The Sims

A “The Sims 4” Rant

Content of the article: "A “The Sims 4” Rant"

Disclaimer: *Please don't take personal offense to anything on this post. At the end of the day, The Sims is a franchise, managed by MAXIS and owned by EA. It's an asset – the goal is to make money and attract new players. It employs a lot of people and moves lots of money. Their goal, more than pleasing the "fans" is to make money. This rant is not directed at the community – but at the ones behind the game. Also, this is my personal opinion – as an old and current fan who feels disappointed by something that once brought me great joy.*

(The thing that finally sparked this rant was a comment I read on a review of all the DLC and it read as follows: "Why are modders and custom content creators who work from their bedrooms with no budget making better content than a million dollar gaming company?")

I have been a Sims franchise player from a young age. When I got a stable job and found about The Sims 4, a couple of years ago, I jumped into it right away, even though the community had been settled long before I started playing this latest installment of the franchise.

Including the Base Game, obviously, I have 12 Stuff Packs, 8 Game Packs, and 9 Expansion Packs. In total, I have spent over $550 on this franchise. An amount that no sane person would or should spend in a game.

After things got busy at work I stopped playing The Sims 4 altogether – I used to put at least 8 hours into it every day. Having some distance between me and the game, I was able to notice that The Sims 4 is not a great game, at all. The graphics, mechanics, and even gameplay is extremely lousy, outdated, and, while particular to The Sims, not fun at all.

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Even with a great PC, the game itself, without any mods whatsoever, looks and plays awful – and can be repetitive at times. If you play just so you can Create a Sim and go through their "life", or explore the (extremely limited) worlds, all you're really doing is roleplaying scenarios in your head – the game itself does not give you enough freedom or in-game mechanics to let you explore all the scenarios you cook up in your mind. So what can you do? Mods. Yes. Mods to expand on traits, mods to give Sims more personality, mods to fix weird game mechanics, and so on.

Let's say you only play The Sims for the building. There are so many limitations! You can only build with the blocks the game gives you. You have to resort to "glitches" or exploits to build how you want to build. And even then, it never quite looks how you want. So what do you do? Mods.

In all honesty, The Sims, by itself, is NOT worth the price it's sold at. The community, especially the custom content creators' community, is what gives LIFE to The Sims. Hard to believe? Just look at the "worlds" and EA builds that come with the Base Game or any Expansion/Game Pack. I've lost count on how many YT videos exist roasting the EA builds for obvious mistakes and just the ugliness of it all – on DLC they sell for upwards of $19.99!

Without mods, The Sims 4 is a bland, honestly ugly, limited game. So yes, I did spend countless hours collecting and organizing my mods folder just so I could get something similar to what I wanted from The Sims.

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But what's the general response to mods? They're on a "use-at-your-own-risk" basis, modded creations won't show on the EA Gallery, and they are generally looked down upon by many in the community.

And I haven't even touched on the question of the skin tones, the fact that male frames and female frames on CaS are not interchangeable – meaning clothes/hair/makeup meant for one type of Sim will look awful on the other.

Or the fact that every single Expansion Pack plays the same? A couple of general tasks to complete in a predetermined amount of time, a non-existent feeling of completion OR reward by finishing those tasks? I mean, Strangerville is pretty much a choose-your-own-adventure without any of the elements that make that a great genre.

And the load screens between everything! Leave your house to visit your neighbor's house and you get a loading screen.

Oh! And the general careers and school time – the Sims go away, time speeds up, and you some times have to click on some quick-event prompts. Yay? Fun?

I know this might come as just bashing on The Sims – but trust me – this game has brought me much joy, especially when I was younger. I could just immerse myself in The Sims and forget about everything else for hours.

The thing is, I usually did that via mods. Not just by playing the standard game. And when I look at other similar games out there, especially "indie" games that try to do what The Sims WISHED they could, it makes me even more so disappointed in this franchise. They've settled and stopped betting on creativity or improving.

TL;DRAs is, The Sims 4 is not worth the money it's sold at – free mods make it – even though they often break it. The current DLC system is a shameless cash grab that gives players next to nothing playability wise. The team behind it does not listen to the community as they often advertise – more diversity and inclusivity has been an ever-increasing issue raised by the community, as well as long-standing requested features like cars, and interactable babies, and all we've gotten so far is a knitting pack and a Star Wars pack???

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