For over a year I have been a frequent lurker at ModTheSims.info and tried to stay up to date with the information about the fourth installment of The Sims. During that time I've met tons of great poeple. I even maintain the contact with some of them outside of MTS.
With every new rumor, the opinions were getting more and more extreme. Most of MTSers were swearing their butts off that they wouldn't get the game no matter what. I was one of them. 2 days ago, however, something changed. People, on by one, started sharing their reviews. I'm not gonna elaborate about how apparently everyone has birthday on the same date and that everyone has this friend that bought them this game as a birthday present. I soon found myself typing my credit card information in Origin. What made me do so?
Thanks to the new Origin policy, that allows you to return the game within 24 hours after getting it (more about it >>here<<) I was able to give this game a try and not give EA the satisfaction of receiving my money. Should you be wondering whether you want to buy this game or not, I recommend doing the same thing.
I have to warn you that I've only spent 3,5 hours in the game. But only because I got so bored that I saw no point in playing. As a builder and a world creator, I will mostly concentrate on this field. So here we go.
Meet Rick Jenkins, my guinea pig in this experiment :-)
Rick is not the first Sim that I played in TS4. I had used some families from the Gallery, but the game crashed before I saved. Anyway, Rick is a young adult whose biggest dream is to get the crap out from Oasis Springs. It took me about 10 minutes to make him, as I'd been playing with the CAS Demo in August. The creation process is quite good, although it gets boring after a while due to the lack of CAST and the small selection of traits available. I think that EA has added a few more clothes since the release of the demo and they definitely fixed the problem with glasses not being on the nose but rather a few inches in front of it, so that a good sign.
During the whole advertising campaign EA kept reassuring us how great and tactile the build mode in this iteration is. That everything is much easier now, all you need to do is push and pull, like playing with Play-Doh. This didn't appeal to me at all, as I've never had any problem with the tools The Sims series offered me previously. But I understand that there are people that get bored with the building process and get impatient when it's taking too long, so I tried to remain open-minded. My first attempt in creating a house has, however, not been saved from the game crashing, so while the second run, I was taking pictures during the building process. As much as the tools are user-friendly, there are some bugs. I was trying in vain to figure out a way to make a rounded fence next to the stairs on the 2nd floor of this house.
I have found no way to delete that small piece of flooring without making the whole roofing borked, so I gave up.
What I DID like, however, is what you can do with windows, making them go higher or lower. The creation of this house took me 15 minutes. The lack of ConstrainFloorElevation cheat left me with some bland design, which discouraged me from further building, so I started furnishing. The selection of furniture is satisfactory. Some of the nicer things are for some reason locked behind accomplishments such as getting to level 10 of painting career path to get a bed, which is stupid, in my opinion. The most fun part of decorating the house was furnishing the kitchen. There are many variants of every counter, which previously was specific only to some pieces of CC.
And the finished house
YES, THE BACKYARD WAS ASKING FOR A POOL SO I PUT SOME FOUNTAIN THERE, lol.
This missing feature was affecting my mood with +2 SAD boosting my TENSEness greatly beyond what I had anticipated. With this in mind, I say that Build Mode is NOT revolutionary in ANY way. it's all the same stuff we were able to do ever since TS2. No step forward, many steps back, as the lack of CFE and CAST was restricting the building and furnishing process even further. Thank God EA at least made some matching colours on most of the stuff, so the interiors don't look like a furniture shop.
LIVE (rhyming with give) MODE
Even before I launched the game I knew what to expect. Borked emotions, clipping, no toddlers, MOAR BORKED EMOTIONS. It's all true. My Sim experienced heavy mood swings everytime he walked next to the coffee machine he got for getting a promotion in the Tech Guru career giving him +1 FOCUSED, then passing a postcard from Sunset Valley which affected him with +1 INSPIRED, then his trait randomly making a move and giving him +1 ENERGIZED. Yes, the babies are no fun, nothing more than an object which turns on every now and then. Yes, the clipping is severe. Walking through a piece of furniture is not a rare sight. Many of these issues may be addressed by Maxis some day, but it still leaves a bad aftertaste that such a broken product was released and costs as much as $60. So please, restrain yourself from making a hasty decision and wait for price reductions or at least for the bugs to be addressed, as as of now, the game is bare bones.
To sum this little review of mine up, I will include some more pictures that I found interesting enough to take them.
Thank you for reading.