The Sims 4: City Living Expansion Pack (REVIEW)

By most peoples definition, I'm definitely not a "gamer".  I can count the games that I like playing on one hand. The Sims has long been one of them. My sister got me into The Sims years and years ago and I've been playing ever since. The Sims 4 is easily the best game so far in terms of graphics and interactions, so when we heard about the next expansion: City Living, we were pretty excited. The city expansions before have honestly let me down. I found them to perform quite choppy and the activities were a bit "meh". The trailer for The Sims 4: City Living had me feeling hopeful for something that would cater to my interests a bit more.

City Living officially came out today, November 1st. So at midnight last night/this morning, I downloaded my preorder and got off to playing. For some reason, the sound wasn't working last night on the computer I use for playing the game (I don't use my laptop, and instead play on a PC desktop that in all honesty, is primarily used for simming) and I found it to be a bit disorienting without the music. I made a sim and built an apartment and called it a night. Upon first impression though, I can say that I was very impressed with the additions in terms of clothing, hair, and decor. There were some Indian and ethnic themed clothing/hair styles and decor which I really liked. I always go for a earthy, funky, zen-like apartment so that was really speaking to me. I feel it complements past expansions as well like the  Spa Day & Movie Hangout expansions.

Today though, I took a break from some assignments I was working on and dove in again. Luckily the sound was working again and we were good to go. I opted to start fresh with a new person and a new apartment, primarily because I learned last night, that I wasn't in the neighborhood I had wanted to be in. So today I rented an apartment in the Spice Market neighborhood. Once I got my apartment like I wanted (again, I love the new decor!) I started to explore different elements of the game itself.

I like that I could go right out my front door to interact with others easily. The basketball court is a nice touch, and my sim enjoyed a game there (although I wish she could have just played in her normal clothing - she changed into her yoga clothes and played barefoot!). The fact that there are kiosks to buy fresh fruit and veg, and food is also a really nice feature. My sim haggled and bought some fruit for 25% off (although $52 for blackberries is kind of obscene to begin with don't you think!?!). After playing around in the main park area, I tried to walk around the neighborhood. You really can't go too far, although there is plenty to see which makes it feel like you should be able to, or like you're being teased. I do like though that you can go to the water which is gorgeous (even with the giant rats - but hey, that adds to the urban vibe, right?) as most Sims 4 vistas tend to be.

This was as far as I could go: NONE SHALL PASS.

I then took my sim home. She became angry when she found out her neighbors were blaring music. She interacted with the neighbor who turned down the music, but not before getting a bit snarky which seemed to rile my sim up. I'm not complaining about this feature though - it's realistic. I like the realistic elements like the noise and the rats, or the scuffs on all the walls in my first apartment.

When she woke up, I took my sim out to get some breakfast and I was hoping for coffee, which I saw other sims with, but could not find. It turns out that you have to go to an entirely different neighborhood for coffee, which is ridiculously weird and definitely a huge flaw in my view. It might not be a flaw if it weren't for one of my biggest gripes: the neighborhoods are not fluid, but instead, disjointed and you cannot travel between them easily. There is a tram, which is featured heavily in the trailer, which is NOT USABLE in the game! I had a fear, but damn....what a tease. The fact that you have to wait for a load screen to travel between cities (your sim doesn't even hop in a taxi, or into a subway station before the loading screen appears), makes for a incredibly segregated vibe. It's absolutely a negative in my opinion, and a really, really big flaw.

Coffee Kiosk in the Art Neighborhood. The commute was a bitch.

Back to the coffee, why aren't there coffee shops or kiosks in all neighborhoods? Realistically, wouldn't this be the case? If the neighborhoods must be so disjointed, then they should be self-sufficient ecosystems of their own, and they aren't. I also thought it was weird that there weren't libraries, or more parks, or bookstores. There are karaoke bars, and an art gallery. The places to go are severely lacking. The organization is also a bit strange. My neighborhood has a more normal urban vibe, but the others are somewhat futuristic like which isn't my thing. I'm sure others probably like it though!

Overall, I am happy to play around with this new expansion, but I wouldn't call it perfect, and there are a lot of ways in which it let me down. I would LOVE to know your thoughts if you've played the new City Living (or even if you haven't), in the comments below!!

BTW, Sims people/EA/Maxis: this can call be rectified by giving me pets. Screw toddlers, I want a dog.

1 comment:

  1. I think the game has some weaknesses, but there are some features that are cool. I'm also surprised by the tram. Nice review!