A Retrograde Look At The Sims: The Sims 4

Our look at The Sims concludes with The Sim 4; an instalment that is both fun and disappointing.

Our brief stroll through the history of The Sims comes to an end with a look at The Sims 4. After realising that the open-world idea was a good idea but too much for the game to handle, the series returned to a setting similar to The Sims 2. Neighbourhoods once again used the lot system separated by loading screens. I suppose it’s either have an open game that is buggy or have a game broken up by loading screens but at least runs smoothly.

The Sims 4 also went back to that cartoony style we know and love from The Sims 2 and the game feels goofier. However, it isn’t perfect and it has taken a while to get into the good books of players worldwide. The game is more or less the same as the others. There’s not much that can be changed about its core gameplay loop. But it is they way it is implemented that matters.


The Sims 4 Content

When the Sims 4 initially launched, the ‘toddler’ life state was missing. This caused a lot of anger among players, so it was later added in a free update. It was a strange decision to not include it. But luckily games can be changed with updates.

However, my biggest gripe with The Sims 4 is something that I doubt would ever change. Sometime ago, I was talking to a friend about how Expansion and Stuff Packs are handled and we came to the conclusion that the expansion packs are lacking in content.

For example, look at The Sims 2 Nightlife Expansion. It included clubs, DJ booths and Bowling Alleys. There was a lot to do and see. The Sims 4’s equivalent to the Nightlife Expansion pack came in the form of the Get Together expansion and it had about half the content that Nightlife had.

There were no bowling alleys anymore…but sometime later a bowling-themed stuff pack was released, which players had to buy if they wanted it. My question is: if the bowling stuff was included in previous expansions for the older games, then why did it get broken up here?

It feels like the items in these ‘Stuff Packs’ feature content from expansion packs that was pulled to be put in its own little corner to squeeze more money out of players. But then again, that’s just the conclusion my friend and I came to after looking at how older games were handled.

Sure, The Sims 2 had Stuff Packs as well. But the stuff packs felt like additional items, not items we would have normally got in the standard expansion pack. Though one could argue breaking up the items like this gives them more to do with each theme. But it doesn’t change the fact that all of this adds to how much players have to cough up to enjoy things that they had gotten previously for less.

It’s a tricky situation and I suppose thoughts on this varies from player to player. This is all without mentioning ‘Game Packs’.

All together there are…

  1. Expansion Packs: “Large packs that expand your game and take your Sims on new adventures”.
  2. Game Packs: “Medium-Sized packs that add new experiences to play in new thematic ways”
  3. Stuff Packs: “Smaller packs that add more to your Sims’ lives with fun objects and fashion”

That’s a lot of packs to spend money on. My friend and I couldn’t help but think a lot of these things could have easily gone into an Expansion Pack without the need to break them up so much. But it is what it is.

sims 4 bowling

The Console Release

The console release for The Sims 4 was actually a welcome surprise. After the abyssal The Sims 3 console version (the less we talk about this the better), it was surprising that we even got a sequel on the platform. Thankfully, it worked well. I quite enjoy the game on Xbox though the controller does take some getting used to when managing my Sims.


The Sims 4 is not slowing down anytime soon. It is the longest-running edition in the franchise’s history and judging from how Expansion packs and stuff packs are being paced out, it’ll be here for a while. The Sims has been a big part of my life and I’m glad I’ve had so much fun with the series. I’m really looking forward to seeing what the future holds in the world of The Sims!