Welcome to San Myshuno!
The Sims 4: City Living on PC
The Sims 4 has been following in line with The Sims 2 since its start, really, opting to resemble more of a direct sequel to that title than the third in the series. With its new expansion, City Living, the trend continues, introducing apartments for your sims to inhabit. Luckily, there’s enough new content for even old-time fans of the series to not feel like this is simply a remake of The Sims 2: Apartment Life.
San Myshuno itself feels like a bustling city, which is a weird statement for a game that can be heavily criticized for its lack of an open world. But each of the four districts provide ample room, from the apartments to the central area, to give the illusion of an open world. Though it can still be criticized for the load times (come on, why do I have to hit a load screen to go into my neighbor’s apartment?), each district feels like it’s a bigger space, and a part of a bigger world. You won’t feel secluded in your small apartment.
Speaking of apartments, the traits are an awesome touch to the experience. There are a wide variety of unique traits that each apartment has, providing you with a different playthrough every time you move. Sure, some of them aren’t that big of a deal, but the negative ones especially will give you a whole new way to play The Sims 4. I recommend everyone start with one of the apartments with the TLC trait, as you’ll really get that “new to the city, out on your own” feel with those. Things break apart, rats infest, and neighbors cause a ruckus; the apartments are basically characters of their own within the game.
You can tell that the team behind The Sims 4: City Living did their sitcom research, too. Eccentric neighbors will drop by at a moment’s notice, sims you’ve given an apartment key to will pop in when they’re bored, neighbors will woohoo too loud at night, and social events are aplenty. Festivals are now a thing that occur, with five distinctly themed ones offering different interactions and activities for your sims to take part in. All of them allow you to get some sweet swag (shirts!), and there’s food all through the city. It’s a nice touch, as well, to have your sims now learn recipes after eating new food from different stands through the districts.
Let’s talk about the new careers. They’re great, sure, but what’s particularly interesting about Politics, Social Media, or Critic is that this time around, you can work from home. Choosing to do this gives your sim tasks to complete in the day, at your own pace. They can be pretty easy at first to do, and thus your promotions will come quickly, but they ramp up with more and more duties, and they also force your sim out of their comfort zone. It’s a new way to play each day. Instead of sending them to a job where they will disappear for eight or so hours, you can make progress in these unique careers by actively completing the tasks. Each one offers great opportunities to play differently, too. So, while it’s not as robust as Get to Work’s changes to the game with professions, working from home is definitely a fun change of pace for careers to have.
Of course, with an expansion also comes new additions that are not so major to the gameplay. There’s a new singing skill that can be pretty hilarious to level up when you’re starting it out, on top of interactions you can do with that skill (karaoke!). Singing in the shower too late at night, by the way, is sure to piss off your neighbors. The new traits, Unflirty and Vegetarian, are great touches because anything that allows players to make more realistic sims is great. And, finally, the objects, clothing, and hair arrive in droves. However, one can’t help but find the clothing and hair a bit lacking. Especially if you’re not into the weird, modern, hipster styles they were going for with The Sims 4: City Living’s selection. Objects are abundant and make up for this transgression, though. The futuristic toilet — like from Japan — is legitimately incredible.
The Sims 4: City Living gets an absolute recommendation for fans looking for a new way to play. It changes the game as much as Get to Work managed to, if not more so. Sure, there are certain glitchy parts of the game. The camera can get crazy very rarely, the festivals might be a bit dull after doing them enough times, and sometimes when my sim is invited out, it simply won’t start up the event, but there’s enough to do around San Myshuno’s concrete jungle to consider this expansion one of the greats.
Score: 4/5 – Great