After being a little disappointed with the first Sims 4 expansion pack, I was both excited and apprehensive to actually try the most recent one, The Sims 4: Get Together. Normally I would consider this a review but this Sims 4 Expansion was actually so jam-packed with new things that I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface!
The Good, basically Great:
This expansion actually added a full town, with beautiful residential lots but also a plethora of public spaces, from beaches and cliff side hangouts to cafes and nightclubs to a massive maze and historical, haunted mansion. There are so many new places to explore, and besides having so much to do, everything is beautiful. The new town is huge and is based in Bavarian style, which with the new gorgeous graphics of the Sims 4 looks fantastic. There’s plenty to wander and do around the town itself, and I actually found myself wanting to because it’s so beautiful.
The main purpose of Get Together is to also introduce new ways to hang out with other Sims, and so Clubs have been introduced, which include a lot of varying features. You can customize clubs to only allow members with certain traits, you can encourage and ban certain interactions and activities, have specific interactions with fellow club members, and organize hangouts at a specified club hangout. You also accrue club perk points to use to buy perks that improve your club in lots of different ways. Personally I found this to be a great way to make friends in the Sims, and get them around people with similar interests and traits. You can join or create your own club easily and get people in it without meeting them first.
This expansion came with a lot of different Create-a-Sim items, from wardrobe/features to a few new traits (it also came with a few more skills to be mastered by your Sims). I got the expansion around the same time The Sims released a patch that allows players to customize gender expression in Sims, opening up all features (including walking style, voice, body type, and how they interact with gender specific items in-game) to every Sim, feminine or masculine. The combination of the two to my game opened up my Sims creation to feel so infinite that I found myself having to resist creating new Sims all the time.
Windenburg, the new town.
Besides feeling overwhelmed with how much I had to explore, I was mostly disappointed with how the club feature can overwhelm gameplay. Similar to how the introduction of dates can lead to every Sim you meet calling and asking your Sim out, the club feature can lead to clubs trying to meet all the time. Every time I made a friend/enemy/new romantic partner, too, other friends and club members would text or call with a message responding to the new relationship. While trying to build up careers or skills, it can feel like a bit of an overload of interactions.
The constant bombardment of social calls aside, the club feature worked best for me when I used cheats to avoid taking care of my Sims’ needs. When I first loaded up the game I decided to turn off my Sims’ needs so that I could explore every feature, and when I then tried to play a different game normally I found myself completely neglecting clubs while trying to take care of a family of Sims with children and careers versus just a single Sim doing whatever I wanted. Perhaps that was just me adjusting, but I’ve always found that the social aspect of the Sims can be the hardest part to balance with everything else you’re doing in your game. Throughout the whole series, that’s been one of the drawbacks for me, so seeing it compounded in this game with the addition of clubs isn’t much of a surprise.
I was really pleased with this latest expansion of the Sims, which was refreshing after how let down I felt by the last one and the base game in general. This expansion felt a bit more planned out and like they spent more time adding features to enrich the game. If anything else, this game expansion is worth it for the new town and being able to explore everything it has to offer.