games that I could mention. I'm talking to you, Battlefield 4
And with that, I'll leave you with some shots of the game in action.
This one's a giggly motherfucker. I'd make a comment about how she looks high as fuck, but that feels inappropriate somehow.
Grilled cheese sandwich? FUCK YES.
Jesus, that's terrifying.
Look at this motherfucker, being all smooth n' shit.
Oh god, cellphone selfies have made it in.
"Wow, you look like shit."
"Are you picking your nose?"
"Hmmm...texture's a little viscous."
"Don't look at me, I didn't invite her!"
These two were bitching at each other at the bar. Sucks that I only caught the tail-end of it.