Extra Punctuation

Extra Punctuation
How to Make The Sims Double As A Corporate Workplace Simulator

Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw | 23 Sep 2014 16:00
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Extra Punctuation The Sims 4

There's one thing I'll say The Sims 4 has over The Sims 3, and that's that it at least doesn't pester you to share your latest achievements on Facebook every five fucking seconds. But on the other hand, I mainly didn't like that because I'm a hunchbacked goblin who hides under a bridge from the judging eyes of society, and for the kind of people who actually like The Sims, that's just another for the list of features The Sims 4 has arbitrarily removed.

The Facebook game bubble has shrunk rather drastically of late, and it's reasonable to want to distance yourself from that, but The Sims was practically a Facebook game before Facebook games were a thing. It's a game about tacky consumerism and building the biggest and most impressive collection of stuff to make the neighbors jealous, and extending that to the real life 'neighbors' of the internet seemed like a natural fit. Not that I want to see Facebook feeds loaded down with reports that an imaginary person on an acquaintance's computer got embarrassed at an imaginary shower, I'm just saying it made sense from the Sims' perspective.

The Sims 4 is one of a growing number of examples of backtracking in current generation gaming. It seems to be an inevitable consequence of the rise of gaming technology reaching a plateau. A series manages to finally take itself to the natural zenith possible only when all technical limitations are removed, only to find that it then has to continue making games after that point, everyone having stubbornly failed to spunk themselves to death at first sight of the magnificence. So all they can do at that point, having upgraded their way into a corner, is to weakly roll back and hope nobody notices as they pretend to innovate all over again.

Mario did this. With Mario Galaxy, the core concept of a Mario platformer was elevated to its highest possible level. And then, with nowhere to go from there, the franchise has been stumbling its way along the WiiU and 3DS making what amount to 2D games. The Sims 3 represented a logical conclusion for the development of the Sims as a concept - a whole town in which to interact with the populace, not just a single plot at a time, with a myriad of activities and features new and old. But the march of time and corporate culture demands sequels, and where could it go from there?

Well. Frankly, there were still a couple of ways the formula could have been further enhanced, and The Sims 4 attempting to immediately roll back felt premature at best. I've got a couple of suggestions, actually, and do bear in mind that I've only played The Sims 3 vanilla and that one of my suggestions might already have been implemented in one of the DLCs, so if that's the case, sorry I couldn't devote more of my time to playing with your dollies.

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