I’m playing The Sims 4 for review, but a standard Review in Progress would be too commonplace, so instead we’re going to follow the story of a house that I am playing. I’m going to play them for an in-game month and chronicle their lives in seven-day installments here for the rest of this week. Will they prosper or perish under my control? There’s only one way to find out, isn’t there?
We begin with our “family” moving into Oasis Springs, the second neighborhood in The Sims 4. The household members can be seen in the bottom left and consist of – from right to left – Bud (me), Will (from Chaos is Gaming) and Max. I don’t know who Max is, but he’s blue. He’s not sad though – he was just born that way. Max is insane, and I’m intrigued to see what that will mean in The Sims 4. In The Sims 3 it seemed to amount to little more than your sim wearing the wrong outfit all of the time. Hopefully it’s a little more pronounced here.
After some time spent in build mode, I have built us a rudimentary house with three bedrooms, one bath, a large kitchen and a main living area. Everyone comes to life upon hitting the 1 key (for normal speed) and set out to fulfil their needs. Right now, for all three of them, it’s hunger.
While Bud and Max logjam at the fridge, Will takes to the grill and makes… veggie burgers. Sure. Veggie burgers and Will don’t mesh in my mind, but what’re you going to do. He gets them grilled up nice and toasty, and plates them up.
He then proceeds to sit down next to Max with the entire tray. Hungry much? I figure out that he needs a place to set them down so I toss a crate out in the yard for him. Nothing says quality and living the life like wood shipping crates in the yard. Back in the house, Bud eats his garden salad alone in the kitchen. Once dinner time is over, everyone takes up different hobbies. Max starts gaming on the computer, Bud watches sports on TV and Will takes up reading. While I am watching them do their things, I notice a problem in the kitchen.
Apparently someone (meaning, me) left a gaping hole in the counter tops while designing the kitchen. I debate my options: I can buy another counter to fill the space, which is as easy as opening the build menu, using the eye-dropper tool to select the nearby countertops and placing another one in the gap. However, that’s too obvious, and I’m too cheap.
A trashcan taken from the corner of the room fills the gap just as well, doesn’t it? You look at it and you’re like, “what gap?” Ok, maybe not, but whatever – it works for me.
While Max talks to himself – something he loves to do as an insane sim – Bud plays The Sims. In The Sims. If only he could play as himself in The Sims as a sim playing The Sims… wait, that’s what I’m doing. Let’s move on. Max starts to irritate the hell out of Will so he – Will – takes Bud and goes to the park. Once they arrive, Will goes to the lounge for another book (apparently he likes reading) while Bud challenges a random stranger to a game of chess.
Will arrives just in time to see Bud cheating. Will, call him out! Unfortunately he does no such thing. For some reason he’s in a flirty mood so I send him to hit on the local female population. He finds a young lady sleeping on a park bench and wakes her up, striking up a conversation.
Chatting with this irate woman, Will learns that she’s insane. Seriously, one of her traits is Insane. After some bad interactions, Will has had enough and makes a break for it.
I was amused to see him take off at full sprint from her, but honestly I can’t blame him. He used the “try to calm down” social interaction on her but that just made her more irate. Seriously, who can understand how insane women think? Or insane men, for that matter.
Someone, while I wasn’t looking, knocked over the pieces on the chess table. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to learn that the guy Bud was playing against did it after catching on to Bud’s cheating antics. Bud’s browsing the web on his phone here, oblivious to his opponent talking to him. Will has since gone home on his own, leaving Bud here alone, which is something that I don’t remember being possible in The Sims 2. It didn’t matter in The Sims 3 because the open world removed the loading screens, but in The Sims 2 when one of your sims left a public lot, everyone in their party had to leave with them. Another change to that is that in The Sims 2, loading another lot froze time on the lots you left. That is no longer the case, and it’s a big improvement.
Back home, Bud changes into a dress shirt and tie for seemingly no reason, while Max is still in his pajamas. Will is eating a salad, and shows that all sims seem to eat left handed. I don’t have a problem with that either way, it’s just an observation. By now everyone has a job; Max is an astronaut, Will is a secret agent, and Bud is a tech guru and over the course of this week, Will gets the only promotion.
I apparently sent Bud to bed too early one night so he got up at 3 AM and tried to learn to program. Programming is a new skill you can level up in, along with Video Gaming. Max is leveling up that one, and spends most of his free time playing a Tetris clone on the computer. So I guess he’s a casual gamer… not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Late in the week I decide the guys need some hobbies so I buy a woodworking table for Will and an easel for Bud. Will’s first act is to make a knife block. That’s not too hard. There’s no way he can screw that up, right? Once he finishes I put his knife block on the kitchen counter.
Ok… wait. Will, that is NOT a knife block. That’s not anything! It’s a pile of wood chips! Ok, go back to the workbench and try again while we look at Bud’s new painting.
That’s actually not that bad. I was expecting a whole lot worse, but he is an artistic creative sim. Will has finished his second attempt at a knife block so I place it on the kitchen counter, thankful to finally have a finished…
… DAMMIT!! He made another pile of wood chips! That’s it, no more wood working for Will. I’m buying him a guitar or something instead, since he’s a musical creative sim. Too bad I can’t buy him a set of drums.
At midnight Sunday of week one, we’ve had some interesting interactions. Come back tomorrow for the next 7 days of their lives, where I will be upgrading their living quarters and trying not to get anyone killed.