Presented By EA Creators Network who provided a game code for this review. All views/thoughts are our own.
Awoooo! Werewolves have returned to The Sims franchise for the first time in ten years with the release of The Sims 4 Werewolves Game Pack. Unlike The Sims 3, which brought all things supernatural in one expansion pack, The Sims 4 continues the trend of creating game packs which solely focuses on one particular occult.
Speaking of expansion packs, it’s been almost one entire year since we’ve had one. What on earth is going on there?
Anyway, this pack aims to deliver on your dreams of having this type of occult back in the game by bringing not only them, but new gameplay and a new world for your Sims to explore.
I was fortunate enough to receive early access through the EA Creators Network and decided to dig into the pack to assess if it’s a worthy addition, or as buggy of a mess as My Wedding Stories.
Creating a Werewolf
Create a Sim now gives you the opportunity to create your own werewolf! You’ll find this in the same place where you can create other occult types such as mermaids and vampires.
First things first, werewolves in The Sims 4 look different than they did in previous generations. They look costume-like – a little bit like furries. I was initially on the fence when I started writing this review on how I felt but I have realised I really dislike the look Werewolves have in The Sims 4.
I feel it suits the general aesthetic of the game – but to me, these are not werewolves. They feel like Sims dressed in a costume. I get the same feeling from werewolves as I do for the bear costume in Outdoor Retreat.
That said, I was very impressed at the level of customisation that is on offer. You can change everything from their face, eyes, nose, ears, teeth and more. Not only that, but you can take advantage of the push and pull features in CAS to really tweak everything to your hearts content. You can even dress your werewolf alter ego in items of clothing, if you so desire.
Another highlight is a feature borrowed from Cats & Dogs as you can truly customise the fur of your werewolf to your hearts content! You can paint, utilise different colours, and go crazy with patterns to create the perfect look. It’s great to see this utilised, though my art skills leave a lot to be desired…
Though, since it’s release, I am already seeing some excellent uses of the paint tool with people really using their imagination. Check out this example from TheKalino, which is so much better than anything I could have created.
There are also new items in Create A Sim for when your Sims are not all wolfed out. This includes some fun new styled looks too, which is one of my favourite things about The Sims 4 since I am utterly useless at dressing my Sims.
A new Werewolf aspiration has also been added and it is all focused around your Sim unleashing their inner beast by becoming a werewolf. This will be perfect for anyone looking to truly focus on werewolf gameplay. After you complete this aspiration, several more aspirations become unlocked too which provides an incentive to complete it.
The New World of Moonwood Mill
The game pack brings a new world called Moonwood Mill, which is described as once being filled with the bustle and sound of the nearby lumber mill, but today the world provides cover for a handful of mysterious denizens who wish to bask in its remote and anonymous nature.
The world contains five new lots for you to explore. Only three of these are residential ones by default, which I guess is on-par with other game packs. Though, cutting to the chase, these worlds are getting smaller and smaller. There isn’t much you can do building wise unless you want to start destroying the pre-made lots (which were created by our friend James Turner!).
The world itself feels suitable for a game pack focused on werewolves. It has an eerie feel and I enjoy how disused it feels – almost as if it has seen better days in the past! The world has a tunnel system which you can use to explore and quickly transport around, and you may see quite a few werewolves coming out of those tunnels!
You can’t just use the tunnel systems and have to discover where they may lead, and this is done through a series of dialogs similar to the ones you may see as you discover a secret world elsewhere in the game.
One of my gripes was going to be how large the world feels, as it is all technically one neighbourhood, so I felt my Sim was having to run absolutely everywhere. However, you can discover new tunnel paths to navigate the world and thus increasing travel speed. Even better, you can also place a Tunnel entrance object to connect to the main network.
This new world definitely suits the feel of the pack and I could see myself taking advantage of it for some of the families that I will make in my game, particularly when I want to mess around with werewolf gameplay. Though, I do wish there were more lots to play with.
Become a Werewolf… or Find a Cure?
If you don’t create a werewolf in Create a Sim, there’s no need to fear as there are ways for your Sims to become a werewolf. There are also ways for you to cure them too.
There’s a few ways your Sim could become a werewolf – perhaps unintentionally. They could ask a befriended werewolf to turn them with a cursed bite, they could get into a fight with a werewolf and contract werebies, or they may get it through exploring the underground tunnels. If left untreated, it will progress and your Sim will become a werewolf.
For those who like to be in more control of their gameplay, or do not want their Sim to become a werewolf, you can treat werebies! A bartender at Grimtooth knows a remedy, or you could try unconventional ways like “sweating it out” with a workout, but this isn’t always successful.
A detail I loved was when my Sim had their first transformation, and it was time for them to return to their Sim-form, they woke up completely naked and unaware of what had happened! A moodlet was also associated with that and my Sim had to awkwardly head home in the nude.
As you continue to live your werewolf life, and continue to do whatever it is that werewolves do, you will gain experience which will allow you to unlock new werewolf behaviours and climb tiers from being a cub to apex. Your werewolf will also learn more about themselves, such as what makes them reach rampage point, which can be monitored in the needs panel.
When you are a werewolf your Sim can also exhibit particular behaviours. This can include scratching up the furniture in their home (more on this later) or even marking their territory by peeing on the ground. Yes, they can do this in Sim form. As bizarre as this feature is, I found it to be hilarious so I’m glad it was added in!
If all of this is too much for your Sim and you decide they wish to be cured, you can read lore and find ingredients in-game to craft “Wolf-B-Gone”! Taking this will cure your Sim so they no longer need to fear the moon…
The Lunar Cycle Affects Your Sims
For the first time since The Sims 3 Supernatural, lunar cycles have returned to The Sims! These can be configured to your hearts content in the settings of The Sims 4, and these have even arrived in the base game itself so anyone can take advantage of them.
The lunar phase can have an impact on your Sims by affecting their moodlets, such as a better nights sleep for example. As you would expect in a werewolf pack, your werewolf Sims will be susceptible to the moon too and it will also affect their moods, skill gains or even social success.
Similar to The Sims 3, you can adjust the duration of a lunar cycle or set a permanent state. This can be useful if you wanted to reap the rewards of a particular part of the cycle on a daily basis, or perhaps you want it to be full moon for eternity.
Watch out for the full moon though… as your werewolf Sims may have no option but to turn!
Joining a Werewolf Pack
There are two werewolf packs that can be found in the world of Moonwood Mill – these are known as the Moonwood Collective and the Wildfangs.
They both have different areas where they like to hang out in the world. You can find the Moonwood Collective at the hollowed tree near the mountain, whilst the Wildfangs are by the factory ruins.
Your Sim can’t just join a pack out of the blue and you have to work for it. You can start this process by befriending the pack leader – whether you’re a werewolf or not. Your Sim can then become a Friend of the Pack and they can have this status with both werewolf packs in the world. Once befriending is out of the way, you need to undertake trials to join the pack.
I am glad to see an element of challenge here so that you have to earn your way into the group, rather than just being able to join without reason.
Packs have values that dictate their behaviour – similar to clubs in The Sims 4 Get Together – and your Sim will be expected to perform actions that go along with those rather then actions they may dislike. There is a new Werewolves Pack Panel which will tell you everything you need to know.
Packs also have ranks that you can work your way up, starting at Omega, through adhering to the pack values. This will earn your Sim unique benefits and climb the ranks! If your Sim reaches the top, it is possible to claim the title of Alpha… if you’re ready for a fight by challenging them!
One of the neat things about the hangout location for packs is you can call other members of the pack, hang out, decorate it to be friendly or intimidating, and even contribute to pack resources by gathering harvestables or books etc.
Wolfing Out with Fury
A unique features that werewolves have is something called “fury” – not to be confused with “furry” which I initially read it as. This essentially builds up in the background and as your Sim has more fury, the more werewolf behaviours start to manifest and show!
Fury has few ways to be lowered and can be impacted by a Sims’ likes and dislikes. Things like fighting or even scratching up the furniture can increase this.
It can be monitored from your Sims’ needs panel by a new orb icon, so you can keep a close eye on it to see where your Sim currently stands. The lunar cycle also plays into all of this, so expect fury to be high around the full moon.
When your Sim reaches full fury, they will enter a rampage mode! This will involve them becoming a werewolf and having limited control, but they’ll try to engage in destructive activities such as fights and being generally chaotic/unpleasant to be around.
I was actually quite disappointed when my Sim went on a rampage. As I disabled autonomy, they just stood there doing absolutely nothing which I would have liked to have seen this override. After I turned it off, they did go and do more things but there’s certainly room for improvement as it was underwhelming.
As you have very limited control over actions during this time, you have to let your Sim ride it out. You can control where your Sim goes, so you could potentially take them to places where Sims are gathered if you want to be extra chaotic!
Werewolves marks a strong return of the idea of werewolves in The Sims franchise, explored in a new way with greater depth and gameplay focused around them.
Create a Sim and Build/Buy mode compliment the pack with new objects, clothing for most age groups, new stylised rooms and more. The use of the paint mode, which we first saw in Cats & Dogs, is a big win for the pack allowing an excellent level of customisation for werewolves which we’ve not seen in any previous Sims game.
Whilst at many times werewolves can feel like Sims just in a costume, you are immersed in some decent gameplay which – at least from my experience – is not buggy or broken like My Wedding Stories was. There’s lots of fun details, such as waking up in the nude after a transformation, which brought a good deal of Maxis humour to the game.
After playing to create this review, I am still struggling to get over how the werewolves look and behave which is making it difficult to feel fully immersed. It is one of the big let downs of the pack. The rampage mode is also seriously underwhelming which is a shame, as I feel there could have been more to this.
Overall, this is a decent game pack which explores werewolves in a fun new way for The Sims 4. If you’re into supernatural gameplay, and can get over the actual design of the werewolves, you’ll enjoy this pack.