The fourth instalment of The Sims series originally launched back on 2nd September 2014, in the form of The Sims 4. With the improved ‘build-a-sim’ system, newly announced emotions and a more cartoon-y visual style, hopes for the new iteration of the game were high amongst fans. However, upon launch, though the game delivered on these promises, as per usual with Electronic Arts (EA), whilst they gave to gamers with one hand, they took away with the other.
Gone were the open worlds of The Sims 3, to be replaced by small restrictive neighbourhoods, where every visit to another lot required a loading screen. The ‘Create-a-Style’ tool from The Sims 3, a fan favourite which allowed any piece of clothing or furniture to be mixed with any pattern or colour, was also scrapped. Basements, swimming pools, burglars, cars… the list of things that didn’t make the final cut goes on and on. However, by far the biggest loss, which garnered the most anger, was the loss of toddlers, which had been a staple of the games since The Sims 2. In previous games a baby would grow into a toddler, who had to be taught skills to live a healthy fulfilling life. However, in The Sims 4 the baby suddenly jumps up into a fully grown child; very life like content from a life simulation…
‘Gone were the open worlds of The Sims 3′
A few months after the games’ release swimming pools, basements and some other features were released in free patches, but toddlers were nowhere to be seen. Though fans continued to rage on the forums, the general consensus was that it was never going to happen and if it did, as per EA business practice, we would all have to pay through the nose for it.
Fast forward to 12th January 2017 when, having managed to keep fans completely in the dark, a patch is released. A big patch. A toddler patch. Providing the toddler life stage with a whole host of items to accompany them, and the biggest shock of all; it was free to all players! Though the new features have some glitches (it’s an EA game, that is to be expected) the event served as a wonderful PR opportunity for The Sims 4 and for many, all appeared to be forgiven. When announcing this toddler patch, the production team made a big point of wanting to accommodate fans’ wishes, and though the cynics may say this is just the company wanting to end the constant moaning, it appears they may at least be trying to keep this pledge.
‘the biggest shock of all; it was free to all players!’
Following the last two update patches there has been some code buried within the game relating to future expansion packs. For example, back in December, data miners discovered coding for drinking ‘plasma’ and dying from sunlight within the game, which suggested the introduction of a vampire life-state. This is something many fans were disappointed was not included in the previous ‘City Living’ expansion pack and had been requesting. Lo and behold, it is then announced that we will be getting a ‘Vampire’ game pack. Anyone would think EA had hidden it in the game on purpose to show us just how much they are listening to us…
Since the last patch, code has been found for dogs and cats within the game, suggesting that a pack with pets might be on the horizon. This again is something a lot of fans have been begging for. Whether this trend continues; who can say? However, it appears that, for the moment at least, The Sims 4 developers are actually listening to their players, which may, to some extent, redeem them after their disastrous start.