If you're a fan of The Sims franchise, chances are you're as interested as I am in what The Sims 4 is bringing to the table, and it's bringing a lot. EA Maxis is taking the next step in the life simulation genre and giving your Sims emotions.
Everything in The Sims 4 is extremely customizable. Instead of sliders to change certain aspects of your Sims' faces, you simply click and mold it as you want. You can change the way they walk, choosing from (at this time) seven different styles like snooty, feminine, and tough. You can also, as with previous titles in the series, give them traits to affect who you want them to be. Your Sims can be geeks, creative, bros, anything you want; they showed over a dozen options in the preview, and that's still an alpha build, so there could be more in the final product.
The most important change is emotions. If Sims have a bad conversation, they may end up angry, and that will affect the way they interact with the world. They may have more trouble making friends, for example, but they can do some Sit Ups of Fury to burn off their angry energy and gain the Athletic skill faster than normal. The way they feel at any given time can change the way they do everything else.
I'm taking a lot of things with a grain of salt. For example, they were downloading and placing houses in their neighborhood, and they were ready to go in a matter of seconds. Anyone who's played much of The Sims 3 will remember the lengthy load times to do just about anything, and I'm not sure if I truly can take them at their word that it will really be that smooth when The Sims 4 finally comes out this fall.
The Sims 4 is scheduled for release Sept. 2, 2014, on PC and Mac, and it looks to be as big an improvement over The Sims 3 as The Sims 3 was over The Sims 2. At this rate, The Sims 5 will take the last step toward creating true artificial intelligence, and the game will start playing us.
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