The Sims 4

EA are looking to breathe new life into The Sims 4 while still retaining all that which the hardcore fans have come to love!

The Sims 4 Preview at

Who among us hasn't watched their Sim perish in a swimming pool after someone carelessly removed the ladder? As the saying goes, been there, done that. In fact, as hilarious and oftentimes accidental Sim deaths can be, after the first ground-breaking instalment of the franchise in 2000, it felt like each subsequent release was just a prettier version of something gamers had already experienced. With The Sims 4, Electronic Arts hopes to change that, attempting to breathe new life into the franchise while still holding onto the core values players love.

Don't forget to accessorise

One of the series’ staples since The Sims first released almost 15 years ago is the Create-a-Sim function, which most gamers use to craft their doppelgangers. Unfortunately, due to limited customisation options in early instalments, more often than not the results are a little bland.

With the Sims 4, the Create-a-Sim feature took gigantic steps forward. While we don't currently know exactly how many character variables there are, the process of tinkering with your Sim was completely re-designed. Gone are the menus layered and filled with endless sliders. They were replaced with Direct Manipulation, a more streamlined and intuitive click-and-drag system. Do you need wider shoulders or perhaps a more robust behind? No problem, you can even make use of Detail Mode, allowing for adjustments to be made to different parts of the nose, cheeks, eyes and even lips. As user friendly as that process sounds, it promises to have players spending countless hours burning the midnight oil as they obsess over creating perfect dimples.

We've done some remodeling

Players will also cut back on some time with the revamped Build Mode. While the options promise to be as in-depth and unique as ever, just like Create-a-Sim, Build Mode was overhauled to a more user friendly click-and-drag system. Do you remember when you spent an hour creating a room, only to realise you didn't want it on the first floor, you wanted it upstairs next to the loo? That's not a problem any longer.

In The Sims 4, players will be able to move entire rooms or even their residence if the situation calls for it. With just a few clicks and some repositioning, longtime Sims Mortimer and Bella can relocate the study to another area of the house, making room for that unexpected nursery next to their master bedroom. Even if you're not in the mood to build it yourself, the Gallery allows players to browse, view and add custom houses, rooms and even entire families from the comfort of their already running games. Personally, as players whose dream houses never seem to realise their full potential in-game, we can't wait to start nicking other people's mansions and throwing parties.

Get out and experience the world

Continuing with the trend of a fresh approach to some historically successful concepts, the gameplay in The Sims 4 promises to take the features that players love and build on them in a way that will set the game apart from the previous three releases. You'll still be in full control of your relationships, skills and decisions, but how those affect you emotionally can also have an impact on the way your Sim views and interacts with the world around him or her.

For example, let's look at one of the 15 emotional states included in the base game - anger. Perhaps your Sim double is somewhat fussed that his or her roommate keeps leaving a mess in the kitchen. This negative emotion can be used in a positive way by instructing them to not only hit the floor for some exercise, but also perform some "Sit Ups of Fury", a different option than what might be available if they were in a more sociable mood.

Speaking of getting out and meeting new Sims, the developers have gone a long way to expanding The Sims 4 universe and making traveling a fluid and persistent process. Where previous versions of the title required players to create a new save file, now they can travel to different neighbourhoods and even alternate worlds without exiting their current games. Unlike what happens in Las Vegas, what happens anywhere in The Sims 4 stays with you all the way back to your home. Act accordingly.

Living happily ever after

All video games are subject to a batch of questions prior to launch. That franchise history, as well as how the developers handle those inquiries, will determine the level of anticipation before its release. In the case of The Sims 4, the series has a habit of producing fan-favourite games, and, at least this time out, they did a masterful job highlighting some of the title's new and re-imagined features. With a focus on more user friendly experiences in the Create-a-Sim and Build Modes, gamers will spend more time living out their fantasies and less time worrying about whether they placed a ladder on the side of the swimming pool.

Whether you're a returning or a first time player, nobody would blame you for slapping down a pre-order for a September 5, 2014 date with Mortimer and Bella Goth. That said The Sims 4 could be one of the year’s coolest games.

The Sims 4 Preview
SKU: Previews-300003
Release Date: 14/08/2014