The Sims is twenty years old. You can celebrate in The Sims 4 with a free hot tub in-game item in the birthday update. There have been ups and downs. Parties and tragedies. That’s twenty years of simlish, twenty years of crying over gravestones, twenty years of walling little people up in closets, twenty years of kitchen fires, twenty years of pixellated sex, twenty years of missed work rides. Throughout two decades of The Sims one universal truth has emerged. Pooping and showering takes too darned long.
The latest update to The Sims 4 has improved the game’s creation tools by adding ten darker skin tones and a new curly hairdo. The lack of options for darker sims has been a sore spot for some players since the game’s launch a bit over three years ago. Anything other than a charcoal grey or a slightly darker tan wasn’t really possible without mods. Kotaku points out that there are some annoyances like texture inconsistencies and errors, but more inclusive options for a game built around simulating social interactions is always good.
In other Sim-related news, the franchise is 18 years old! There’s a joke there somewhere, but I don’t think it’s possible to connect the dots without opening a can of sim-worms.
Ever since its launch in 2014, there’s been something missing from The Sims 4. While previous installments of The Sims featured toddlers, that precocious time between infancy and childhood, The Sims 4 didn’t. That absence has been a sore point in the community, but Maxis is finally correcting the issue. Toddlers are now in the game thanks to a free update. According to the developers, it’s been on their to-do list for a while.
I’m not exaggerating when I say we’ve been talking about this particular update for years.
Toddlers in The Sims 4 come with hundreds of new animations, objects and Sim interactions. Just like real toddlers, Sim parents can get them addicted to videogames on their tablets, deal (or not) with their tantrums, and raise them to be ungrateful monsters. The Toddler update is available now on PC.
Swimming pools will be added to The Sims 4 in November. When it was revealed before launch that The Sims 4 would not include swimming pools, a staple design element of the series, gamers were disappointed. EA Maxis explained that pools wouldn’t make it for release, but that they hoped to patch them in later along with other features that fans expected for the fourth Sims game. SimsVIP was able to capture a presentation in which developers announced the return of swimming pools as well as additional careers to The Sims 4. Despite speculation to the contrary, swimming pools will be added to the game for free.
As an added bonus, players have been immediately gifted with Star Wars costumes for their sims. Darth Vader makes everything better!
The image above is what you’ll see after a little while in The Sims 4 if you pirate the game. The pixelated mess is courtesy of hidden code in the game that turns the normal modesty censor into a full-blown storm of digital blur. As reported by Reddit user “nihwtf” once a sim uses the shower in a cracked copy of the game, the blur stays and grows until it blots out the screen. Electronic Arts says they have “no plans” to aid players with pirated copies of The Sims 4.
The announcement that The Sims 4 would be missing established series features like toddlers and swimming pools caused an uproar in the Sims community. Fans were disappointed. No longer would they be able to kill sims by removing the pool ladder when their virtual people were trying to impress the neighbors with a midnight skinny dip. EA Maxis has responded to the outcry by clarifying why some features won’t make the cut. Rachel Franklin, executive producer of The Sims 4 explains that implementation of new systems has required “trade-offs” that necessitated the removal of some elements. New systems like more walking animations made it in instead. Why new walks made it impossible to create pools is beyond me, but it sounds like the developers really put a lot of effort into them.
In The Sims 4, there are seven unique walk styles that you can choose from to help your Sims express themselves. To make those walk styles come to life, we had to create around 75 distinct animations. And it doesn’t stop there. Every emotion in The Sims 4 comes with a visible reaction or even another special walk style. No more looking at the UI to figure out how your Sims are feeling – just look at their faces, posture, movements. That’s where you’ll see about 320 new emotion-based animations, as well as over 600 reactions to objects.
Pimp-strut, hobble, shuffle, or skip? It’s good to know that The Sims 4 will have terrific candidates for The Ministry of Silly Walks when it launches on September 2nd.
The Sims 4 will launch without toddlers or swimming pools. EA Maxis confirmed the bad news in a post-E3 announcement. While the developers were keen to let everyone know that the new building mode is the most dynamic and intuitive that it’s ever been, the lack of two features that have been staples of the series (pools were in the base The Sims game, while toddlers were part of The Sims 2 and 3) has longtime Sims fans questioning the publisher’s motives. Will either feature return? Would it be paid DLC or a free update? In addition to the lack of toddlers and pools, the much-vaunted Create-a-Style feature from The Sims 3, which allowed players to replace object textures, will not be present.
The Sims 4 will launch on September 2nd for PCs. A Mac version has been confirmed, but no release date has been announced.