The author of a thread over in EA’s official forums for The Sims 4 has been in touch to let us know that Sims players have been keeping track of the upcoming game’s cut features. Right now, the thread started by ‘b flury’ has an excess of 78 bits and pieces that won’t be in the next title.
While we’ve been trying to cover the major aspects cut from The Sims 4 (careers, family trees and the like,) this is a stark and comprehensive list of everything players will be missing out on. The important parts of the list are towards the top, under “major missing features” and “major cut back features.” Beneath those two sections are a list of various objects or tweaks that are confirmed as not being present in The Sims 4.
It could be easy to dismiss the relative importance of the individual things like, say, “no acne” or “no eyelash length slider” but the collective weight of the list is pretty damning.
Here’s the major stuff:
MAJOR MISSING FEATURES: (All were in base versions of Sims 3)
No create a style (CAST) – NOT possible in future expansions
No family trees
No Mac version of the game at release (or announced)
No modifications to world/public spaces – The park in the demo is a mix of a community lot and public space
No “normal” careers – Law enforcement, Medical, Business, etc. were removed
No open world – You must incur a loading screen between each active lot; each neighborhood has 1-5 lots total
No terrain tools other than paint; everything is perfectly flat
No story progression – Sims in the neighborhood age, but do not have children, get jobs, move, get married…etc. without player intervention
No toddlers – Nor were they combined with “enhanced” babies
No way to create/place new lots – And you only have 2 empty ones at the start of the game!
MAJOR CUT BACK FEATURES: (All were in base versions of Sims 3)
All buildings on a lot must have the same foundation. No mixing for sheds, garages, etc.
Babies are mere objects – All interactions are through basinet. There are no baby objects. Babies can only be lifted directly above basinet.
Backgrounds are illusions – The buildings in the background are not playable in the game.
Completely FLAT lots – The entire build-able world is completely flat
Fewer floors/levels, limited to three
SIGNIFICANTLY smaller “worlds” of <25 lots compared to 125+ lots in TS3
Smaller lots – Lots are limited to 50×50 instead of 64×64.
Loading screens for individual lots
The map is a one-dimensional picture
Teens are same height as adults and they, along with elders, all look nearly identical.
The same list has also been recreated on a tumblr, entitled “The Truth About Sims 4.” Presumably in case EA or Maxis get a bit nervous and start deleting threads. So far, they seem to be tolerating it.
Sims 4 producer Graham Nardone has commented on the unease within the Sims community about how the new game is being handled. Here’s what he had to say back on 6 August, in response to the question of what The Sims 4 would really offer as an upgrade on previous titles:
I know you’ve already heard and read the official “pitch” from numerous places, so instead I’ll offer this… Four main entries into the franchise and it becomes more of a challenge to explain the nuances of what’s different from one to the next. For example, we say something along the line of, “hey, these new emotions Sims have are pretty rad”, and people counter with, “but my Sims have always had emotions”. Well… ok, maybe we did a convincing job selling that fiction in previous games, but truly your Sims haven’t had anything like this before. But the conversation then changes into discussing what is or isn’t there and the minutiae of differences in each feature along some scale because the easiest way to try and understand something new is to compare and contrast it to what came before. Looking at a list of features on paper may tell you what you can expect to find in the game, but it doesn’t tell you if it’s fun to play. That said, if there’s something that’s not in the game at launch and that’s a deal breaker for you then I understand and respect your decision, and I hope you’ll give the game another look down the line.
Two interesting phrases stand out from that reply. The first is the admission that previous Sims marketing was a case of “selling that fiction” (which makes you wonder how much fiction is involved this time,) and the second is the unfortunate use of the term “minutiae of differences,” which looks a little hollow in the face of the evidence of cut features.
The Sims 4 is due on 4 September. It should prove to be a fascinating release.