In short, The Sims 4 refines many of the series staple systems into a more streamlined package. Unfortunately, though, that depth of quality comes at a cost. Despite having many more vastly improved elements, including its revamped and richly rewarding interactive system, The Sims 4 suffers from a smaller world, in comparison to its predecessor.
Now then, as established earlier, there are a series of surprising problems in The Sims 4. On the other hand, further refinements issue a more wholesome experience this time around. But admittedly, it's a mixed bag. Meaning, the finished product won't please everyone. Decent in some ways, disappointing in others.
The Joys of Interaction
Personally, the main draw factor of the entire series is the subtle interactions between Sims's citizens. Those of which go on outside or behind closed doors. And in that respect, The Sims 4 finds its footing to a high degree of excellence.
Having the option of fewer traits per character than Sims 3 may seem like a significant deal. Still, it doesn't do any real damage when considering the revolutionized emotion system.
For me, the game's best asset, by a decent stretch. On that note, Sim personalities are now more versatile than ever before. Whether working from a romantic basis, by being openly flirty or establishing solid grounds of communication with housemates, by cracking jokes, getting intimate or overcome with embarrassment, each action opens a multitude of contextual options.
The sheer breadth of which makes each interaction memorable and unique to the player in a way that feels authentic.
Lack of Scope
Now we shift from the ever so smooth, to the rough side of Sims. Like real life, to interact, Sim's need to socialize. Besides, that generally forms the basis of communication in all walks of life.
Sadly, that's easier said than done here. Unlike Sims 3, where players can explore the boundaries of an entire town without unwelcome disturbance, every trip in Sims 4, no matter how long, brings up a loading screen. Again, it's a small gripe, but still noticeable.
On top of that, with only ten venues to visit, some duplicates, each of the two possible neighborhoods feels far smaller. At least comparatively with previous entries. Especially Sims 3. And because there are so few variations of each venue, only two in some cases, you'll end up seeing the same places much too many times.
Sadly, the absence of cars and toddlers in Sims 4 further detracts from a sense of reality. At least at the time of doing this review.
The Brightside of Life in Sims 4
Aside from that, there are some positive traits. Added customization in building mode for cabinets and counters allows for greater freedom and flexibility. While rescaling tools will enable you to move structures in bulk, as opposed to hauling individual pieces one after the other.
Which, after a while, becomes rather tedious. You can also move whole rooms anywhere on the premises without the need to demolish and begin again. Another convenient tool.
Overall, The Sims 4 is still a stable, and robust rendition of the ever-popular PC series. Despite its shortcomings. Sure, at times, it lacks a sense of scope concerning the world and its inhabitants, which can frustrate on occasion.
Meanwhile, a slew of constant loading screens, though shorter in length than the last entry in the series, slowly eat away at the enjoyment factor. Granted, it's not a massive deal, but they do begin to stack up.
Equally, though, The Sims 4 also has big plus points going for it. For instance, better building tools breed more creativity, while the emotion system is much deeper, with a dense pool of contextual actions. Inevitably, this leads to more meaningful interactions.
But overall, The Sims 4 fails to hit the heights Sims 3 did on release. Regardless of some significant upgrades, the world, though entertaining, feels a little less alive than in the previous entry.
That's not to say it isn't fun. So firm fans of the franchise will have a field day with The Sims 4.
Please bear in mind this review was composed at the time of release. So many more improvements are sure to be made in the future.