The Sims 4 Team Is Reading Our Minds, or Our Tweets
Examining the new Scenarios update
Earlier last week, The Sims 4 team dropped a new style of gameplay to their traditionally sandbox-style game called “Scenarios”. Essentially, players can now choose to have a goal to their save files like starting with zero simoleons and making money, finding love after a big break-up, and something called “too many toddlers,” which is only available for a short time.
As an avid Sims player myself, I’m quite familiar with your traditional rags-to-riches or legacy challenge, but those have been developed and written by players rather than SimGurus. Since I and many others are already implementing these challenges without the actual framework, how will these scenarios be different than my regular gameplay?
Here’s what you can find on The Sims 4 website as the description for Scenarios:
Scenarios are goal-based stories within the game where a player’s choice impacts the outcome. There are many different outcomes to Scenarios and many different ways to achieve those outcomes. That’s right, there’s more than one way to complete a Scenario, just as in real life! You never know how the story will go. How you get there is up to you!
While there are currently two permanent and one limited Scenario, The SimGurus have said there will absolutely be more coming soon, and I’m excited to see what they might be. Will there be a legacy-style challenge built into the game? Will there be Occult challenges? We’ll have to wait and see.
After reading about the upcoming patches, it’s clear that The Sims team has been listening to our pleas: We want more lore, we want more gameplay options, and we want major updates to the base game. These Scenarios are a step in the right direction. They are acknowledging how we already play and including it in the physical game.
For each Scenario, there are several possible outcomes. This brings a lot of variety to the game. With “Too Many Toddlers,” there’s a potential outcome for all three toddlers to gain level 3-4 skills before becoming children, seemingly easier than without the Scenario in place.
If I usually play rags-to-riches anyway, where I start on an empty lot with zero simoleons in my normal games, this is certainly an exciting way to keep track of how you’re playing with a common theme.
YouTuber and streamer Lilsimsie posted a video the other day playing through the “Finding Love After a Breakup” Scenario to show how the new gameplay works. She says that this Scenario in particular feels more like a story-building prompt rather than a challenge, but the way her Scenario turned out was quite challenging.
After downloading some Sims that she made a few years ago, the Scenario automatically “broke up” the Sims in the household. Lilsimsie discovered that there were basically three potential outcomes: Falling back in love, becoming best friends, or finding love with other people. Unsure of which direction to go in, it wasn’t long before chaos ensued. Both Sims were in sad moods after the breakup, had “furious” Sentiments towards each other, and couldn’t speak to each other without fighting, no matter what option Lilsimsie chose.
The UI for the Scenarios is in the top left section of the screen to remind players of what the goal is. When a target is reached, there’s a “Scenario Complete” screen that shows how much time lapsed and which outcome was earned.
Lilsimsie speaks through her video about the potential for the Scenarios to be a benefit to all types of Simmers. Some people only build, some people only use Create-A-Sim, but these Scenarios can be guiding avenues for everyone. She says that using the Scenario to create specific Sims for others to download off of The Sims 4 gallery is a path lots of Simmers could take.
The Sims team makes it clear in the Sims 411 Recap that there are some major changes coming to the base game, but because of that, there will be no more expansion packs released in 2021. Many Simmers are disappointed by this, but seeing as 2021 was the year Cottage Living and Dream Home Decorator — two of the very best Sims 4 packs to date — were released, I am personally not upset by the lack of huge DLC for the rest of the year.
If The Sims team wants to update the basics and bring new life into the game without players needing to pay a ton of money, I’m all for it.