Saturday, 30 August 2014

Sims 4 Creator Demo Review.

Earlier this month, Electronic Arts released the demo version of the Sims 4 character creator to the public. Only catch is that you can only download it through Origin and the latter will keep opening up when you play the demo. The demo is about 1 gigabyte when downloaded.

You start off the character creation process with a random sim, like in all the other Sims series. In this demo, your sims' ages are limited to young adults. You can randomize a sim by clicking on the dice at the bottom center of the screen, and undo or redo changes with the labeled arrows. The tick on the lower right lets you save the household.

Be warned, if you attempt to modify your own sims into someone else and save, the game will think the same "template" is in the library even if you renamed the household. Be sure to save as new if you don't want to lose your old sims.

Personality/age menu. (Click to enlarge.)
In the personality menu above, you can choose the voice, gender, traits, aspiration, and walk style. The hexagon chain contains the aspiration and traits of the sim. The hexagons with gold borders are related to the sim's aspiration.

A sim can only have 3 main traits, and their fourth trait is contained in the miniature hexagon with a gold border. This fourth trait is based on the sim's aspiration, ranging from being popular to a hated criminal, among other things.

The main traits can be chosen from emotional, hobby, lifestyle, and social traits. There are 38 different traits in total, and some of them clash with each other. The demo helpfully informs you which traits clash by graying out the opposite traits, provided you chose such a trait in the first place.

Hera cannot be active, nor ambitious (not pictured) as she is bone-lazy.

Unlike Sims 3, where you could make a mean but good character, Sims 4 doesn't allow you to make such a person, as choosing either trait cancels the other out. Should you want to go back and change the voice/gender/walk style of the sim, click on the plumbob/diamond close to the sim's name.

Lots of walks. Left to right: Feminine, Tough, Bouncy, Default, Snooty walks.
The variety of walks for sims here range from serious to comical parodies of slouches or divas. To change the body shape and clothes of the sim, click on their bodies. Two sliders indicate the muscularity and plumpness of the sim, and both can be extremely high, extremely low, or somewhere in between.

Parts that can be molded will glow when hovered over.
All parts of a sim's body can be molded independently of the muscle and fat sliders. There could be sims with giant hips, sims with large chests and no hips, or sims with any shape one desires. Sims have a large wardrobe, but in Sims 4, you can't make your own custom palette.

Separate menu for the head.
A sim's head is just as malleable as their body, so sims can all have different faces with a bit of effort. Alas, you can't give your sims custom eye or hair colors either. Whether that option will be restored in an expansion pack remains to be seen. At least there's a large variety of hairstyles this time without modding.

If you wish to add a new sim, you can choose "Play with Genetics" or the DNA icon in the lower left of the screen to create a sibling/twin of the sim. A twin will look more alike than a sibling will. Choosing the other option makes a completely new sim.

I found the almost text-less user interface a bit difficult to get used to, after the labeled interfaces of the other games. However, there are tooltips that will appear when your mouse cursor hovers over a choice in the menu, and the simple logos made it less confusing.

The ability to mold your sims' body led to some funny shapes for my sims. Someone who makes extremely disproportionate characters would like this.

I hope the full game is worth playing, but that will have to wait until September 2nd or shortly after.

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