The Sims community — which, yes, still exists — is up in arms about the omission of toddlers and swimming pools in its latest iteration, The Sims 4, out Sept. 2 But in the midst of lamenting the children and liquid death traps, there's a serious question to be asked: What's new and different in Sims 4, compared to the third version of the game?
Well, the game's developers have introduced some pretty interesting new elements. In particular, there's a new realm of emotional variance and complexity with the Sims characters predicted to change the way we play the game. Oh, and did we mention the complete lack of pools and miniature humans?
The control that you have over Sims' appearance has been fine-tuned since the last game. No longer are you controlling features through a slider — you can tweak any trait with the click of a mouse. This allows you to adjust individual body types down to a fine art. Designing your Sim has become much more interactive — similar to the meticulous, addictive house-building the original Sims made famous — and is adjustable down to your Sims' walk and voice.
Want your Sim to be your mirror image? No problem.
Not only can you build your Sims' dream home, you can also adjust building and decor in public spaces, too.
Don't like that bench placement? You can change it whenever. The build controls for homes are much more intuitive, too, helping you build homes faster without sacrificing the intricacies that the game has developed over time.
Yes, you've always been able to have interactions with other Sims, but now they can feed off of each other — each individual that interacts with another draws from the other characters' complex range of emotions. Based on the personality traits that you set when you designed your Sim, when you click on the character, you'll have completely different interaction options.
For example, the above game play, previewed to Kotaku, allows the character to be able to interact with his "evil" twin brother based on their shared interests and personality traits. These are both scientists, and so they can have intellectual conversations about their profession. This allows you to have way more flexibility and complexity in your interactions with other Sims, going beyond a basic social life and adding depth.
The characters are also able to multitask, so they can have group conversations or play chess while insulting people!
But There Are No More Pools Or Toddlers
Nope. None of this.
Definitely no more drowning Sims.
And no toddlers.
So, moral of the story, if you're really attached to toddlers and pools, maybe stick with Sims 3. But the sequel definitely offers a depth with characters that we have never seen in their tiny, digital world.