Are any of you Sims 3 players going to buy Sims 4 when it's released? Or maybe wait a while for the price to drop some?
I will not be moving onto Sims 4 in any real way. Makes me a bit sad too, as I have been playing since the release of the original Sims game. But they have changed it too much.
The first problem was they had been developing Sims 4 for a few years to be an online social games (think facebook and such). This has been admitted by EA. When the SimCity fiasco happened, they decided to turn it into an offline single-player game instead (with online options).
There are a number of issues with this decision. (Though to be clear, I would never
had bought their original vision of the game.) One is that they made the decision too late to start over, so they have had to somehow make the square-pegged social online sims game fit into the triangle-shaped peg hole of the offline single-player sims game.
Online social games do not have compelling gameplay, so they have to somehow try to create gameplay that will actually keep people playing an offline game with framework set up for more shallow online social play.
Because graphics have to be more simple and with limited colors for a social game, so that everyone can see the same thing and run it even on computers that are 10-years old, the graphics for Sims 4 is completely different. Some love it, some hate it, some think it looks like a Pixar or Barbie/Lego movie, some could get used to it after awhile (except for the plastic hair). and that is to be expected, but it does look like a social/facebook/smartphone game still instead of the next evolution in the series.
They changed the direction of the game so late into the development that they have had to start re-doing the entire game (minus some animations) at a point where they should have been finishing up loose ends and thinking about starting to beta test it. There really has not been enough time to make a really good Sims offline game.
With the new style of the graphics, they were able to make Create a Sim (CAS) more responsive and tactile, and it actually looks like a lot of fun to play around with it. But ugh, Lego hair and overly-expressive facial expressions just add to the cartoony, free-to-play look of the game!
Build mode has been simplified to make it much easier for anyone to make good-looking houses. From what they have shown, they have not taken away a whole lot of the strong features of build mode, and they have added some neat new features (like adding a foundation after you've built the house), that makes it also look like it could be a lot of fun to play and build with!
But because of the simplified graphics required for an online social game, they had to take away Create a Style (CASt) which allowed you to personalize almost everything your sim could own. One of the few things I disliked about Sims 2 was being stuck using the game's pre-sets (and having everything look the same) or having to download massive amounts of CC to get my game looking more varied. So much of the CC in Sims 2 would wreak havoc on your games, too!
So with Sims 4, they are returning to using only presets again. I will remind people that EA does not make the most attractive patterns and presets.... If they allow CC, people can still download lots of CC of course. Like that sofa but want it in brown instead? Download a different color of it from a CC-maker. Of course you would need to download more for any other colors you wanted, not adding any chairs or loveseats (etc) that you also wanted to go with them. Of course, there will be the Sims 4 store and I am positive they will at some point start selling
recolors for all the folks who don't want to risk their games with CC!
They won't even add a simple color wheel to the game so people can change colors (CASt, with patterns and textures would be nice, but morphing issues and such) on the items. This kind of leads back into EA's constant grab to get more money out of people. Why give people a color tool when they can charge us for recolors and many people will buy them? 0f course, knowing EA, they will not just throw-away years of money and work on the game so I am confidant that all the 'social' features that they took out to make it offline (with optional online play) will eventually make it back into the game. Seriously, I can not see EA doing anything else. So a color wheel may not have been feasible since everyone online would need to be seeing the same colors and such.
Either way, taking out one of the most creative tools of the series (even though it didn't appear until TS3) is really just a huge blow to any builders/designers!
Then there are many other things like:
There will be no Toddlers in the base game! Babies will age straight into children. Baby and toddler life stages will not be combined. They may potentially add in the toddler life stage later on, no doubt for a price.
Teens are the same height (and basically look the same) as adults and elders in the game. The assumption about the teens and why toddlers were removed, is that they have simply run out of time to fit in the unique animations for them. Teens will now wear the same clothing and hair as adults so no need to give them separate animations and meshes.
There will be no pools or basements in the base game.
No more open worlds, we are back to loading screens everywhere. Limited to 5 lots in a neighborhood and 25 lots in a world. There will be public lots though, but we will not be able to edit them. You can freely travel between worlds though, just with loading screens (kind of how NRAAS's Traveler mod lets us travel in Sims 3 now).
Some forms of transportation that have been shown, like streetcars and steamboats have been confirmed to be decoration only and their continued silence about whether cars will be just decorative, as well, does not suggest good things for having cars Sims can actually use.
No longer will Sims have to go into rabbitholes to go to work! Instead, they will be travelling to a different neighborhood where you won't be able to follow them. There are more, but this is all I can remember off the top of my head.
But the game will have Sims that have emotions (like they did in Sims 2)! And there will be better pathing for the sims (like there was in Sims 2). And there will be a way to share our creations with other players (like the Sims 3 Exchange). We will need to be in our game and online to access it though. And....
Well, that is really all they have shown us of the game so far. CAS, build/buy mode, better pathing, an online exchange, and emotions for our sims. The game ships in two months and that is all they have shown anyone yet.
Most of their focus has been on the new CAS and the sim's Emotions. While the new CAS system looks great, I can't help but remember it is the same team making Sims 4 who worked on Sims 3. So the same people who tend to go over-the-top constantly.
Let's remember the way the paparazzi will hound sims constantly, the way every sim will freak out when they see a Simbot or Ghost, or how so many sims also freak out when they see Bonehilda or a werewolf howls. Then there is the attraction system
, where your sims will be harassed with constant phone calls for dates even if they are married, where strangers will come up and constantly try to flirt with them (and how flirting is considered cheating by the game), how father-in-laws will hit on their son's wives, one brother's girlfriend will hit on the other brothers, how teens want to skinny dip with their parents, and how going to the prom with your cousin put you in a romantic relationship with them, or how even the ghost ancestors of your sims will try to flirt with them.
Each expansion has examples of where the the devs either went overboard, or were so rushed they could not properly implement features (horrible lag from bad pathing in IP, anyone?). After so many years playing Sims I can not imagine that these supposedly new emotions (that are a lot like emotions from Sims 2) will act in any reasonable way. I fully expect them to be over the top, nonsensical, immersion-breaking, and something people will want/need to mod out of, just like the attraction system.
For me, personally, no CASt was my breaking point. There are no other games that let me have so much creative freedom as Sims 3 has, without it, I am not interested in paying full price for it at all. Maybe I would reconsider if they at least added a color wheel. *shrugs*
I do want to one day play around with build mode and CAS but I will wait until I can get the base game very cheaply on sale. I also play families a lot when I do actually play Sims (as opposed to building/designing), so no toddlers is another huge blow. They have taken so much out of the game, and added so little, that I can not see how the game can possibly be worth $60-$70 USD!