The Sims 4 was released in 2014, that’s over four years ago now. Usually at this point in the lifetime of a main Sims game, we know that there is a successor on the way.
The Sims 4 was announced in May 2013, just four years into the lifecycle of The Sims 3. Likewise, The Sims 2 was released four years after the launch of The Sims. Despite this, we have been told that there is at least three more years of content in the pipeline for The Sims 4.
It’s highly likely that EA/Maxis are working on the next generation of the franchise, as it takes years to build a game, so I think we’re probably at the right time in The Sims 4’s lifecycle where people are starting to ask about The Sims 5.
So, with that in mind, let’s explore the five things that we want to see in the next generation of The Sims.
1. Open Neighbourhoods
An open world was one of the huge selling points for The Sims 3. No more loading screens to visit another lot in the world and time would continue as normal everywhere you went. While this sounds like a dream on paper, it was fundamentally flawed (in my opinion) as it meant that the game was extremely laggy and you’d get dead lots with no Sims around.
The Sims 4, perhaps as it was originally rumoured to be an online game or to solve the performance issues in The Sims 3, scaled this back to only having a single active lot, but you can wander around the neighbourhood this is in.
I have always found this a bit frustrating as while the loading screens are extremely fast and performance is much better, there are plenty of times when you can see objects clearly rendered inside of other buildings, or when you want to interact with outdoor objects without hitting a loading screen.
One perk of this world system is that your Sims don’t waste time travelling to places. In The Sims 3, you’d be late for work if you left on-time and lived ages away from the work lot. You’d also spend a lot of in-game time travelling to places. In The Sims 4, we can travel by picking up the phone and off you go.
In The Sims 5, if open world isn’t possible without performance issues, then I’d like to see open neighbourhoods. Being able to go and see all of the lots in the area that your Sim is currently in without hitting a loading screen would be great and I think would be a good balance between the open world of The Sims 3 and the neighbourhood system in The Sims 4. With this in mind, I would also expect Maxis to make the neighbourhoods bigger as worlds seem to be getting smaller and smaller in The Sims 4.
2. Weather Effects
The Sims 2 was originally going to have weather, such as rain, in the base game. This was pulled in development due to issues that were experienced and later was brought back in The Sims 2 on Console and then in a full-fledged expansion pack on PC – The Sims 2 Seasons.
While I am not asking for a full blown Seasons-like experience to be in the game, it would be amazing to have things like temperatures and rain so that each day felt different instead of being constantly sunny. I get that Seasons is a huge money maker so by doing this Maxis can still create a Seasons expansion but still give us something that changes the dynamics of our Sims’ daily routine.
I would be happy if we had things like grey skies, rain effects and our Sims getting wet. This is how “basic” of an experience I am talking. I put quotes around basic as I know it would obviously require a lot of development time.
I feel like there is a limit on how many times you can keep rehashing expansions or providing a very basic base game experience, and this would be one of the ways to help elevate the base game.
3. Optional Online Multiplayer
I have always wanted a modern Sims experience to have online gameplay capabilities. The Sims Online was released in 2002, way ahead of its time, and was closed in August 2008 under the name of ‘EA-Land’. This was the first time The Sims went online and was an entirely multiplayer experience.
While this has since been revived with the community project FreeSO, which even added a 3D mode, I would love a mode to be able to have a similar experience to share with friends.
Whether that is an online neighbourhood that you can invite friends to with ways to earn in-game money, chat and interact with each other. I really think the Maxis team should take a look at the strong points The Sims Online had back in 2002 as I feel like it would be much more popular in today’s connected world rather than a time when people had dial up.
I want to stress I would want this feature to be optional. I do not want to see a main Sims game be entirely online.
4. Return of Create A Style
The Create A Style feature was one of the huge selling points of The Sims 3. For the first time ever, you had the power to customise the patterns and colours of pretty much any object in-game.
This was perfect for being able to make sure all items of furniture matched with your carefully designed home, or so you could get that must-have flame print on your Sims’ car. But in The Sims 4 it was removed completely and replaced with pre-defined colour and pattern options, like in previous Sims titles.
The main reason for this was likely performance. Create A Style was extremely slow. If you play The Sims 3 now you’ll realise it takes forever for the tool to load and work, but then there’s so many more combinations of colours and patterns for the game to load. That, combined with an open world, is a performance disaster and one of the key things with The Sims is making sure the game is buttery smooth at launch but also years down the road with loads of expansions bolted on.
While The Sims 4 offers loads of different combinations, and for me I am usually satisfied with this, I would love to see the Create A Style tool return in some capacity. If implemented correctly, with todays computing power, is highly likely that it would work well and would solve a lot of requests in the community for different colour options for objects.
Finally, something that we still don’t have in The Sims 4. Yes, cars.
With the way the travel systems works in The Sims 4, you could argue that there is no need to have a car and you are correct. Your Sim disappears to the lot they need to go to. But this was also the case in The Sims 1 and The Sims 2, but we had cars.
I’d like to see cars in The Sims 5 return to the level of detail that we had in The Sims 2 where you would see your Sims get into the cars, reverse down the drive way and leave the lot. Honestly, one of the best things about the Nightlife expansion pack was this and I think it’s something a lot of players want to see the return of.
I wasn’t too worried about it when Sims 4 launched, especially as cars in The Sims 3 were a bit half-baked where your Sims teleported into them, but it would be nice to see them in The Sims 5.
That brings us to the end of our list of 5 things that we want to see in The Sims 5. While there is no confirmation of The Sims 5 being on the horizon anytime soon, it’s always fun to talk about the things we’d like to see in a future game. This list could honestly go on forever!
What do you think of our list of wants for The Sims 5? Do you agree or disagree? What other things do you think could make The Sims 5 an amazing game? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook and in the comments!
Disclaimer: This article is purely speculative and does not represent what future Sims titles may include. Human avatar in the article featured image is from EVE Online and is used for representative purposes only.