The Sims 4 has been out for more than a year now and it’s still very much so struggling to reverse the burn it dealt to its fans. Sure, it had two expansion packs (Get to Work and Get Together) and two game packs (Outdoor Retreat and Spa Day), but it’s still very much in the shadow of its prequel. To the point where many of us question why we should even play The Sims 4 over The Sims 3.
You may have given us pools and the family tree back, but you still have a ways to go.
Right off the bat, this is still a huge problem. How can we ever go back to The Sims 2 after having experienced the greatness of being able to follow our sims to work or a different part of town? Yes, things run a lot smoother now, but the immersion is absolutely broken when we have to watch a loading screen to go across the street. It feels like our Sims now live in a bubble rather than a virtual world.
Because The Sims 3 is still really good, mods continue to come out for it. (Check out the best mods for that over here, by the way.) The Sims 4 has received a hefty amount of mods, but they aren’t at the same caliber. Of course, this will no doubt change in due time. It’s only been a year, after all. But the reality is that the mods are slim pickings for The Sims 4. (Check out the best mods for it over here!)
We still don’t have the lovable, furry sim companions with The Sims 4. Sure, they’re useless creatures. Sure, they basically are just there to be cute. Sure, they’re dirty. But they were ours, dammit. They were our dogs, our cats, our horses, our stupid parrots. How has this equivalent expansion not made its way to The Sims 4 yet? It’s honestly ridiculous they weren’t just in the base game considering how little these expansions have notoriously added in the past.
Vacation, All I Ever Wanted
One of the best expansion packs for The Sims 3 was World Adventures. Suddenly, your small town sim had a greater purpose. No longer did they just go to work, come home, go out sometimes; they were adventurers now! You could go on vacations, learn about new cultures, have new food, new experiences, sight see, and finally, traverse a tomb and uncover mysteries while grabbing some ancient treasure. No big deal. It was the most robust expansion as it added new skills, items, entire worlds, a visa system, and quest lines.
This one falls a bit in line with the open world part of this article, but it also has a lot to do with the expansion Late Night. With it came the city of Bridgeport. It was full of skyscrapers, subway stations, and all of the lights of a big city. You would think with the new generation, The Sims 4 would take advantage of the graphical limitations and make a massive city a possibility above the small towns.
This expansion may have been a bit annoying due to the zombies that wouldn’t stop coming out at night. They did nothing but clown around on the porch every full moon. But besides them, this expansion pack added a lot of cool stuff. New races, a moon cycle, and all the spooky decor you can imagine. It was neat for the roleplaying aspect of having a full Sim family of vampires or werewolves.
Point is, it’s not even an option with The Sims 4.
University Life brought our sims the ability to further their education in a variety of different ways. Ultimately, upon getting your degree, you would be able to start a career at a higher paying position and have access to jobs you wouldn’t have otherwise. It was all about the journey there, though.
Sending your Sim off to a university meant playing as them while there. Going to class, skipping class, having a party, studying up a storm, and generally living a whole new life outside of the town they grew up in. The social group aspect of it all is something we can sort of see emulated and expanded upon in Sims 4, at least.
Also, it brought a lot of smart phone capabilities to the game. You could level up social networking and start a blog. And selfies were now a thing.
It’s amazing what something like the weather changing can do to the game. It was great to have a reason to actively change your sims’ wardrobe to match the season, rather than just using your imagination to do it. There was a time for going to the beach and a time to nuzzle by the fireplace. It even added holidays to each season that made going out to the central park a blast and whole new parties you could throw.
Building a snowman is something that is sorely missed.
One of the last expansions for The Sims 3 introduced tropical islands, renting your house, and opening up a resort that you can manage. The greatest feat for Island Paradise, though, was how there was a whole new world beneath the sea. Scuba diving was now a thing and you could explore the great blue for treasure, messages in bottles, and different fish. Sharks were the worst, though. Terrifying.
New house boats were neat too. Could we take our mid-life crisis filled sim and make them move to a house boat that just spends all its time floating around in The Sims 4? Yeah right.
Jobs, Clothes, Hair, Furniture
Even past all the mods that are possible with The Sims 3 that haven’t been done for 4, there’s just not as much variety. Certainly not enough for a big sims fan, anyway. And who else but big fans play the games?
There aren’t as many careers (though, with Get to Work, it’s cool you can actively work at some of your sims’ jobs), clothes, hair, or furniture. Unfortunately, with less variety in gameplay, there’s still not much of a reason to play TS4 over the third. It’s already hard to excuse cash grab expansion packs, as fans we’re used to them. But it’s entirely impossible to excuse that steps were taken backwards when molding the base game of The Sims 4.