9 September 2014

The Sims 4: First Impressions, Part 2

I've already weighed in my 2 cents about The Sims 4* in Part 1 of my First Impressions, but that was only after 3 hours of play and I want to show a little more about what I've discovered over a few more game sessions. Be warned, I bring some upsetting news.

Life, Death & Woohoo

So I'm still using my Starter family for the time being as I'm still learning the ropes. I wanted to go a little bit more in to some of the things I feel are important as a legacy player. One of the things I love about the new smooth jazz woohoo is how it affects our sims. I remember reading something about a "Woohoo skill" before the game was released but I haven't found that yet so feel it is non-existant. Woohoo does have an emotional affect on sims - once, after some flirty winks and a little adventure under the sheets, Dolores got a happy "fully satisfied" moodlet from woohoo whereas her partner Weston felt tense as it wasn't satisfactory.

Another new thing is no jingle to mark the success of a woohoo - you now have to pay $15 to take a pregnancy test. I love this because it will stop the woohoo marathon trying to get that jingle, although it is going to be a pain for extreme legacy starts when you're strapped for cash as it is. I haven't heard much in way of multi-births but can confirm that sims can at least have twins as the Starter household soon welcomed Luke and Jon starter. 

A brilliant emotional response to this was when April, the oldest and before the twins was an only child, got angry because of an "unwanted sibling". I know I mentioned there not being a toddler life stage and we are all pretty upset about this since we've loved this little lifestage since The Sims 2, but I can kind of forgive it after I realised how much freedom the Child life stage has. April here can be home alone with no need for a babysitter, interact with the babies (very little, I think Coo and talk to is it but it's better than anything in the past) and has so many more interactions, including with adults, that would normally be limited to teen+ only (for example, children can do push ups and sit ups). But I still want the toddlers back, the lack of swimming pool I am definitely okay with as I don't usually use it, but the Toddler life stage is so important.

Another favourite adult child interaction is reading stories. Stories can be read anywhere - not just bed which I think The Sims 3 was limited to? I can't remember now. The socialisation of sims is amazing - they always sit and talk or stand together to chat and multi-task. A downside to the Child life stage is the skilling. I can't say for certain but I don't think they carry on, or some don't, through to the Teen stage. April was always on her chess set working on her "mental" skill which I presumed would evolve to Logic as she did but once becoming a teen she had to start Logic again from scratch. It might be that she is quicker at it but it feels like a lot of wasted time at that chess board.

The Teen lifestage is interesting. Teens have always been able to have romantic interactions but I feel they went a bit further this time, I had April and her boyfriend "mess around" which initiated a woohoo-like sequence under the covers of her parents double bed. I didn't take the relationship further (as I wanted her to focus on school and skills) but I do wonder if that is the furthest teen sims can go. Another thing I  noticed about Teens, unrelated to woohoo, is that they now attend the full school day: 9am-3pm rather than sacking it off at 1 or 2. I've struggled with trying to keep the teenagers in happy moods as well as complete their homework (and exrta credit for school performance) not to mention everyone's sleep cycle is completely messed up. In the previous post I mentioned that each career, and even school, demands tasks to be completed before progression to the next level and it appears you have to complete this little tasks as well as push the performance bar right up to green.

I've experienced Death for the first time and I was excited. Weston died of old age and he did a little salute before crawling on the floor to die. I knew this was going to be an interesting event because of the whole emotion aspect which is basically the selling point of The Sims 4. As I observed there appears to be two types of sadness: on the left a random townie is solemn and a respectful kind of sad because he didn't know Weston. However his son Jon, on the right, is full on crying and you can even see the tears falling off his face. When a sim died in The Sims 3 everyone in the household got that annoying moodlet of mourning for 2 sim days - even if they barely knew or didn't even see the sim that passed away. In The Sims 4 however only Jon got the sadness emotion from witnessing the death - his long term wife Dolores and two other children that were all best mates with him didn't have any kind of reaction. At all.

Another terrible thing I am leaving you with is the horrible discovery I made of no family tree. April grew to an young adult, married the infamous Alexander Goth and they went off (but not before I planted the seed). I had no idea she had birthed her daughter, Juliet, until I visited the household on a spontaneous visit. This means there my be no way of telling who is related to your active sim family unless you track it yourself. What happens if I continue playing this for another 5 generations and haven't tracked Juliet's kids and grandkids - will the relationship panel show some distant realtion or might there be a chance of some accidental incest? The family tree was one of my favourite things about all of The Sims games and it is devastating to not have it in the base game. (Please bring it back).

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