Tag Archives: Sims 4 Expansions

Sims 4: City Living Expansion

At the beginning of this month, the newest Sims 4 expansion was released, and I eagerly downloaded it day one. The Sims series always have a “Downtown” expansion, although they normally introduce nightlife, dating, and basic apartments that don’t necessarily reflect actual apartment living. Since nightlife (bars and nightclubs) was already introduced in the Get Together expansion, it was interesting to see where they would go with the City Living expansion, and I must say it’s a very fascinating addition to the game so far.

Sims 4 City Living adds apartments and apartment life in a much more realistic way than we’ve seen previously. Every lot now has up to three traits, which can be either good or bad. Some cause all of your appliances and electronics to break overnight (I mean all of them…and as far as I could tell it was happening every night…) while some help you level up certain skills faster. Excluding the penthouse apartments, each of the buildings has several apartments available to place Sims in. The interactions with neighbors are fun too, since they can keep you up partying or being loud in other ways. They also respond to your Sims making noise as well, which definitely adds levels of realism to the concept. The starter apartments are definitely starter apartments, and there’s plenty of incentive to try to work hard and move into bigger, nicer apartments as you go.

Within downtown, there are different districts, each with their own hosted festivals and neighborhood theme. The Spice Market neighborhood, for example, hosts the Spice Festival where your Sims can try different spicy foods and purchase spices to make those foods at home themselves. The festivals happen once a week, and are a fun way to experience a (new for the Sims) cultural experience. I think the most interesting part of this expansion to me has been the way that they tried to capture the essence of cities and how diverse they are. They made a concerted effort to populate the city with diverse residents, and introduced items, clothing, foods, and experiences that allow for your city to be full of many different Sims with very different backgrounds.

There are three new careers, each with two different paths available; Politician, Social Media (the only one I have tried so far), and Critic. These new careers allow the option to work from home if you want, and if you choose that option it gives you a few goals to complete at your own pace. It definitely gave a very modern, upgraded, dare I say Millenial sort of feel to the game, which actually works quite well. The only new aspiration available is the Location aspiration, which gives Sims a strong desire to explore the city and everything it has to offer, and certainly fits in well with the idea that city dwellers usually do absolutely love their home turf in the city. A few new skills and hidden talents were added, including singing at karaoke bars (buildable skill) and chopsticks and tolerating spicy foods (both hidden talents).

I will say, my biggest complaint for the expansion so far has been how easy it is to fall into the habit of routine, and how easy it can become to ignore what’s going on in the streets below when your Sims are in their apartments. After a bit of doing all of the new things I could, I fell back into a habit of trying to build up their careers and relationships like I always do. It’s still nice, though, to see how seamlessly the expansion has added on to the stories you can create with your Sims. Overall, I’d say 8.5/10 for this expansion.

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Sims 4: Get Together, First Impressions

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.┬áNormally 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.

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Windenburg, the new town.

The Meh:

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.

Overall:

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.

Sims 4: Get to Work Review

I’ve held off on writing a review of the Sims 4 expansion Get to Work for a few reasons. I needed to give myself some time to really try out all of the features, and also time to decide whether I hated it, loved it, or was really “meh” with it.

I’ve talked about it before, but one of the main reasons I like The Sims is for use as brainstorming for writing. So when I saw that I could actually simulate being a detective in Get to Work, I got excited since I’ve been working on a mystery.

As far as added features go, besides adding additional character creator pieces-parts and household items, the expansion adds extra jobs and the ability to own a business. The three professions are Detective, Doctor, and Scientist, and the businesses you can run are retail-oriented, so that you can sell goods that your Sim creates.

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