Four.

The Sims 4

I am elated by the announcement of the release of The Sims 4 in 2014! I still play The Sims 2 occasionally and am thankful that I didn’t waste money on the third incarnation of the series. Having sampled The Sims 3, I found the interface to be unwieldy in regards to building houses and altering landscapes. In addition, the characters themselves seemed less expressive than the characters of The Sims 2. The bloated “pudding faces” that characters from the third game came equipped with certainly didn’t help to sell me on the product.

No matter. In the teaser image provided for The Sims 4, the faces shown are reminiscent of the characters found in The Sims 2—a good sign. Now, I readily admit to being biased. I found The Sims 2 to be a near perfect game (once all of the essential hacks had been downloaded and inserted, of course). So, what would The Sims 4 need to possess to make me abandon my favorite game of all time?

The ability to drive as a selected character. I’ve often stated that I wish that I could find a game that was the perfect blend of The Sims series and the Grand Theft Auto franchise. My favorite activities in games are often world-building and exploring. Hopefully, The Sims 4 will allow players to drive through the streets they have assembled.

Useful neighborhood decorations or “rabbit holes.” As someone who prefers games with urban landscapes, playing The Sims 2 can be frustrating. I would love to have a bustling city overrun with skyscrapers. This cannot be built given the limits of the game. Since towers cannot be created, they should (and have) been provided by game developers. However, two or three buildings are not nearly enough. There should be dozens. I also find it hard to understand why developers for The Sims 3 provided “rabbit holes” for buildings that would have been much better served as playable community lots—for example, the diner, the bookstore, and the bistro. In The Sims 4, these non-playable structures should be reserved for the following: towers, office buildings, shopping malls, schools, police departments, hospitals, and fire stations.

Expansion packs focused on lifestyles rather than life stages. I do not want to see expansion packs focused on college life, childhood, career exploration, or retirement! This material should be included in the base game! I would prefer to see a simple suburban life presented in the base game, with a new type of environment provided with each expansion pack—urban, pastoral, futuristic, and magical. New environment-appropriate activities and characters should be featured in each world.

Characters of different heights. Something tells me this wish may be impossible, but I’m tossing it out here just in case!

Greater diversity in hairstyles. I really wish developers would not depend on fans to provide material that should be found within the base game—such as several modern hairstyles for kinky or tightly coiled hair.

That’s all, folks! As I’ve stated previously, it wouldn’t take much to bring The Sims franchise from good to great. I look forward to seeing what Maxis has in store for The Sims 4.