As everyone knows, The Sims is all about creating your digital self, those you love, those you hate, and having grand adventures that may or may not involve swimming pools with disappearing ladders…..No?…Just me?….Let’s move on.
The Sims 4 is the latest installment in this life simulation franchise and it’s slowly building up its expansion packs. The latest to reach gamers? Seasons. Yes, finally Sims can experience the wonder of weather effects, soaring and plummeting temperatures, a host of new items and much, much more.
The Sims 4 Seasons aims to add another element of life to your neighborhoods. It brings with it the aforementioned weather effects, yearly seasons, and a series of holidays to help break up the daily lives of your sims.
It doesn’t stop there though. We’ll get into the details later but as a taster, there are numerous items, decorations, brand new careers and many fun quality of life improvements such as a calendar for scheduling events and weather forecasts so you know what to expect. So lets dive in and have a look at what EA are offering.
First up, the visuals. As you might expect in this new expansion, the weather effects and visuals are gorgeous. The world comes to life as Sims leave footprints in the snow, and with numerous new interactions and reactions, the seasons each feel distinct and unique. One particularly great effect, is the gradual color changing of the trees as Fall sets in, and the accumulation of snow that begins as a light frost in winter. The seasons shift gradually and this is a really nice effect.
In terms of weather effects themselves, the snow falls gently, and rain pours down in a very lifelike way. Thunderstorms and freak weather happenings also break up what used to be the endless monotony of bright sunny days. Now your sims need warm clothes, maybe an umbrella, to brave the elements outside.
Probably unsurprisingly, storms, rain, snow and the crunch of leaves under your Sims feet are all done well. Even the crackle of the winter fireplace and the splashes of sim kids playing in the pool are accurate and add another layer of immersion.
Other than this there is not a heck of a lot else added audio-wise. Thankfully, there are no game breaking bugs introduced, so the sounds fit right in alongside the existing game.
The graphics and sounds are all well and good, but where The Sims 4 Seasons really excels is introducing new aspects of gameplay.
New items including clothes, decorations and building objects can all be used to decorate and celebrate the various holidays that have been brought in with this expansion. It is immensely fun to get your house ready for a spring social, or get prepared for the harvest season. If you like getting into the holiday spirit, then Seasons definitely has you covered here.
They don’t stop there though, with the weather effects come effects on the Sims themselves. Cold weather requires warm dressing, while rain is best faced with an umbrella. When things start heating up, it’ll be time to hit the pool and dress in something lighter and more comfortable. Moodlets will also match the weather, so If your sim loves being outdoors for example, they’ll be lifted by things like seeing their first snowfall.
It does mean you have to prepare and manage more to keep your Sims happy overall, but nothing is overly taxing. There’s still plenty of room to create havoc, or simply enjoy stories of your Sims’ lives.
Two new careers have been introduced in this expansion, and they are designed for those with a green thumb. Whether you want to have your sim become a renowned botanist, or simply grow their own plants and become a florist, there are two full career trees with their own unique challenges to take on.
For those who might be worried, yes, the weather does affect plant growth but if you’re trying to make a budding botanist, then indoor planting pots have been in the game for a while and are great for raising skills even if its snowing. There are even season themed plants that can be grown at higher levels.
Keeping track of things like the weather and upcoming holidays has been made even easier with the in-game calendar. From there you can see how long till holidays, and special events such as birthdays. Even more helpfully, it details challenges and events that can be completed during those times so you can plan ahead. One feature that also makes playing that bit easier, is the ability to schedule events ahead of time. Using the calendar, you can schedule a party and even set the theme. This gives plenty of time to decorate and invite people.
If this is your first time playing The Sims and its expansions, Seasons is a solid addition. For those of us who have been here before with The Sims 3 and even 2, it can feel a little like re-visiting old content. Still, there is a good level of polish to this expansion and enough new features that it’s good even for Sims veterans.
This expansion adds some nice little features, and plenty of new additions to The Sims 4. The price is a little high, but not unexpected given who publishes it. While yes, plenty of things are features we’ve seen before, they are finished, mostly bug free and fit in well to The Sims 4 as a series. The extra careers are interesting, and give some nice new challenges and the holidays really come alive with all of the themed extras provided. Special events are more creative this time around, and there are lots of new interactions to keep people busy.
Still though, it would be great to see the game aim for new heights and options that feel truly unique to the franchise. Overall there are far worse expansions and heck, far worse games that you could spend your money on. Seasons keeps The Sims 4 fresh and interesting, adding some very nice quality of life features and offering a lot of fun new opportunities.