There's a blithe naivety to the way that life is presented in The Sims that is either comforting or a little disturbing depending on your mood. The series is softly apolitical in the way that a Barbie house is apolitical, and by that I mean that it isn't apolitical at all. The Sims is loaded with assumptions about the way that people function and about the way that success in life is gauged, but it feels churlish to point them out because it's all just a bit of fun, isn't it. The Sims is set in a world where buying things is always awesome and everybody is twenty-five until they're sixty. Regardless of environmental aesthetic, the series has always been functionally and fundamentally Californian.
Good games get sequels and bad games get dropped. It's a fairly simple sort of math, although not necessarily the most consistent, as demonstrated by my ongoing wait for Arx Fatalis 2. Even so, it's rare that a developer is as blunt as Sims 4 Producer Grant "SimGuruGrant" Rodiek was when he said that if you ever want a new Sims game, you better buy the one that just came out.
The Sims 4 and Seinfeld share one thing in common: they’re not really about anything. So it’s no surprise that one Sims player has recreated the cast and set of the ‘90s TV series in Maxis’ new simulator. The images below come courtesy of Imgur user IanRoach, and will surely please anyone with a love for things about nothing.
Tom Marks has been having fun with a weird bug/cheat/oversight in The Sims 4 that allows players to scale objects to ridiculous sizes, but what other cheats are hiding in Maxis' game? The folks at SimsGlobe have collected a few of the known codes so far, and if you've ever wanted to make your Sims immortal, give them a free rung on the property ladder, load their bank accounts with Simoleons or give them the power of teleportation, then you've come to the right place.
I might have had more fun making gigantic gnomes in The Sims 4 than actually playing the game, at least so far, and right now you can do the same. In what acts like a cheat but seems like a bug (a forgotten debug command?), you can press Shift and ] to grow almost any item you are holding in build mode to a seemingly limitless size. So we decided to push it as far as it could go and capture the results in a video—gnomes, toilets, computers, we made it all huge.
Previously, Maxis confirmed that they've no plan to extend SimCity's maximum city size. And so it falls to modders to help those feeling hemmed in by the game's virtual borders. Can it be done? Yes, sort of. Project Orion is such a boundary extending mod, and will let the game's mayors build free of the vanilla base limit. Don't plan a ribbon cutting ceremony for your city's east wing just yet, though, as its use will mean dealing with some pretty significant performance issues and glitches.
The Sims 4 is coming, as you may have heard, and as we told you last month, you'll probably be able to run it as long as you actually own a PC. But what if you want to run it well? That's a bit of a different matter.
If you didn't see EA's Sims 4 live demo at their Gamescom press conference, you missed out on long minutes of incredibly awkward banter. Actually, no, you didn't; you can see it all via the magic of Twitch VODs. Other than a sense of deep embarrassment, the session also provided news of a general release for the Create-A-Sim demo. You can now prepare for the game's imminent release by pre-creating your subjects of vicarious virtual living.
Electronic Arts has made a lot of noise about the power of emotion in The Sims 4. In fact, Senior Producer Lyndsay Pearson said on Twitter in June that there will be "multiple types of emotion deaths" in the game. But while your Sims might die laughing, they won't be able to die of depression, because Maxis wants to keep the game lighthearted and fun.
I've been eager to get my hands on the Sims 4 since seeing the trailer revealed at E3 this year. Last week, I got a chance to play for a little more than five hours. I didn't find the new emotion system to be as exciting as Maxis is selling it to be, but there are a number of smaller, meaningful improvements to playability that I was really happy with. Watch the video for my full thoughts on the latest Sims installment.
As we know, The Sims 4's Big Thing is the emotions of its virtual people. Emotions such as 'happiness', 'disappointment', 'regret', 'the nagging feeling that some godlike figure is manipulating everything I do', and who could forget 'insouciance'. This latest trailer focuses on a bunch of less exciting feelings such as boredom and confidence, and the sims' constant over-gesticulation makes me think their latest game might be set on some terrifying Planet of the Mimes. Sure, that hyperactivity has always been a thing, but it seems extra mimey now that everyone's expressing emotions all the time.
Okay, so it won't run on anything too old: you're out of luck if you're rocking, say, a C64, difference engine or anything powered by a potato. Still, the recently released minimum requirements for The Sims 4 are low—as you might expect from a series that targets such a wide audience.
Maxis has been around for the better part of 30 years, during which time it's developed an awful lot of Sim-stuff, from SimCity to The Sims. Now it's working in something new, which based on a recently-posted job listing may be a free-to-play MMO.
Damn, The Sims got dark. It's always been a playground for the sadistic, of course—for those who like to torment their digital charges with inescapable rooms of terror. But now, it seems, the game takes place in a Twilight Zone episode where excess emotions are punishable by death. In this 20 minute walkthrough of The Sims 4's E3 build, characters once again chuckle themselves to an early expiration. And to think, they say laughter is the best medicine.
The Sims 2 has lived a long and productive life. It was born, it made lots of friends, it worked at H&M for a period, and now it's ready to retire. In an email sent out to Sims 2 owners, EA claim that the game will "lose technical support" next week, on 22 July. As a concession to the game's owners, all copies registered digitally through Origin will be upgraded to the Ultimate Collection—a complete edition containing every expansion pack and "stuff pack" released for almost 10-year-old game.
Sims fans are a bit miffed that The Sims 4 won't feature pools or toddlers, two seemingly small details that have nonetheless caused a fair bit of outrage over the last couple of weeks. I imagine much of the anger is less about which features are missing in 4, and more about why features present in previous entries haven't been included in this latest version—the worry being that EA might be holding them back for one of The Sims' many, many, many expansion packs. That worry probably won't be mollified by EA's latest blog post addressing the matter, but it does explain the reasons behind the decision not to include those two features. Essentially, it was a trade-off with the game's new AI, animation system, build mode, Create a Sim etc.
Despite including a revolutionary feature EA and Maxis are calling an 'offline mode', The Sims 4 won't manage to include all the stuff you might have liked about the previous games - namely Create a Style, pool-building, and spawnable toddlers, features that have been left on the cutting room floor and oh god that didn't sound right at all. The bad news was rather skillfully buried in a super-upbeat blog post outlining the game's included features, but if you peer closely (or scroll down to the comments thread beneath it) it soon becomes clear that something's amiss.
How do you beat a game about life, romance and ambition in three-and-a-half minutes? If you're thinking "well just create a charming character, pick the gold digger lifetime wish, marry a rich sim, then lock her in a tiny box and burn it down to secure her inheritance" then firstly, what is wrong with you, and secondly, yes, absolutely that.
After many months of hinting, promises, and—apparently—a substantial amount of work, the offline version of SimCity arrives today. In an update posted to the EA forums, a Maxis developer writes that the latest patch is almost entirely focused on bringing the world of SimCity offline.
The impossible will soon come to pass: SimCity's offline mode is "almost there Mayors" and will arrive as part of Update 10, which is now in "final testing", according to the offical SimCity twitter account. The long, arduous journey of SimCity's offline mode (it's like The Hobbit but with DRM) will soon be over. With Blizzard finally ditching Diablo 3's stupid real-world auction house on March 18th, this is shaping up to be a particularly good week.