The Sims has been a staple in the gaming industry for almost seventeen years now. Every year, a new expansion, item pack, or mainline game is released, and for fans of the franchise such as myself, we just can’t seem to get enough. So when The Sims 4 released in 2014, a lot of people were upset about things that were completely removed that just felt so natural for the series. With each new release, Maxis and The Sims Studio continue to add more and more of those things back that we loved so much. So how does this one rank for an expansion? Read on for our full The Sims 4: City Living review.
Title: The Sims 4: City Living
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Maxis/The Sims Studio
Available On: PC
Reviewed On: PC
Release Date: November 1, 2016
Copy purchased for the sake of this review
I remember the first time I ever played The Sims. I was around 9 or 10 when it was first introduced to me. My dad’s friend’s daughter is actually the one who brought it over and wanted me to see this game that she had been freaking out about. We installed it and the first thing I see is “The Sims” with classical music in the background. I clicked play and from that point on my life was forever changed and my love for this franchise only grew as time passed. Every birthday, holiday, special occasion… the only thing I asked for was the next expansion that came out, eventually growing my pile and feeling so proud for my collection.
With the industry fully behind The Sims, it was then announced that there was going to be a sequel, The Sims 2, as if there wouldn’t be. My dad came into my room (disrupting my game) and pulled up the original trailer that they announced it with. I can’t fully remember but I am pretty sure I cried tears of excitement. I also couldn’t believe how great the graphics were and even talking about it now makes me want to play the game like there is no tomorrow. Anyway, once The Sims 2 finally released it was not what I was expecting. When you turn on the game you’re introduced to 3 different towns: Pleasantview, Strangetown, & Veronaville. I took my time and read all the mini-stories that each town had to offer and first decided to play Pleasantview.
Of course like the original it felt like new expansions were coming out and it kept me deep into The Sims world to explore and play even more. Out of my personal favorites for the expansions I loved Seasons, Open for Business, Pets, and the H&M Clothing pack. I loved all the different choices you were given when interacting with a sim and how simple it was to do cheats to let you experience the game in different ways. In all honesty The Sims 2 is, to this day, my go to Sims and will always be my favorite in the series.
Soon approaching the five year anniversary of The Sims 2, we were greeted with The Sims 3 on June 2, 2009. I was actually really excited due to the fact that it was an open world and you could travel anywhere without the pesky loading screen to stare at as you travel. The CAS (Create a Sim) was also the most advanced we had seen at the time, including how customizable it was to change your furniture, wallpaper, car, and more to whatever color or design you wanted with many different options. I think that was by far my favorite part of the game. Sense it was an open world, it also offered better interactions with the environment around you.
With every expansion that came out with The Sims 3, it only made the game that much more enjoyable. And say you didn’t like the full moon on the Supernatural expansion, you were able to change that so you wouldn’t have to play with the weird glow on a full moon and worry that Werewolves would come out. With many expansions coming out for The Sims 3, this became another favorite of mine and I still play it more than any other game in the series. That is until Maxis and The Sims Studio may have finally just released an expansion for The Sims 4 that I can fully get behind.
When The Sims 4 was first announced, I was excited and expecting a fantastic game due to the fact that the every other Sims game was great and had something special about them. When the game originally came out I was planning on spending a few days just sitting there playing. I had my snacks, drinks, and comfortable chair ready. Sadly after about a day, I lost interest due to the fact that pretty much EVERYTHING was taken away. I mean where are the toddlers? Being able to customize everything? They didn’t even give you pools! I mean what the heck is my sim supposed to do? Everything I liked was gone. Even the teenagers looked like adults. I was so disappointed. Yes the CAS was nice because it was so customizable but after that what else did the game have to offer? Of course they came out with a few free updates to make the game a little more enjoyable but I felt like Electronic Arts just wasn’t listening to the fans and giving us what we wanted. They came out with expansions that were “okay” but nothing to draw my attention personally.
And of course I am still upset that the fans have to PAY for things we should’ve already had in the game in the first place. We, as fans, are screaming for three simple things: toddlers, seasons, and pets. Why is this not happening yet? Why is it taking so long to get an actual expansion based around these things? I love that during Halloween they did the Day of the Dead theme but then it still felt flat. Finally when they released the City Living expansion last week for The Sims 4, it actually got me excited. One of my favorite expansions done in the past in the series were the ones that offered apartments. I loved having the neighbors and interacting with them. It was a challenge within itself and I liked that.
The Sims 4: City Living, to me personally, is the best one that they have done so far since releasing back in 2014. I love that you are able to customize rooms in your apartment. Changing the sizes, adding a room, even erasing rooms you don’t need to make that dream kitchen you have always wanted. I love that before you pick your apartment it shows you a layout along with who your roommates will be and their personalities. You also see what kind of apartment you are getting yourself into. It could be an earthquake zone, haunted, a party house, a house that needs some tender loving care, and so much more. I LOVE THAT! I love that each neighborhood has their own quirk that they are known for. Every few days there is a festival and each one has different themes. This expansion includes a lot of Asian food, clothing, and culture which I find really cool and different.
I haven’t fallen in love with a new Sims expansion in a while but I am so happy I finally have one that is keeping my attention. I hope The Sims 4 will eventually have a Seasons and Pets expansion to please the fans in the community. And I just really want toddlers back. This is a fantastic expansion and I would recommend having at least The Sims 4: Get Together to pair with it, because it makes life in the city that much better being able to hang out with your club and going to festivals, karaoke, or even playing ball together. Thank you EA and Maxis for continuing to make Sims games and I hope this train never stops. The Sims will always be my number one love of any game series and I eagerly await to see what the next expansion will bring!