How The Sims 4 Will Be Different To The Sims 3

Pee like a champion.

Life's possibilities are endless. By extension, a game series intending to simulate life would also hope to have endless possibilities. The Sims series has attempted to encompass this, spawning four core games and over 50 add-on packs. Despite the accumulation of all this content, it still felt as though there was something missing. The Sims 4 attempts to address this by bringing to the series what EA is calling personality and emotions, which would drive Sim behavior.

Curious as to what this would entail, I got hands-on with the game for a few hours at a preview event. At first glance, creating a Sim and assigning aspirations was not a dramatic departure from the creation tools of previous Sims games. In fact, I recognized the neat, creative, and perfectionist traits as some of the many returning Sim characteristics. Keen to try something new, I made sure my Sim had the new "self-assured" trait, which I later discovered helped trigger an emotional state in my Sim. This is because The Sims 4 sees a new focus on Sims' personalities and quirks by introducing new emotions that reflect them. Displayed in-game as a moodlet icon and shown through their expressions on the heads-up display, the emotional state of my Sim had an effect on the subsequent actions she undertook.

Inspired, my Sim wanted to jam on a musical instrument.

I spent my first few moments of the game looking at the available options and examining the HUD. This left my Sim idle for a while, and she became bored. Acting autonomously, my Sim proceeded to the wardrobe to try on different clothes. The result saw her gain a morale boost from trying on new outfits, putting her in a confident mood that would last late into the night. This newfound confident emotion affected how my Sim would carry out her actions, turning simple tasks such as using the toilet into "Pee Like a Champion." According to the moodlet buff, because my Sim had the personality trait of being self-assured, she was more likely to frequently experience these bouts of confidence.

Different actions sent my Sim into different emotional states. For example, hitting the nightclub for a few glasses of juice put my Sim in a flirty mood, which increased the success rate of her attempts to hit on other Sims. Later at home, my Sim found her spirits lifted in a refreshing shower. Emerging inspired, she would go on to receive a boost in her efforts to learn to play the guitar.

That is, once I purchased one for her. Much like in previous Sims games, the Buy mode in The Sims 4 catalogs items by function or room type. However, I was now able to search directly for the item I was looking for, negating the need to browse through pages of objects that I wasn't interested in. Typing the word "guitar" in the search bar returned the results I was looking for, and moments later my inspired Sim was jamming away on the instrument.

A search bar has been added to Buy mode.

While certain items in Buy mode had set color options, the flexible Create a Style tool from The Sims 3 was noticeably absent. Gone was the ability to set custom patterns on objects and pick colors from a color wheel that supported even hex color codes. Although there were a variety color schemes on offer for objects, I was disappointed to find out that I could no longer match all my furniture to my favourite shade of cream. Instead, I had to pick and choose from the available shades offered for each piece of furniture, decor, and appliance.

However, that dream could always be fulfilled with the implementation of mods. User-generated custom content will be fully supported in The Sims 4 and simplified in its integration. Wherein The Sims 3 players had to upload their creations externally on The Exchange, the tool to share user-created content is now built into the game with a feature called The Gallery. Players will be able to create content and upload it straight away, or import other players' creations without having to exit their game.

Living out my consumerist fantasies with my Sim was fun, but it quickly became clear that I required more money; my Sim needed to get a job to earn Simoleons. Unlike in real life, getting a job was surprisingly straightforward. Gone were the days of searching newspapers and online postings. Clicking through my Sim's occupation box in the interface brought up a list of exciting careers my Sim could venture into, and I settled on the path of an entertainer.

Feeling confident? Pee Like a Champion!

Going to work was less exciting. My Sim disappeared for hours at a time, seemingly into nothingness, as Sims no longer travel to a visible workplace. Control at work was limited to clicking my Sim's face and selecting whether she would spend time schmoozing her superiors or socializing with colleagues, among other, less exciting options. Oddly enough, when my Sim was at work I was unable to bring up the interface to watch her needs. At one point she became hungry, but because my Sim was not present on the lot I was not able bring up the hunger meter to see just how starved she was.

Feeling fine at the gym.

It was difficult to determine how much her meters had depleted overall once she returned home, as I could not watch her motives while she was working. Going to work presented a strange break in playing the game, leaving me with not much else to do except watch time tick by. However, working does have an influence on moods. My Sim would come home from work in the bored emotional state, putting a real dampener on any socialization her neighbors tried to start up with her.

Regardless, progressing through my Sim's career track provided me with concrete goals. Although I did not manage to ascend to the top of the career ladder in the time I played, I was left with a sense of having achieved something in the time I spent with my Sim. From learning to strum the guitar to starting relationships with other Sims, I felt as though these interactions were only scratching the surface of what was on offer. The introduction of emotional states offers more variables to play with to produce unpredictable results, and I am eager to delve into them in the full game.

Written By

Zorine “harli” Te is a long time competitive gamer and also an Associate Editor at GameSpot.

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Discussion

211 comments
frigidchick
frigidchick

How Sims 4 is different form Sim 3


First: It will look like it plays on the Nintendo 64.

Second: It will control like a drunk hippo.

Third: It will make you wish you never played the Sims series.

JRD1912
JRD1912

Stop buying this trash!

megakick
megakick

Sims 4 is Different than Sims 3 because of BUGS and GLITCHES...

Shinteikun
Shinteikun

to me, sims has always been failing in two key aspects which I always hoped they'd change in the next game or whatever... the variety of furniture and everything in build and buy mode... and of course the time aspect. I hate the fact it takes like one hour to pee and shower, two hours to prepare a sandwich... time flows too fast and you never get to do anything. You go to work and sleep... that's 2/3 of the day... than you have few hours to do ONE activity (learn stuff, go out, mingle with other sims or whatever). That aspect of the game always bugged me... in real life you can do SO much more in one day. in sims it takes a whole sims lifetime to do things you'd do in a week in real life (except go old and earn promotions at work).

And it bugs me you get to pick 5 traits. They should've made it so you get to pick 5 traits at each sub-section. I always pick 5 traits that are the most beneficial to the sim I'm trying to build. Why pick some negative traits or even some social traits when they don't mean a thing... well, apparently in sims 4 those traits actually mean more since game emphasis has gone into the socializing aspect of the game rather than building the house (my fav aspect of sims in general). 

I'm definitely going to wait for year or two before giving it a chance. By than they'll fix bugs, add more furniture (user made and official) and probably add 5-6 expansions which I'll most likely skip.

gajbutler
gajbutler

Firstly I wont buy it because The Sims 2 and 3 were shite and I hate the direction they went in.


Secondly it is Origin only, I don't buy games on that platform.

uninspiredcup
uninspiredcup

I'm sure it will still be massively overpriced on Origin. With tons of massively overpriced DLC.

In that regard, EA are pretty consistent. 

grin89
grin89

Will this game still have some sort of color scheme for objects besides the color wheel or is it a * you can buy this couch but you can only have it in blue pink or yellow * kinda thing.

superbaler
superbaler

I said it elsewhere, but I'll say it again:


Sims fans should boycott this game until it is fixed. Unfortunately that won't happen :(

00J
00J

Does anyone that read the new features think that having a sim have a unique walk or a grin on their face is more important than programming in some ways to spend your sims money other than on cars and house building? They can keep the goofy walk animations and facial expressions in exchange for more interactivity with your sim and their money. I mean the whole goal of the game is to better your sims life by becoming successful in their job pretty much.  After you've made your sim into a "made sim" there really isn't anything else to do with your sim and their success...


I would have liked to have major expansions on what your sims could do with their wealth, it would be neat to "go on a trip" or go shopping at a mall.  It would be neat to see your sim on a plane sitting in first class in a nice suit or business dress, or just some nice expensive casual clothes. Speaking of clothes it would be cool if they made expensive clothes and jewelry to show off, wouldn't it be cool to go into simfany's and buy a 50,000 simoleon necklace or a 20,000 simoleon smolex watch? 


You see what i mean? You can't even upgrade your phone and that's a major interaction in the game.


Now i think it sounds cool that the sims can now talk to each other sitting or standing, and watch tv while eating and talking that's pretty neat, but that's not enough. 


I've always hit a boring zone in the Sims where you have nothing to do with your money. 


Just an opinion... I still have always liked the sims many times relaxed in front of the screen just watching the little sims live out virtual lives since "The Sims".

Itsleaking
Itsleaking

I only liked this game for its house building mechanic. The original title was brilliant. You would manage your happiness to get a promotion and build a new living room. You'd build your dream house or maybe a replica of your own house. You'd start off with a 1 room scum of the earth den and slowly build your way up to a mansion. Now it's a watered down NPC context sensitive interaction game. Good going guys. Maybe EA could acquire Minecraft  and turn it into a relationship builder.

m_dorian
m_dorian

Doin' the good lord EA's work.

Hobbes444
Hobbes444

I got the Sims 2 and all the expansions free on Origin. Meh. Kind of bored me. It's like a RTS but with people's lives and its slow and clunky. So idk, i don't think i'll bother with another sims game.

Lord_Python1049
Lord_Python1049

I hate to say it... but wait 2 years afterwards when the expansions are all out or else you get a bare minimum game.


It might take 4 years for EA to milk this cow though,

tape24
tape24

This game is going to teach a lot of people exactly why you shouldn't pre-order.

The amount of features cut from the last game, crazy price, NO REVIEWS BEFORE LAUNCH! And the obvious fact that the last 3 versions expansions are just going to be rinsed and repeated yet again is going to guarantee tears a plenty on launch day.

Mark my words, this game has PANTS written all over it!

Falcon2000
Falcon2000

Sounds like another dumbed down, like simplify everything experience devs can't wait to rush into our lazy hands these days.  Can't be bothered to even open the paper and pretend to have a legitimate (ie simulation of life-like) process for finding a job, no worries, you can magically pull one out of your ass - and not just any job either!  The one your sim WANTS!  Cause hey, we have to make things interesting or the ADHD kiddies won't play for 5 minutes. Does Peeing like a Champ have any bonus beyond just a "OH I'm so special" name?  Does it make your bladder go down a lot slower, cause your a champ, or is it just text fodder trying to make you feel like a moodlet is more relevant than it really is?  Cause you know if they all have exactly the same affect, it really doesn't make one bit of difference whether I Wee, Pee, Piss, Whizz, Drain the lizard, Pee like a champion, or make water.  Same difference, I don't feel all warm and fuzzy just cause an action bubble reads "Pee like a champ" 

Tr2et
Tr2et

EA, just make a good engine, a good base-game and a good mod builder and I am sure that we players and modders will fulfill everything your game needed to success which you were unable to do while trying to take money from us.

IgorSteinberg
IgorSteinberg

I have a good feeling about The Sims 4. I had a good one about The Sims 1, a good one about The Sims 2, and a bad one about The Sims 3, and I was right all these times.

The way I see it, The Sims 2 was The Sims 1 in 3d and with a lot of improvements: The Sims 3 was The Sims 2 with better graphics, a few minor improvements and a lot of bugs, lag, and repetitiveness, The Sims 4 is a completely new game, that is learning from all the things The Sims 1 and 2 succeeded in and trying not to repeat the-oh-so-many mistakes of the horrible 3rd game.

edward_footlong
edward_footlong

Will the elder stage immediately negate any form of physical gain and turn my sim into a walking stick turd?


Elder stage has always been my favourite oddly enough, probably because your sim has the opportunity to not only make us of all their skills, bonuses etc but also make the most money ever.

Elders don't get no respect, no respect.


Not sure about Sims 4 so far, sounds like they just updated moodlet's barely and called it emotions; and removed a few things.  Only part that I like so far is the sim customization..rest is mostly negative.

Morphibiann
Morphibiann

Expansion pack 1 : Pale Blue Shirt DLC


The Sims4 just got even better, now you can style your Sims in the super cool Pale Blue Shirt, available from the Store

[Shirt can only be worn while Sim is in Super Happy mode]

[To enter Super Happy mode you need to purchase Super Happy tokens(10)]

[To use Super Happy Tokens you need to purchase Extra Happy Tokens(50)]

[Tokens are available from the Store for a discounted price when purchased with the DLC for $29.99]

PETERAKO
PETERAKO

less stuff in the initial release to be sold later as DLC. no custom colors(excuses were made to cover lazyness). there. Oh and also it will be even easier than sims3

jedinortd_basic
jedinortd_basic

the whole work thing is an automatic no-go for me. I'm tired of not being able to see my sim actually work.

foxhound_fox
foxhound_fox


Interesting how the article doesn't mention any of the missing content from previous games.

prime_l
prime_l

Well, colour me not interested. Think I'll stick with Sims 3. These new 'moods' and 'smarter sims' seems like marketing garbage now since it sounds like the moodlets of the old game, with a buff. Sounds... Ground breaking.

There doesn't seem to be any amazing upgrades over the Sims 3. Everything seems like a step sideways or a step back. I've played the Sims to death over the years, and what's really needed is a bigger more engrossing world to play with our Sims in not the ability to pee like a champ...

Maxis is really dropping the ball a lot recently.

wilson2k9
wilson2k9

Just me or does it look like graphics have finally passed by the Sims? This looks like a early PS3 or 360 game at best, I'm talking from 6 years ago, and PC is suppose to be able to have the best graphics, sure I get that EA wants to get this game to the most possible people with weak computers, but if your going to keep on doing that then just make a plain jane graphics version like Sims 1 or 2, that is loaded with content, and then make a legit Sims game with graphics that compete with current games. 

adamknox85
adamknox85

I was a HUGE Sims 1 fan, a HUGE sims 2 fan and then very disappointed sims 3 fan and now a Lost all hope in the sims franchise gamer.
Sims 3 pretty much stripped Sims 2 bare but upgraded the graphics. They also destroyed the clothing packs. I was more than happy to pay £14 for 75+ Pieces of clothing + new animations and items. However, paying £5 for a pair of shoes and a t shirt on their store was disgusting, Especially when you were having 'shop' items shoved down your throat in the customization menu after you had paid £35 for the base game. Yes, It added a few new features but more ruined the game for me in many ways.

I said at the time that "Sims 4 will be stripped down even more, to the point where you'll have one age group, inability to go in the garden and be locked to your own plot"...Well, i wasn't THAT far off was i? Jesus, No pools, no toddlers.. Why? There is NO good reason why they'd do this except to bring them out as expensive DLC!

I won't be buying Sims 4:(

Ayzed
Ayzed

if you wanna try this game when it comes out just pirate it.

LightRukia
LightRukia

@megakick When it's EA always expect Bugs and Glitches. You would not believe how many crashes and glitches I had with the sims 3 when it first came out. Actually I had some terrible glitches for it still (couldn't control my character anymore). Hopefully Sims 4 get's better patches.

MADPADDY
MADPADDY

@Shinteikun Yes time passing so fast is the reason i havent played it past sims 2,just feels like your rushed all the time.

Ayzed
Ayzed

@Shinteikun  you go to work and sleep and that's pretty much it in real adult life too, it's meant to be a life simulator, in that regard it's pretty spot on lol.

PetJel
PetJel

@Shinteikun I feel exactly the same way.


Sims 3 felt so bare bones and having to pick between showering or cleaning up because the day only has 3 hours left is pretty dumb. I can see it makes things more intersting from a managing pov but it's just tedious.

Necrotron
Necrotron

@uninspiredcup Pretty sure they're following a traditional pricing model for PC games just like every other publisher.  $60 at release with a taper down in price to attract more price conscious buyers at time continues.  

Chaoticgodz
Chaoticgodz

@uninspiredcup I like Origin more than steam, even though Origin library isn't as big compare to Steam, EA still gives out games for free. Also Origin has an on sale with their new games sooner than Steam Engine do with their games.

csthomas888
csthomas888

@Tr2et This game will be absolute garage compared to it's predecessors.

brunod_f
brunod_f

@Tr2et I definitely wouldn't mind if they decide to delay its launch in order to bring back the features we like. Its kinda interesting how they cannot develop those things together and they just keep saying its this or that... and they can't deliver both. If they actually can't, then change the game engine to accomodates it. Scrap it all over again. But do it right. That would be far more respectable.

IgorSteinberg
IgorSteinberg

@Tr2et It looks like this time they are actually doing it. The Sims 4 has a better engine, a base-game that gives you tons of stuff to do and is compatible with future EPs (unlike The Sims 3, which wasn't even compatible with itself), and is also MOD-friendly, which compensates for the lack of CASt, as Zorine wrote in this article.

00J
00J

@superbaler actually online is the garbage... You must have been asleep during the Sims Online game... 


No one wants a traditionally offline game to be online, who would want to play with the tossers that are online anyway screwing up your game. Online also limits the complexity of the game engine.

00J
00J

@IgorSteinberg The Sims 3 was cool in that you had no loading times for the world engine. It was all there in realtime, you mean you don't like being able to see the city, towns all at once? 

superbaler
superbaler

@IgorSteinberg The Sims 3 was bad? I thought The Sims 3 had the most/best features. Open-world walk-anywhere-you-want neighborhoods/cities was something I had wished for in the Sims 1. The Sims 3 only became bad when microtransactions and "do you want to share this on Facebook/Twitter" infiltrated the game.

00J
00J

@jedinortd_basic i know what you mean but from a programmers perspective everything you add even something small adds a magnitude to the complexity of the overall system. 


So say you have 5 careers in the game, you'd laugh trying to imagine your sim working a career with other sims in their job zone... LOL 


Talk about a headache to program... You've got a good idea but in design you weigh ideas with practicality... 

vegard1985
vegard1985

@jedinortd_basic I kinda agree, but depending on the career, it would've required a lot of effort to animate everything. I think it's fine in Sims 3 where you can at least see the building where the sim works, and hear relevant sounds when zooming in.


Apparently even that's going away in Sims 4. All of the stripped content, along with Origin - makes it a heeell no for me. Still have lots of expansions I haven't tried in Sims 3, which I'll buy when it's heavily discounted.

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

Prett sure guys with high end rigs are the minority who plays game like this. The majority are rather players like my girlfriend who play it on the Notebook. Just looking at the create a Sim demo it runs much better on her notebook than creating a sim in sims 3

Shinteikun
Shinteikun

@Ayzed @Shinteikun I'm an adult... I have a full time job and I must sleep at least 8 hours a day (10 is preferable)... and somehow I still manage to have ALL aspects of life... from fiance to friends, from few engaging hobbies to recreation... from traveling to... well, everything... I live a full life even though I work full time and sleep more than a baby!

00J
00J

@brunod_f @Tr2et well we know their credibility now, this is POST SIMCITY... 

IgorSteinberg
IgorSteinberg

@superbaler The Sims 3 was bad from the very start. Yes, it had a lot of features, but most of them were absolutely useless and/or buggy. The open world in The Sims 3 was its main downfall. yes, you could go anywhere, but you had to wait ages for your game to load, and if you went to another lot, you also had to wait for the game to render it properly, so it took a few extra minutes. And if you wanted to go abroad or to university... another 5-10 minutes of loading, and if you were lucky, the game didn't crash during this process. In The Sims 4 you have loading screens that are very short - 13 seconds exactly, and it will work fast even on older computers. Add the fact you can actually travel between worlds now, and you get a game that gives you a much bigger world to play with, and is ready for future expansion packs. Unlike The Sims 3, that wasn't compatible with any expansion pack, because its deign was full of flaws.

Gameplay itself was bad in The Sims 3. I can't even call this piece of garbage a game because of this. Traits and moodlets were a great addition, but in reality didn't add much to the game, as they weren't deep enough and offered only minor and unrewarding bonuses. It doesn't matter which activities you wanted to do in The Sims 3, it was all the same, everything was repetitive and boring.

So, yes, The Sims 3 was bad, and you, Sims 3 fanatics, won't realize it until you give The Sims 4 a chance!

csthomas888
csthomas888

@IgorSteinberg @superbaler My experience was nothing like this, everything loaded reasonably with all graphics turned to maximum. Sims 3 had it's short comings, but citing the open world as one of them is borderline retarded.

LightRukia
LightRukia

@nothingformoney Err what? He's right the Sims 3 does take a long time to load. Minutes in fact and no it ain't my RAM since I have 32gbs of RAM.