Life’s possibilities are endless. By extension, a game series intending to simulate life would also hope to have endless possibilities. The Sims series has attempted to encompass this, spawning four core games and over 50 add-on packs. Despite the accumulation of all this content, it still felt as though there was something missing. The Sims 4 attempts to address this by bringing to the series what EA is callingpersonality and emotions, which would drive Sim behavior.
Curious as to what this would entail, I got hands-on with the game for a few hours at a preview event. At first glance, creating a Sim and assigning aspirations was not a dramatic departure from the creation tools of previous Sims games. In fact, I recognized the neat, creative, and perfectionist traits as some of the many returning Sim characteristics. Keen to try something new, I made sure my Sim had the new “self-assured” trait, which I later discovered helped trigger an emotional state in my Sim. This is because The Sims 4 sees a new focus on Sims’ personalities and quirks by introducing new emotions that reflect them. Displayed in-game as a moodlet icon and shown through their expressions on the heads-up display, the emotional state of my Sim had an effect on the subsequent actions she undertook.