Content of the article: "Why I Dont Care For Batuu"
I will be blunt. This new expansion bothers me, a lot. Enough that Sims 4 just doesn't seem worth investing in, and invest in it I have. But thats not the purpose of this post. The purpose is to articulate exactly why I hate this Star Wars expansion before it even comes out. It'll be cathartic to me, and maybe it will help articulate what some other people are feeling.
To start, I actually like Star Wars. My wife likes Star Wars. We really enjoy Star Wars: The Old Republic. We have seen all the movies in the theaters, and we own them all. We need out discussing the minutia of the movies, the setting, the Force and the characters. We also enjoy The Sims. We have both been playing the franchise since it's inception. This should be right up our alley, right? Two beloved franchises coming together to deliver something unique and cool!
Except it's not. Therein lies the first flaw, and perhaps my biggest gripe. I don't think this will satisfy me as a Sims fan or a Star Wars fan. Why? Because it's Batuu. Which is to say, it's a place that doesn't actually exist in the Star Wars setting. It's a place created soley to give Disneyland/Disney World a Star Wars location they can drop any Star Wars characters or rides or attractions they want with no regards to the actual fictional setting. It's fine for a Theme Park attraction, because it gives guests a chance to interact with Kylo Ren and Rey and Darth Vader and any other characters you like. Characters who would never really interact within the setting, but it's okay because if you are going to Disney Land and visiting the Star Wars area, you want to see Darth Vader!
But this is a video game. They aren't constrained to simple accessibility. They could take us anywhere in the Star Wars galaxy, take us somewhere unique and interesting and fitting to the setting. We could go to Tatooine, Hoth, Bespin, Nar Shadda. They could tell a story that fits within the greater setting. But instead they send us to the virtual version of a Disneyland Theme Park. Thats the first complaint. It's a place that doesn't really fit with Star Wars. But there is more.
What activities can you engage in there? You can forge a lightsaber, build a droid, join one of three factions and increase your reputation by doing side missions. Am I describing Journey to Batuu the game expansion, or Galaxy's Edge the Disneyland theme park? Yes! Both! I have a sinking feeling this expansion isn't going to be a real expansion designed to expand The Sims 4 and give us more tools and toys to play with. It is looking like it is going to be a $20 advertisement for Galaxy's Edge. The features listed in the expansion are the same listed in the Augmented Reality Game experience for the theme park. We aren't getting a new, unique Star Wars story, we are getting a soulless virtual version of their amusement park.
But they aren't acknowledging it as an amusement park. If they were, that could be really cool. They could add amusement park things, like buildable rides and games and things that Sims 3 touched on. It could be an Amusement Park pack, that happens to be Star Wars themed. But it's not. Just like it isn't a Space pack that happens to be Star Wars themed.
Thats my next big gripe. What will it actually add to the game? It's not a space adventure pack. And it also probably precludes ever getting one either. I doubt we will see the likes of Lunar Lakes or Into the Future for Sims 4, because now we have Star Wars for our big Sci-Fi pack.
Finally, and this is probably the biggest issue. It's just not original. Nothing about it is. It isn't part of the existing Sims universe. It isn't Sixam, or anywhere that grows the setting. It isn't really part of the Star Wars universe, because I am pretty sure Kylo Ren and Rey never WooHoo'd at some cantina on the edge of the Galaxy. It doesn't create an original setting for either franchise, since it's based off the theme park. It exists in it's own little irrelevant, isolated bubble of shameless marketing and cash grabbery.
And because it's isolated, I really doubt it will integrate seamlessly into the Sims 4 games. I don't see myself thinking of cool ways I can incorporate aspects from one pack to another with Star Wars. With University and Realm kf Magic, I used the secret society in Britechester to form a little secret coven of spellcasters, using the club system from Windenburg. Three packs intertwined to create a cool story that tied things together. I just dont see The First Order setting up an outpost in San Myshuno. Or the Rebels having interactions with vampires. It is very much a content island. Even Strangerville, with it's linear story could interact with the rest of the game in a way that made sense for The Sims. Bizarre Fruit makes a sim great at pulling all-nighters, so you can do a ton of pre-exam cramming if you don't mind being possessed for an hour. And Aliens investigating The Mother Plant and dodging government agents makes sense.
But Batuu has too strong an identity that doesn't mesh with the rest of The Sims. And I doubt it will have the depth to make it a very good standalone pack. It doesn't deserve it's own game, because it is just a shallow advertisement for the Disneyland theme park that you get to pay $20 for.
So I won't be getting it. If I want to play a Star Wars game, I will log into The Old Republic or play Fallen Order or any other actual Star Wars game. And if I want to play The Sims… well, I guess I will play Sims 3. Because I think 4 has gotten all the money it is going to get out of this whale.
- The disconnect between EA and consumers has gone too far
- I just completed Jedi Fallen Order, and I loved it
- Why I’m not buying the making bunk beds are “hard” excuses from the Sims team
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