Vikki Blake from ggsgamer.com, part of the gamescom 2013 community team, discusses customisation and usability in The Sims 4.
As much as we all love the Sims, it was about time that EA rebooted the franchise, right? With customisation becoming such an integral aspect of today's contemporary gaming experience, the Sims 3's ageing limitations were becoming achingly more obvious. The Sims 4 needed to bring something new in order to keep the franchise as fresh and engaging as its plentiful competitors…and it needed to bring it now.
It’s early days, admittedly, but from our first glimpse? It looks as though the Sims 4 might well have delivered.
No longer are you limited to only a handful of aesthetic changes. Having rebuilt customisation from the ground up, there is - quite literally - NOTHING you can't customise in Sims 4. From the body shape to walk style to the very placement of your Sims' pupils, everything is amendable thanks to the all-new “Claymation” engine, empowering the player like never before. Select from dozens of wholly changeable – and ethnically diverse - pre-sets, and chop’n’change features to your heart’s content, including remodelling noses, chins, cheekbones and waistbands.
Same goes for buildings. Every aspect of your home – from your window placement, wall length, roof height and foundations – can be dynamically modified without the need for the virtual bulldozer. It’s intuitive and easy and feels wholly at home in the Sims familiar, yet enhanced, UI.
But that's not all.
The focus of the Sims 4 is not just about customisation and usability. Both the conference and hands-on presentation took great pains to stress the game’s heightened emotions. Whilst our little computer people are as motivated as ever by their desires - a new job, a new home, a new partner – this time around, you’ll find their emotional needs so much more transparent. Visibly emotive – not just facially, but by the way they walk and interact with others, too – and you’ll find it easier than ever to detect – and affect – your Sim’s desires … even the dirty ones!