Oh, The Sims 4. You had such promise. Things could have gone so well. And you kinda screwed the pooch on that one. As of late, The Sims 4 has been rolling out a variety of different free updates ever since it launched to extremely dismal reviews. To win back the hearts of long-time Sims fans, EA has been focusing on restoring content that players felt was stripping from The Sims 4, including pools, specific careers, ghosts, and more. Many of the first impression have already been made, however, and although the majority of this content has been free – except for the Outdoor Retreat, which is a pay-to-play DLC game pack which ads wooded vacation destinations – EA seems to still have an uphill battle to keep the life in this series.
Now Maxis has finally introduced family trees back into the franchise with their latest “Genealogy” update, supposedly in celebration of The Sims 15 year anniversary as a franchise. Here’s Maxis’ heavenly words to inform us of the new update.
Genealogy is essential for legacy and family players to fully appreciate the scope of their games. For all those players who lovingly document every generation of their Sims, print out their family trees, and keep tracking of the complex relationships that develop, Genealogy is an incredibly valuable tool.
Now, with this feature, you’ll be able to look at your Sim’s family history, including brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers, grandparents (and some greats, and great greats, etc.), step relationships (like Step-Parent), half relationships (like Half-Sibling), and of course, Spouses. After you download the most recent The Sims 4 update, you can find this in Live Mode by opening the Simology Panel (or hit the Y key).
Hurray! As explained, this new feature might lure players back to the game, or convince them to buy it now that it has been over half a year since release. Many players in the Sims series enjoy the quirky stories they told, and the lack of a genealogy was a big heartbreak for many. This made Legacy playthroughs of the game less personal and meaningful, and all the complexities of Sims relationships were lost, considered simply unimportant. The feature is also for those who love building complex family trees all Game of Thrones style, pairing OTPs together into ideal relationships and watching how their lineages rise and fall.
That being said, one has to wonder whether yet another free update will be enough to convince old and new players alike to board the ship that is The Sims 4. Genealogy is yet another feature on the tremendous laundry list of features accused as missing by players in the release of Sims 4, features which were general and commonplace in past iterations of the franchise. For some, griping about pool and family trees may seem petty, but for a game that bases its entire interaction and game mechanics about sandbox, free-form, do what you want gameplay, having your options inherently limited sucks.
This was especially frustrating if the feature is largely simple and did not really need a whole lot of evolution to be ported over. Genealogy was a particular stickler, as genealogical mechanics had been in place for not only the entirety of The Sims 2, but also the entirety of The Sims 3. For myself, the the loss of family trees in The Sims 4 was a pretty big deal-breaker. Seeing where my family came from and where they were going, with all the relatives on the fringes of the list, contextualized my experience with all the little Sims. This and the lack of open-world elements in The Sims 4 – which still don’t exist – have continued keeping me away from the game.
Is this enough? You tell us. Do you have any interest in hopping in to The Sims 4 with the inclusion of this new genealogy, or are you still playing old editions of The Sims 3 with all the expansions?