I originally posted a condensed version of this on my Twitter page but a friend suggested it might work better in a blog post, where I’m not restricted by character limits. He’s right, so here I am.
Before I actually get started, I just want to point out that I’m not employed by EA. You wouldn’t believe how often I’m been accused of this because I enjoy the game. I’m not paid by EA, nor am I trying to be a Game Changer. I really wouldn’t want to be. I just like playing the game and I’m having fun with it.
With that out of the way, I’ll begin. If you haven’t seen the livestream yet, it’s right over here. It’s quite long (over 2 hours) so make sure you’ve got plenty of time to sit and watch it!
This was the first stream I’ve actually attended and I really enjoyed it. SimGuruGeorge and SimGuruJill were great fun and the stream was lively, eventful and full of information.
Firstly, I love the look of the new world. I’m always impressed with the worlds in Sims 4 because to me, they’ve got character. I enjoy seeing physical changes to the environment and from what I saw, the world will change a lot over the course of the gameplay. Each neighbourhood will be affected individually by the footprint your sims leave, so you could have a really polluted neighbourhood in San Myshuno but then a really pretty, eco-friendly neighbourhood right next door. I think that’s lovely because it will give a bit more individuality to the neighbourhoods in each world.
I like the thought that the actions of my sims, and their neighbours, will impact the choices in each neighbourhood. The fact that this can be further customised in the options (to prevent NPC voting) is wonderful. I play rotationally so this will be a lot of fun for me. I can already see Ellie getting heavily involved in all this and racking up influence points to sway her neighbours.
The extension of the Off-The-Grid trait is a lovely idea. Being able to produce your own energy and sell the surplus is a lovely touch and something I can envision a few of my families being interested in. The cross-pack compatibility with Seasons here is lovely and I look forward to seeing how that works out in the game. It’s going to provide an incentive for my sims to be aware of their actions and how they impact the world around them.
The CAS assets look lovely. Very different but very suitable for the theme. I’m particularly fond of the toddler outfits and the dresses for the children. We didn’t get to see thee CAS assets for male children but I’m sure that’ll come out in videos soon enough. There are also four new traits and two new aspirations, which is excellent and all of which I think I’ll be using a lot. Again, I can see any children that Riccardo, Andrea or Ellie might have getting involved in their parents’ passions and developing these traits as a result.
Crafting is something I really love in the game anyway. I’m very excited about the amount of crafting capabilities in this pack. I love having my sims being able to earn money outside the standard careers. This pack is adding a lovely lot of new craftables in the form of candles and furniture (which goes very nicely with the woodworking) as well as the machines needed to help clean things up. Having a dedicated Maker Space in some of the neighbourhoods will be excellent, I think.
From what I saw of Build/Buy, I love it. I love the thought of the furniture looking like it’s been ‘upcycled’ to fit the theme of the pack. Again, a lot of sims in my game I can see making really good use of this stuff, particularly when they first start out after University and are penniless, with a lot of student loans to pay off. Not only do they benefit from the Flea Market in San Myshuno but they could get markets in any other neighbourhood with the Market Space. So that’s something I know I’ll use a lot.
I’m also excited about the ability to place doors and windows off the grid with the ALT key. I’ve wanted something like this for a long time, so it’s lovely to get that feature coming out in the base game patch on June 2nd.
Now, onto some of the gameplay. I play rotationally and so I play all my households at some point. I love a community feel, something I’ve been fostering in my game for a while. This pack’s definitely going to enhance that for me, with the community voting for the Neighbourhood Action Plans. The idea of sending some of my sims round to encourage voting for particular plans is a lovely idea and something I know I’ll have some fun with. Gathering influence points and using them to vote for plans? Yes, please! I can think of a lot of sims getting involved in this and gathering as many points as possible. It’s going to bring some continual change in my neighbourhoods, which will be exciting to see, particularly when I haven’t worked in a neighbourhood for a while. To see how they’ve chosen to vote and what plans are enacted in those neighbourhoods will be interesting.
I’m also excited about the Community Action Space, as I’ve mentioned above. It’s reminiscent of the Festival Lot Markers from Sims 3 Seasons and I’ve always loved working with that. Being able to create these spaces and design all forms of the lot is music to my ears. I can already think of a few ideas for various different neighbourhoods and I’m looking forward to getting started with that and sharing some of them.
The theme of conservation, pollution and community spirit are lovely features that I will use all the time. I’ve only scratched the surface of the things I loved from the livestream but this pack’s got such a lot in it and I think it’s going to be a favourite of mine.
That’s all for now. Happy Simming!