Maxis has returned with their brand new life Simulator (no pun intended). This time around they have jam packed their new instalment with an abundance of new emotions for us players to wrap our heads around.

The Sims 4 concentrates on the emotions of your created Sims. My first character, Hanns Philips, was a swag individual oozing style and walking with confidence. I could customise the way he spoke, his unique walk, his facial features, clothes and even aspirations and traits.

The way you build a house has changed a lot, and for the better. Instead of fixing my errors by holding down ctrl and erasing one wall at a time, I can now use the arrow keys to move entire sections of wall. My house goes us quickly and looks like the perfect first house. Filling it with furniture is equally as fun. Because this is my first sim he isn’t very rich so it’s the cheapest furniture money can buy for me at this stage.

Quickly realising that I may be evicted at any moment I skim the internet on my mobile phone to look for a job. As Hanns has the creativity trait I make him work in the entertainment business. He is a stage performer at the local theatre and earning a pittance. The choice of career ladders your Sims can start is huge, with different branches to follow. There are other ways to earn money in The Sims 4 such as becoming a pro gamer, a brilliant author or a fantastic craftsman.

After a hard day’s work it’s off to the local bar to socialize. The Sims 4 is split into neighbourhoods unlike the previous game. To travel between neighbourhoods I’m met with a loading screen that kind of ruins the magic for me a bit. The Sims 3 was an open map to travel to whichever building you pleased with a quick jog or a car ride.

Getting to the bar I meet my first acquaintance Summer Holiday. The way your Sims interact has had a massive overhaul and really compliments the new emotions your Sims experience. Hanns Philips is feeling confident. This opens up a whole new interaction window that only confident Sims can use. If they’re flirty, new romance options will appear.

It goes well and I have made a pretty strong acquaintance which is great. Friendships are based on a green slider. Meet with other Sims more often and it goes up. Ignore them and friendships will fade.

Back to work and I’ve been promoted. On my second day! I must be a great performer! Work again is based on a slider of performance and it needs to be green before a promotion can happen. The next stage of my career ladder is a talent scout. I’m given a set of promotion objectives. I need to have three friends and be level two of the charisma skill tree. Easy peasy I think to myself as I chat away in front of my mirror.

Skills can be obtained in a few ways. Take cooking as an example. I can gain experience as I cook, or read a book about cooking. This can be done for many other activities in the Sim universe.

The Sims 4 even though great, still feels empty compared to the previous game. I would have liked to have seen more to keep it in line with what time Sims 3 was doing, but being EA, I am almost positive expansion packs will be coming in the future. As of now, I’m perfectly happy exploring what The Sims 4 has to offer. You can follow the life of Hanns Philips here to see what he gets up to in his adventures.

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Stef Murphy

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