I have been a fan of The Sims since it was just the one and the most fun you could have was to kill off Mortimer Goth and shack up with Bella and the ghosts. The Sims 2 was pretty revolutionary and I feel the best in the franchise. The Sims 3 brought some interesting new features, and though there were some things we’d gotten used to in TS2 that were missing, for the most part they had been replaced with better systems and/or brought back in later expansions. Going from TS2 to TS3 didn’t feel like a huge step forward as it was from the original to TS2, but it wasn’t necessarily a huge step back.
And therein lies the main reason I am not playing The Sims 4.
It is a ridiculous step back. From toddlers to pools to an open world, Electronic Arts, destroyer-of-franchises, has gutted so many features, some of which have been available since the original game. Why can’t I have dishwashers, garage doors, gardeners, basements, or cars, EA?
On top of the lackluster game play we’re presented with a PC game that refuses to utilize PC features. There isn’t even a 64-bit version available and it can’t access more than 4GB of RAM. Three-quarters of my RAM would go to waste playing this game because gracious forbid EA actually designs a computer game for a computer that isn’t a console. And hey, did you like that color wheel that allowed you to really customize things in Create-A-Sim and Create-A-Style (which is gone as well)? Too bad, here’s ~20 colors, knock yourself out.
I understand that some things will be brought back or introduced in upcoming expansions packs. We’re starting anew, just like we did with TS2 and TS3, waiting for dates and seasons and diving boards, but the sheer amount of features that have been axed makes it pretty obvious that EA is moving The Sims in a direction I simply don’t find enjoyable to play.
Game play aside, I also have issues with EA’s requirements for playing TS4. When SimCity launched it had an “always on” DRM requirement that required you to be connected to the internet to even play. Apparently EA doesn’t employ anyone capable of correctly estimating server load because things crashed pretty quickly. There was a huge fiasco about people spending a good chunk of change for what was essentially a nonplayable game. In light of this backlash EA said they moved away from TS4 being an “internet based game” and stated as loudly and often as they could that “The Sims 4 would be built as a single-player, offline experience.” Everyone from the EA/Maxis camp insisted the DRM would totally not suck hardcore but pardon me if I don’t believe anything EA says, ever.
Origin, their distribution client for digital versions of their game, is a requirement now. With TS3 you could still just buy the discs and install the games (if you bought the base game after late 2012 you were required to install Origin), and that’s how I prefer it. But with TS4, whether you buy the discs or the digital copies, you’re going to be required to download and install Origin to play. Um, no thanks. Origin has some shady as hell clauses in its EULA.
So no, I am not playing The Sims 4, though I will continue to enjoy The Sims 3. Yes I feel the hispter-ness radiating off that statement and I am weeping.