The Sims 4 Get to Work is the first expansion pack for The Sims 4 and delivers a variety of new content to the game. For the first time ever you can become a Doctor, Scientist or Detective and follow your Sims to work and perform their daily duties. You can also allow your entrepreneurial Sims start their own retail business and grow it from the ground up into a thriving cash-cow, travel to the alien planet of Sixam and so much more. With lots of new gameplay possibilities and a new world, Get to Work is arguably the best expansion pack that we’ve seen in a long time.

Active Careers

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Building upon professions from The Sims 3 Ambitions, active careers allows you to take control of your Sims at their workplace. Your Sim can become a detective, doctor or a scientist and climb the career ladder. Each career has a unique work lot which you can follow your Sims to. These are the police station, the hospital and the scientist laboratory.

Every career is unique and has a variety of different objectives and activities for you to perform which will lead you in the right direction, allowing you to progress and get promoted! If you become a detective you will get case assignments, find clues, take witness reports and even lock mischievous Sims in the prison. Whereas if you were to become a doctor you’ll be focused on managing the hospital, caring for sick Sims, delivering babies and making sure that your patients don’t die! Finally, with the scientist career, you will work through objectives where you analyse elements, create new inventions, and eventually gain the ability to travel to the alien world!

Although these objectives exist to push your Sim in the right direction, you can be deviant and mess about at work. Go about and bully your co-workers, wreak havoc at the hospital by not treating any Sims or even let all the prisoners loose… you decide!

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One neat feature in the expansion, unlike Ambitions, is that you have the option to choose whether you follow your Sim to work, so you can focus on other Sims’ activate careers or control other Sims – so you don’t have to worry about controlling your Sims at work everyday!

Active careers are very enjoyable, with the scientist profession being my favourite at the moment. They provide you with so much more to do with your Sims and removes the burden of having to wait on the home lot for your Sims to return to work! The fact that objectives/activities at the workplace are optional was also a smart choice, allowing players to do anything they want at work. Active careers also provide a sense of progression as you climb the career ladder and unlock rewards, more so than careers in the base game as you are actively participating in your Sims’ profession.

Retail System

The retail system in Get to Work is something that I took a great interest in as I loved operating my own business in The Sims 2 Open for Business. It is also the area that I generally focused my Get to Work hands-on preview. The retail system allows your entrepreneurial Sims to purchase their own retail store and sell almost anything from build/buy mode, baked goods, clothing, photos and so much more! If you can think of it, you can probably turn it into a successful business.

To complement the new retail system, a new world has been added to the game with 4 lots designed for businesses. With 3 businesses already created and an empty lot, you can simply purchase a retail lot and get started or create your own. If you really wanted to you can move your Sims to this world by turning a retail lot into a home.

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The entire business is controlled from the till itself and this allows you to set store prices, transfer retail funds, open and close the store, manage employees, purchase advertising and set employee uniforms. Unlike The Sims 2 Open for Business, the till isn’t actually used to process transactions and instead Sims will tell you when they’re ready to purchase and will wait for you to ‘ring them up’. Although it’s handy being able to go to the customer, it would have been nice if customers queued up and went to the till automatically.

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New to The Sims 4 Get to Work is a baking skill in which your Sims can create a large variety of new tasty treats, with more things becoming available to bake as your Sim skills up. These can be sold and allows you to create a bakery, something I loved to do in Open for Business. The addition of this new skill is a nice touch and I don’t think my Sims are complaining with all of the new sweet treats in the game. And there’s no Katy Perry in sight! One thing that could be improved is the addition of a ‘bake many’ feature, especially for when you want to many of the same item to sell. Furthermore, your Sims can sell just about anything they craft too – your Sim can now create their dream woodwork shop!

Clothing mannequins are also present in the expansion pack allowing you to create exquisite clothing boutiques. You can apply a random outfit to adult or child mannequins and even select a pose for them! I’m pleased to see clothing shops return in The Sims 4 as they were enjoyable in The Sims 2, however there is little point in visiting clothing boutiques to buy clothing as you can just plan an outfit via. any wardrobe in-game (which is free of charge). But like I said, they’re great fun if you’re the owner of the business!

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Another new skill to Get to Work which complements the retail system is the photography skill. Sims can now take pictures of other Sims posing, apply filters and hang them on the wall… or better yet, sell them! Who hasn’t wanted to make a creepy gallery of random Sims? You can purchase one of three cameras or go all out with a photoshoot studio. With this you can set the background and even take a group photo. As your photography skill increases, the better quality images will be. You may notice things like a blurriness, a finger in the way of the image or even a gnome in the corner when a Sim has a low photography skill.

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The retail system is a blast and the highlight of the expansion pack for me as I love to create and manage businesses. The addition of the baking and photography skills allow you to create unique stores and it satisfies my Open for Business need that I’ve been craving since The Sims 2. The fantastic thing about this system is that you will be able to sell even more things as more content arrives in the future from Game Packs and Expansion Packs (such as new furniture). There is room for improvement though. I would love have seen customers interact with the till, a bake many option and the addition of restaurants.

Aliens!

Aliens make their grand return in The Sims 4 Get to Work and are better than ever before. They can be created in Create A Sim, allowing you to create your own alien family. Your Sims can also be abducted by aliens and possibly return with a bundle of joy, even if they are male. You read that right – male pregnancy is back! One interesting element about this is that aliens can disguise themselves as Sims so you could potentially WooHoo with an alien and not even realise it until the baby arrives.

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While we have had alien abductions and pregnancies in previous Sims games, something completely new is the addition of the alien world Sixam, which is Maxis spelt backwards. This is something that has been mentioned in Sims games but was never a place you could explore… until now.

The alien world reminds me of a level from Darkspore and is extremely detailed and unlike anything that The Sims team have made before. Here you can discover the world and interact with aliens! As mentioned before, you can only get to Sixam through a portal that you can create as a scientist. You can also bring aliens through this portal into the normal world.

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Although aliens are not something I play with much in my own game, it’s great to see them back and the new alien world is a delight to explore. A huge congratulations to the team that created it as it is beautiful!

Conclusion

The Sims 4 Get to Work brings a variety of new features to the table: active careers, a retail system, aliens and other various tidbits (some of which were included in the latest game update). Active careers bring a whole new level of depth to careers in The Sims 4 as they are engaging and every experience will be unique depending on how your Sim behaves at the workplace. The retail system satisfies the Open for Business urges that I’ve had for a long time now and is easily my favourite aspect of the game, I am absolutely addicted to creating different businesses and seeing how they perform. Aliens are a nice touch and, as previously mentioned, the world of Sixam is a fantastic achievement for The Sims team as it’s nothing like we’ve ever seen before. Furthermore, tidbits such as the addition of a fourth floor and basements means building is more flexible and addresses the complaint of there only being three floors to build on.

The expansion pack is not perfect as there are several things could be improved, especially in the retail system. As I mentioned earlier I would have really liked to of seen Sims interact with the till instead of it just managing the business, a ‘bake many’ option would be ideal for when I want my Sim to keep creating the same item and the ability to ‘restock all’ would also be a nice touch instead of having to restock everything manually. Finally, we desperately need a feature to lock/unlock doors. The amount of customers who keep coming behind counters, stealing left overs from my fridge and walking into my Sims’ living space within a business becomes tiring after a while. There are minor things but could really enhance the retail system.

The Sims 4 Get to Work is arguably the best expansion pack in a long time. It’s the most fun that I have had with a Sims expansion pack since The Sims 3 Showtime (yes, that was one of my favourite Sims 3 expansions). I’m hooked and it’s a nice feeling when an expansion pack ignites your interest to a stage where you’re playing into the early hours of the morning. I recommend The Sims 4 Get to Work to those who want to take control of their Sims at work, start a business or enjoy aliens as it’s something fresh, fun and is packed full of new content and features.

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The Sims 4 Get to Work is available on PC and Mac from March 31, 2015 in North America and April 2, 2015 in the UK.. This review is based upon my hands-on time with the game at the EA UK Producer Tour Day and a review copy of the game provided by EA.