The Sims series can be very polarizing. People either love it or hate it. I, for one, have been playing it since being introduced to the first game back in grade school during a sleepover, and have been a loyal fan throughout the years. However, I am aware of the series faults and even the bugs that came with its most recent installment, The Sims 4. Years after the base game’s initial release, the newest Seasons expansion is a welcome addition and enriches the overall gameplay experience.
The Sims 4: Seasons has a ton of new goodies for players to enjoy. From new clothing items in Create a Sim to the ability to celebrate holidays by decorating your Sim’s house with all the new holiday decorations in Build Mode. There is a lot to do.
To begin with, the seasons themselves are integrated very well in the game. Each of the seasons is seven days long by default, making a full Sim year 28 days, but this amount of time can be made longer via in-game settings. A small calendar has been added to the HUD that shows the weather forecast for each week, and every season has their own perks and challenges.
For instance, Winter gives Sims the opportunity to build snow pals, have snowball fights, and go ice skating. If the temperature drops too long, they can change into clothes from their new Cold Weather outfit category, or adjust the temperature in their house on the newly available thermostat. Conversely, if the weather gets too hot, the Sims will be comfortable in something from their Hot Weather clothing category. They can also have water balloon fights or hang out in new kiddie pools to cool off.
Spring brings April showers, and if your Sims go outside in the rain, they can get wet unless you buy the umbrella stand in Build Mode and have them put an umbrella in their inventories. My goofball Sim named Garrett really likes the one with the ducks for no apparent reason. Like all the previous Seasons expansions, getting struck by lightning is a definite possibility and can leave Sims dazed, so be careful in extreme weather. However, I found that the Sims are not too needy — becoming too hot or cold generally has an easy fix.
Seasons cannot be changed on a whim, even though their effect can be changed in the Game Menu. You can choose how severe storms are and whether the temperature affects your Sims. If you’re unhappy with the current weather, you can purchase Dr. June’s Weather Control Device in Build Mode. The higher the Handiness skill, the more likely your Sim can change the forecast.
The seasons remain consistent in each neighborhood but can change if you visit a different neighborhood than your Sim’s home lot. For instance, the temperature may be warmer in the desert of Oasis Springs than when you left the midwestern-like Willow Creek.
Another fun edition with the Seasons expansions is the addition of holidays. Each holiday is noted on the calendar and, of course, the Sims get off work and school for the major ones like Winterfest and Harvestfest. The holidays last from 6 AM to 2 AM in-game, and they all have their own set of up to five traditions for your Sims to take part in. What I appreciated most about these is that they can be edited. So, if you have a Sim with Loner traits like one of mine named Fenris, you can change out the tradition of Giving Gifts during Winterfest with that of Drinking. If the tradition that they do not like is still included, they will ignore it. Seinfeld fans will appreciate the holiday tradition of Sims being able to air grievances with their loved ones.
Holidays can be added as well, such as Halloween, one I was disappointed wasn’t added by default when I first played through Fall, but holiday traditions like Trick-or-Treat and Wear Costumes made it easy enough to add later. Smaller holidays are also added randomly that generally have one goal. My personal favorite was Talk Like a Pirate in which the goal was to interact with other Sims by talking like a pirate, apparently, or swabbing the deck when mopping up a puddle.
Holidays also come with a ton of new decorations in Build Mode, and the purchase of a decoration box allows Sims that live in a house to decorate the outside of their homes with everything from lights to garland. Christmas trees, menorahs, and holiday cards are also available to help you tailor your holidays to your Sim’s liking.
In addition to the holidays, the Seasons expansion also brings a new Gardening Career, and Sims can either leave their lots like they do with traditional Sim jobs or work at home in their gardens. The Gardening Career will branch off into either Floral Designer or Botanist. The seasons also dictate what can grow outside. Certain plants are tied to only one season, but some can be raised in two different ones like onions which will grow in fall and winter.
One of the issues I have with the expansion arises with this fact. If you play The Sims anything like me, you create a bunch of families in the same save file and rotate between them. The problem is that the seasons continue to change when households are switched. This means that if you left one house during the summer, you might come back to it during the winter. If your Sims are avid gardeners, like Morrigan who loves the great outdoors, then this messes up how their outdoor gardens are developing. The holidays will also be skipped, so keep that in mind as well.
Overall The Sims 4: Seasons expansion provides an entirely new experience for players and will give them another reason to revisit their Sims. I enjoyed how it changed up the daily lives of my Sims and how the holidays broke up their sometimes monotonous lives. Even though I had a serious binge while trying out the new expansion, I’m sure there are many more surprises to be found.