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The Sims 4 Get to Work Review

Pandora’s box has been open: The Sims 4’s first expansion pack is out now in both digital and retail stores! Just as The Sims 3’s EPs, Get to Work costs $40. Is the pack worth the price tag? Read our review below to find out!

reviewnote

This review is based on 12 days of gameplay (approx. 3-4 hours each day). I didn’t want to jump to conclusions right after the game’s release, as I wanted to see if the game was still fun after sufficient time. With this review I want to give a valid recommendation to Simmers who would like to use the features of this pack as much as they can.

Create A Sim

Each sim’s story begins in CAS. This pack is… well… packed with new hairstyles, clothing, accessories and makeup. All the new styled looks and clothing pieces have a variety of urban, retro and modern styles that mesh perfectly with the base game clothing. Sadly, the lack of new traits and aspirations won’t allow you to make your sim’s personality more colorful.

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Instead, you can actually create colorful alien sims straight from CAS! Just click the + button and select ‘Create An Alien’ to add your very own extra-terrestrial into your household. Aliens have plenty of customization options with new makeup, but unfortunately they only have 2 similar types of glowing clothes to wear. Fret not, you’ll be able to dress them in human clothing by going to live mode and purchasing clothes from the dressed mannequins.

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Only 1 new (visible) neighborhood is featured with this pack, Magnolia Promenade, a retail neighborhood. It features vibrant parks, waterside views, and 3 prebuilt retail lots where you can “shop ’till you drop.”

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Willow Creek and Oasis Springs are unchanged, so you won’t notice anything new when wandering around there. But hey, the name of this pack is Get to Work, not Get to Home, so I’m not too disappointed that my sim’s living area isn’t fresh.

There are 3 new active careers: detective, doctor and scientist. You can pick one by finding a job using your sim’s phone or computer.

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Detective Career

Relive the thrilling, classical noir movie magic by joining the detective career!

The first 3 days as a detective are introductory and give you instructions and tips on where you can find mandatory objects, how to introduce yourself to co-workers and how to treat felons. After that, you’re on your own to either sit all day, drink coffee and play video games or to protect and serve! If you picked the second option, congratulations, you’re worthy enough to lead your Sims to the top of their career!

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The first levels of the detective career are somewhat easy – you file paperwork, patrol neighborhoods and distribute citations for crimes such as littering and fighting. The more you level up, the more serious tasks your sim will receive. Depending on the day (and the randomness of the detective career tracker on top left) you’ll have to visit a crime scene. After the well known loading screen, your detective will find himself/herself on a residential lot in any of two base worlds. Like you’ve probably seen in the movies, Sims have to search for clues, collect evidence and fingerprints and get witness reports. Not all clues can be seen at once though; you have to click on the ground and select ”search for clues” which will cause new clues in the room to appear.

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I find it quite funny how most witnesses are found in beds crying after your arrival but several moments later they’re up and feeling happy while talking with your fellow detectives. There’s a chalk stroke of a potentially dead sim on the ground and witnesses are making jokes of Sunset Valley? Well, that’s The Sims 4 for ya’!

Back at the police station you’ll have to analyze DNA samples from the collected evidence. If you want to catch your criminal, starting a crime map is much needed. Connected all the clues? It’s time to catch that nasty law breaker. Yup, that also means another loading screen.

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There will be plenty of sims roaming the premises, but who’s the real criminal? Your notebook (Phone > Notebook icon on the top) has clues that can help you. For example: This sim is wearing a jacket, this sim is a teen, this sim is female.  You can ask other sims nearby if they’ve seen someone matching the description, and they’ll point in the direction of the perp. Once you’re sure you found the right suspect, you can arrest him/her. You can attempt to arrest any sim on the lot, but arresting the wrong person will result in a performance points loss. The criminal needs to be taken to the police station and yes, you’re absolutely right, the loading screen will keep you company. The career tracker interface will tell you everything you need to do with suspects: scan fingerprints, search the suspect, interrogate them, and eventually lock the suspect in a cell.

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Sims who do a good or fantastic job after the work shift will receive an average or above average paycheck, while Sims who do an awful job will receive their base pay with no bonus.

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The career possibilities I mentioned above cannot be done in one day. It’s a series of days that finally lead to catching a criminal. After that you can search for new cases, take mugshots/fingerprints of existing Sims and anything else that’s required from you in order to do a good job. My personal favorite is going on patrols and waiting for sims nearby to start a fight!

I wish the loading screens could be cut somehow because their annoyance is really doubled with this career, but thankfully the police station is always fully packed with co-workers, witnesses and suspects. Overall, great stories await you as a Detective!

More screens:

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Doctor Career

Detectives may be protecting the town from invasive criminals, but who’s guarding sims from all new types of invasive illnesses? Doctors!

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The first levels of the doctor career aren’t that hard: you take care of the hospital’s hygiene by mopping the floors and making patient’s beds, examine and treat patients and meet your coworkers. Another of your duties is updating your patient’s medical records on the computer.

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The entire treatment of a patient includes several steps. After taking a patient from the reception to an exam room you have to find a proper diagnosis by doing a series of tests such as checking ears, eyes, temperature, or even analyzing their X-Ray. Although, X-Rays and delivering babies are unlocked on higher levels of the doctor career. Not all sims have unknown diseases. Patients with blue hearts above their head need to be diagnosed and treated. Patients with red hearts above their head are diagnosed but untreated.

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As you progress, house calls will often be prompted on the career tracker. It’s really similar to taking care of patients in the hospital, only you go to them!

Giving a sim the right diagnosis isn’t always easy. Just like detectives have to find the right criminal, doctors have to find the right disease in order to treat their patient properly. As you run tests you’ll get less and less diseases prompted. My advice: if you have a weak diagnosis (which will prompt 4 diseases) don’t play with your patient’s well-being if you want to promote your sim. Keep doing tests and medical referrals until you get a compelling diagnosis which will let you diagnose one of the two prompted diseases. You’ll have to decide on the disease by observing the patient’s symptoms. For example, if the patient is feeling dizzy, has stars floating above his/her head and has whirly spots on his/her skin, that means the patient has the starry eyes disease that you can treat with meds.

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There’s something about this Career that I really like. The way sims feed other patients and pat their shoulder, how they communicate and do their best to deliver a proper diagnosis and how the hospital has it’s own unique objects for you to use and progress. My personal favorite is the medical treadmill.

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Let’s not forget the way doctors deliver babies! It’s been unknown for so long, but we finally know that when delivering a baby in a hospital, pregnant sims will have their baby pulled out of their stomach with a small crane. Sims and technology really did evolve in The Sims 4!

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Daily tasks won’t repeat in the same order every day, so your sims and you will have lots of entertaining hours to spend at the hospital.

More screens:

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Scientist Career

Euronka? That’s simlish for eureka. The word is often spouted after acknowledging scientific breakthroughs, which are crucial for the scientist career. As a scientist you’ll have work to do at both your home and the science lab!

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At home your duty is to get as many scientific breakthroughs as your scientist career level allows.

At the FutureTech Lab, you can put those breakthroughs to good use by creating inventions or concocting serums. Some inventions and serums require certain metals, crystals or herbs. Luckily the lab is built in a lush desert where collectables around every corner is not a rare sight. Some career tasks require you to ask your co-workers for metals/crystals/herbs, so if you’re not in the mood for a scavenger hunt, this will help. Some of your daily tasks include watering plant specimens, discussing inventions with coworkers, and working on a rocket. There are much more tasks and objects to discover as you level up!

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The inventions your sims creates are beneficial not only during work, but after hours as well.  The satellite dish, for example, can prevent aliens from abducting your sims. Or you control your entire neighborhood’s emotions and needs.

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The SimRay has a plethora of interactions, which can all be unlocked through continuous upgrades. It’s mind control function allows you to control sims that cannot be controlled otherwise. There are several mind control actions such as sleep, eat, clean, panic, change outfit, and sit (really not that useful but okay). Beside the mind control functions, there are 2 other upgradable features for the SimRay – transform object and transform sim. Transform object can change any object you select to an object with similar value, while transform sim will change your victim’s skin tone and hair. Some sims will like the change, some won’t.

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Another big invention that you’ll find useful is the cloning machine. It can clone any object you place on this invention which will save your household a lot money. But, the SimGurus didn’t just stop there! They’ve added an upgradable option that lets you clone any Sim that stands on the cloning machine.

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Overall, this Career will fit any simmer who likes to collect rare collectables or create new objects. I LOVE the SimRay my Sim has created. Not only because it freezes Sims, but because when upgraded, it lets you transform almost any object.

Unlike detectives and doctors, scientists can create and collect so many things that they can take home, and most inventions they create are useful for everyday use (like freezing uninvited guests – that will teach them for showing up unannounced!).

More screens:

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The Retail System

Our prayers have been answered – the Retail System is finally back with Get to Work!

There are 3 ways to begin your Business adventure:

  • By purchasing any of the existing retail lots in Magnolia Promenade
  • By downloading & purchasing a retail lot from The Gallery
  • By building your own store

First I had to transfer Simoleons from my residental lot to my blank retail lot. Then I downloaded an official retail lot from MaxisCreator_01 – the Electronics Store. I opened up the store and just 30 sim minutes later my store was packed with customers. The blue bar above a customer’s head represents their interest in an item they want to purchase. You can raise that bar by answering customer’s questions, discussing price range and other retail social interactions. If more sims are interested in purchasing, it’s easier for you to start a group discussion and take care of everyone at once.

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If you played The Sims 2 Open For Business Expansion Pack, you’ll see that the retail system generally stayed the same. Yes, tablets have replaced cash register when checking out customers. Yes, the rank system of your store like we had in TS2 is gone, but Get to Work also introduced some fresh new changes to running a business.

You can purchase advertising using the cash register to enroll some new customers into your store! Although, I find this feature very unnecessary, mostly because the more customers you have, the more sims you’ll have to ring up in a short time. If you don’t ring them up in time, they’ll reconsider their purchase decision.

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Although there is a way to hire employees to help you out, they won’t help you much. You’ll have to pay them a certain amount of simoleons per hour and they rarely do anything. You assign them work tasks that they do for 2-3 hours (such as restocking or ringing up customers) and then they either just chat with customers, play video games on the computer or go home because their shift (that you have no idea how much it lasts) is over.

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The retail system can blend in with any store idea you have. You can build bakeries, furniture stores, photography studios (yes, there’s a new photography skill with this pack), clothing stores with mannequins that you can dress and more!

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This aspect of the Get to Work Expansion Packs promises a lot of fun, but only if you have enough patience and time to keep up the pace with your customers. Personally, I find running retail stores in The Sims 4 quite stressful, especially since employees don’t want to co-operate. There are certain perk points that can make things somewhat easier, but that doesn’t make your retail experience much smoother. You may find running a retail store entertaining, but for me, this is an aspect that should’ve had more time dedicated during development of Get to Work.

More screens:

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Aliens

The all-time favorite life form in The Sims is back with Get to Work!

Aliens are now modernized with glowing clothes and urban colorful make-up.

There are 2 ways to find aliens: through abduction or by searching for them in neighborhoods.

Abductions happen ever so often at night. All you need to do is get your sim outside and play the waiting game until it finally happens. Your sim will be gone for 2 hours and when they return they’ll either be happy or angry that they got abducted.

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If your abducted sim is male, that sim will slowly grow his stomach every day, until he realizes he has to give a birth to an alien baby. If you don’t want the baby, just click on the alien crib and select ”Send to Homeworld”.

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Aliens can wear sim disguises to hide their true form from others. You can alter their disguises in Create-A-Sim to make them look however you want. Give them basic hair and clothes and make them act normal in front of other sims. If they start using their alien powers (such as empathize), sims will find out their true form and that might give them an embarassed buff.

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Scientists can build a wormhole generator which, after being upgraded, can send your Sim to a new dimension – planet Sixam!

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Alien world Sixam acts like any other hidden neighborhood. It has rare plants, rare collectables and rare decor. You might also find and befriend some aliens!

When clicking on the portal to go back home, you also have an option to go home with a certain alien you met.

All in all, aliens are a cool addition to the game. As you play and interact with them, you’ll find that, besides colorful skin, pointy ears and digitalized voices, they still have a very similar character to regular sims.

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More screens:

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Verdict

After playing this Expansion Pack for 3 weeks now, I can honestly say that I had a blast doing so!

What I like: Not all features will be shown to you in an instant. Normally if you play all the features all at once, you’ll easily get bored, but with Get to Work that’s not the case. After 3 weeks I still haven’t discovered new baking recipes, any of the photography skill, or some of the new objects. As you dig beyond the surface of this pack, you’ll see that there’s always something more for you to play and discover.

What I dislike: The lack of focus towards the retail system. The employees you hire don’t do anything and without their full attention, ringing up customers and stocking objects is a disaster.

Overall: 3 new Active Careers, Retail System, new neighborhoods, 2 new Skills, Aliens, and a plethora of new objects, clothing and interactions will certainly make the entire Sims 4 experience enjoyable for you!

Score: 9.5 / 10

The 0.5 points were taken away because of retail employee bugs, but don’t worry, The Sims Studio is working on making Employees more useful.

This game is certainly worth the $40 that I paid for.

Thanks for reading our Get to Work Review!

Make sure you check out the rest of our Sims 4 Articles HERE!

About the author

Jovan Jovic

Founder of the Sims Community website. I've been a Sims player for over 10 years and counting! My free time is usually spent in writing articles, graphic design and activism.

3 Comments

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  • Question: did you try raising the stats of the employees? Each worker has 3 skills: Maintenance (Cleaning, re-stocking, etc), Sales (selling to customers) and Work Ethnic (how lazy they are). By setting them to perform certain jobs, they’ll raise their skills, which will increase their effectiveness. Also, if the sim is slacking off, click and select the scold/berate option. This will raise the Work Ethnic which will make them slack off less.

    • The Employees I hired had average skills. What the issue was (not sure if they fixed it now) is that they won’t even begin doing their duties that my Sim ordered them to do. They either get lost up in conversation with customers (which won’t help boost the sales) or do some unrelated stuff that entertains them.
      It might be the Employees fault, but in The Sims 2 OFB, Employees with bad skills were still doing their job more efficiently.