EA recently announced a new Sims game called The Sims 4. If you don't know about The Sims, it's a dollhouse simulator in which you spend two hours sculpting a slightly more attractive version of yourself before clicking on a postman enough times that they'll agree to have sex with you. I'm a big fan of the series and its many expansion packs, from the one that added branded H&M clothing to the one that added branded IKEA furniture, so naturally I was excited to hear that EA were working on a fourth The Sims game. Details are thin on the ground however, so I've put together my own wishlist. Here are three things I'd like to see added to The Sims 4.
ADD MORE DETAIL
The Sims 4 should take the series’ fascination with the minutiae of everyday life to hitherto unseen levels of mundane activity. In the previous games, Sims must eat and shower before heading to work, lest they underperform due to poor hygiene and unaddressed crankiness of the tum-tum. Why not expand on these exhaustive morning rituals in The Sims 4 to include some of the more popular time-sapping stumbling blocks us real humans face? Force players to clip their toenails, to shave their faces, to put contact lenses in, to take medication for the rash that’s flared up again on their thigh, to find the least worn pair of underwear in a laundry hamper, or to do whatever it is women do.
And if they fail to carry out every prescribed morning activity, their day quickly unravels. An unclipped toenail might shear through an elevator cable and kill a group of nuns, ending a Sim’s career as a nunnery elevator attendant. Failing to wear contact lenses might cause a Sim to wander into an army base and pull a lever to launch a nuke, before shrugging and saying “this is the worst casino I’ve ever been to,” inadvertently destroying the entire Sims neighbourhood and forcing you to repurchase the game to get another one.
CREATE MORE REALISTIC RELATIONSHIPS
A loving and fulfilling relationship is the cherry on life’s cake, sometimes literally if you are a person who wants to have sex with cherries. So it’s disappointing that The Sims series radically simplifies the matter. It’s not like relationships are too complex to simulate either: I begin all of my relationships by locking eyes with the person I want to marry across a dance floor, waiting for the crowd to form a big circle around us and then doing one of those rude dances where you rub your butts together and pump your arm like you’re honking a truck horn. Simple stuff. It’s how all humans have courted since the dawn of civilisation, from your parents, to their parents, all the way back to a single pair of frotting protozoa.
Currently in The Sims a relationship is triggered by inviting another Sim to your house for a party, hugging them three hundred times and then tickling them next to a pile of dirty dishes until they agree to have sex next to a puddle of piss. Totally unrealistic. In The Sims 4 I would like to see a more accurate reproduction of real human relationships, and I think this could easily be achieved with no fewer than SEVEN new ‘needs’ bars, alongside the usual ones (pee, poo, sleep, etc.). I can suggest those seven needs right now:
- Capacity Of Trunk Versus Quantity Of Junk
- Will You Do A Baby In Me Or Vice Versa
- If We Had A Freaky Friday Would I Be Getting The Better Deal
- How I Feel About Your Face In The Seconds Immediately Following An Orgasm
- Love Or Something
Players would have to balance all of the above criteria precisely in order to achieve an optimum relationship in the eyes of the lord, 'the lord' being an optional downloadable character who'll visit your Sims house and make sure you're having biblically appropriate woohoo.
PUT PETS IN, GO ON, DO IT NOW BEFORE YOU FORGET
Embarrassingly, Maxis always forgets to put pets into The Sims and has to release them as a paid-for expansion a month or two after the main game launches. This time around we should remind Maxis to put pets in right from the very beginning, to save them having to work late hours desperately rushing to code a fresh dog. But let’s not stop there. In the original The Sims, dogs could only move at 90 degree angles along the game’s pathetically isometric tiles. In The Sims 2 the dogs learned how to walk in eight different directions, creating a more natural and fluid looking pooch. In The Sims 3 the dogs had been “souped up” and could strut in any one of 256 different directions, each one more exciting than the last.
Where can The Sims 4 go from there? How about dogs that can move in any direction along the X and Y axes, but also glide up and down the Z axis at will? How about a dog that can fold himself through the upper dimensions to transcend space and time, using his power to spontaneously appear in a bathtub while a Sim is washing? How about a dog that has been quantum-stretched to an atom-thin, canine-veil across the known universe, barking at entire galaxies? Literally picking ideas out of the air here, come on Maxis.
What changes would you like to see introduced to The Sims 4? Leave a comment below and I'll fax the best ones to EA's headquarters next week.