I’ve always had a strange relationship with the Sims franchise. I’ve played every mainline PC iteration to some degree or another and it’s interesting to reflect on what’s changed over the years. That’s not really what I’m here to do today though.
I have always approached the series with a mindset similar to other games. That is, a general tendency toward efficiency and progress. While I haven’t always played with “free will” disabled, I typically used a very strong pause-and-micromanage approach to getting these things done. Not that there’s anything wrong with this. If you’re being entertained and/or enjoying your time spent then mission accomplished. I’ve actually tried some of the challenges like the Legacy challenge in the past, which requires a fair amount of planning that meshes well with my playstyle.
Sims 4 occupies a strange place because I’ve always been at odds with how it handles neighborhoods. I much preferred the large open and freeform areas of Sims 3 along with the ability to manage the entire household regardless of location. Sims 4, well, it just wasn’t designed that way. Despite several systems that I actually do like, such as the “emotion/mood” mechanic, the inability to micromanage and multitask an entire household has always chafed just a bit.
This left me spending more time thinking about playing rather than actually playing. I’ve just been slowly accumulating various bits of DLC that sounded like a good idea when they were on sale. Seriously, if it’s not 50% off I usually don’t buy it. The full retail value of the game plus the DLC I do own is, well, frankly it’s slightly upsetting. Nearly $900. If you threw in everything it would have to be pushing close to $1,000 for all of it. Now, I just went through my order history and did the math, I’ve only spent about half that, though for “a single game” that’s quite steep. It’s a lot of content overall, but let’s be real, a lot of if is the same content we’ve had two or three times before, but in a slightly newer form.
So where am I going with this? Well, I’ve been poking around with the Cottage Living expansion lately, along with a few other bits of DLC that I haven’t messed with much, and found myself taking a slightly different approach to the game. One that is less concerned with maximizing efficiency and “success” and instead just… is. A more leisurely approach without much real direction. Part of this is intent to write about the Cottage Living expansion and a focus more on the experience of interacting with that content rather than how to make the most of it.
Given that I have so much DLC at this point and have only worked with bits and pieces of some of them, I think I may try this a few more times in the future, or focus on specific combinations of them that I think are interesting. It’s not exactly a new idea, even for me. I did something similar with Realm of Magic and can see the early phases of it in Strangerville. Those were a little more goal-driven though, rather than exploratory.
Of course, it could always just be the novelty of it as well. I guess we’ll see in due time. At the very least, I’d like to get an impression of Cottage Living together in the next week or two.
Y’all stay safe out there. Watch out for llamas. Especially if they have hats.
Hey, it’s Blaugust time! The goal is to simply promote and stimulate the blogging community by encouraging people of all skill levels and backgrounds to post. The official post can be found here and it’s never too late to start.