I’ve just about survived this first week of school, but it’s been remarkably rough. Change is hard, and going from a super-busy summer to a last-hurrah holiday with Mom up to a dude ranch in Montana and then bam! right into school? Crazy stuff. My real kids = hard. Which is why it’s no wonder I’m eager to get my hands on The Sims 4, poised to be released in just a few days: In The Sims 4 I have control over the behavior of the little human avatars and if they act up? There’s a delete button and no legal or moral consequences. Bwahahaha!
I can remember all the way back to what I’m pretty sure is the first game in the entire universe, SimCity. In that game, however, it was about buildings and the “sims” were just like faceless ants zipping from place to place. My biggest memory related to that was city planning was a bit tedious and that the best part of the game was having Godzilla plow through and wreak destruction. Zoom forward a few decades and the buildings aren’t anywhere near as important as the people who live in ’em.
And so enter The Sims 4, a really remarkable achievement that’ll have you convinced you’re in training to be the next Architect in The Matrix. Complete with the woman in the red dress!
Of course, just like so-called reality shows, Sims are actually more interesting than real people because everything about them is exaggerated. Fact: real life is not full of drama and adventure. But our avatars and alter egos can be wild, crazy, sexy, buff, half-undressed and the life of parties.
While you’re waiting for the actually game to be launched — on Sept 2, 2014 — you can warm up with the fun and free Create Your Own Sim game in Electronic Art’s Origin environment. (Tip: install Origin and you can get other free games from EA through occasional promo deals. Sweet! But they probably don’t have little tiny humans you can boss around).
I jumped into the Create Your Own Sim program and kept laughing at the various physical and behavioral traits modeled, and how darn easy it was to make ’em outgoing, life of the party, shy, nerdy, skinny, fat, tall, scantily clad, or overdressed. New hair style? A click away. Fun. If only losing weight were so darn easy in real life (or this version of The Matrix, whatever it is)!
My inner adolescent definitely comes out with these sort of games too, where everyone has, um, exaggerated physical characteristics. Electronic Arts knows what they’re doing in this regard, though: the game not only supports you going down that road, it’s also rated “T” for Teen because of “content inappropriate for children”. But hey, that’s what makes it fun, right? Twisted, yeah, but maybe that’s just me. (though I suspect it isn’t!)
Oh, and my favorite feature of Create Your Own Sim? Playing with genetics:
I’m sure there have been many times my sister wish she could have pushed the “randomize brother” button too, but life ain’t quite as easy to manage as The Sims 4, sis! 🙂
Fiddling with someone’s personality, traits and interests is straightforward too, as shown:
I really love the iconography of these screens too, and can’t resist having my Sim be a bro. Dude. Y’know? Yeah, for sure.
Creating different Sims — that you can import into the game when it’s released and even share them with friends! — is fun, and the new game features Sims with Big Personalities, but the real fun of The Sims 4 comes from creating a world and dropping your little monsters into the Petri dish to see what happens. What will a loner do in the middle of a rave when they’re the only representative of their gender? Will a guy who is highly feminized in appearance and behavior do better in the workplace or a college campus?
Don’t wait, pre-order The Sims 4 Limited Edition for PC through Walmart.com! Then, while you’re waiting, grab the Build Your Sim demo and give it a whirl. Sure to eat up at least 30min before you realize it!