A spectacular way to customize your Sims, but with some surprising limitations… This is what I think about Create-a-Sim, the character creator for The Sims 4.
I decided to use myself as a guinea pig, creating my Sim alter ego. My first impressions with this tool: a big improvement on previous versions, but also some drawbacks compared with The Sims 3.
Shaping every single trait of the sims
What’s surprised me the most about the Create-a-Sim mode in The Sims 4 is the high degree of customization of both face and body. Although I know how the system works from having tried it last year, I have now seen all the possibilities it offers.
Creating the appearance and anatomy of a sim is as simple as modeling its features with your mouse. Shapes and sizes change slowly, so you can decide how every inch of your character looks.
Choose a model or enter the details; you decide.
As for the body, you can change absolutely every area: from its torso, abdomen, breasts or hips, to its legs, arms and even feet. Not even some of the mods released by fans for earlier versions of The Sims had achieved so much detail.
This same extreme customization can be applied to the face. For each feature and for the entire face, you have predefined patterns that match typical traits of all ethnic groups, but you can then change them one by one.
With all these options, I tried to create myself. The feeling I got is that if the sim I created doesn’t look more like me, it’s not due to the technical limitations of the tool but because I was in a rush and didn’t have a mirror to examine my features. I’m sure that if a friend decides to create a sim that looks like me, I would have a digital clone.
With patience, you can create a true clone made out of pixels.
What happened with the colors and textures?
While I was pleasantly surprised with the body and face customization of the sim, I can’t say the same for the clothes, hairstyles and accessories. While in The Sims 3 you could choose any color for your hair (and every hairstyle had 4 hair colors to choose from), or any color or pattern for your clothes and accessories, you don’t have those options in The Sims 4.
Create-a-Sim offers different colors and patterns for each garment, accessory or makeup. The same applies to hairstyles and skin, limited to a fairly conventional palette.
I hope that this limitation is only in the demo, because in The Sims 3, I could spend hours and hours editing every detail of my characters, and I don’t want to lose that!
Can we have infinite hair colors?
Choose your path
Before I could finish creating my alter ego, I had to complete one very important trait: select your vital aspiration and its features.
Aspiration is a key element in the lives of your sims
The aspirations are the desires that your sims would like to fulfill before dying. This is divided into different fields like sports, creative, family, and love, and within these, there are specific desires. Since one of my passions is literature, I decided that my sim wanted to be a famous writer.
I still have to see how these aspirations influence the life of my sim, but what I can tell you is that by choosing an aspiration, you will unlock a bonus feature. In my case it was ‘Muser’, which is supposed to boost my skills when I’m inspired.
The bonus feature can help you achieve your aspirations
After the aspiration, I had to choose three traits. These are similar to those you would have seen in The Sims 3, and range from physical to social skills, including several hobbies or character traits. In my case– trying to create a reflection of the real Maria– I opted to get the Creative, Music Lover and Glutton traits, three of the features that most people use to describe me.
As you can see, the game’s moved from the five features of The Sims 3 to only three. How will this affect the personality of the sims? In principle, it should limit the options, but it won’t. EA has warned us that the sims will be more unique than ever, which will be achieved by joining the characteristics of each trait, with its interaction with the environment and with other sims. To know more about this though, we’ll have to wait until its release.
My first sim is ready! Shall I create another one?
What will children and old people look like?
I also have to wait to see what the sims will look like in other life stages, because in the Create-a-Sim demo, I could only create adults. Although I’ve seen old people, teenagers and children in some trailers, the truth is that I know very little about them. I assume that their evolution will be similar to The Sims 3, but don’t forget that this time, the game skips a vital step– toddlers– something that has been very controversial among loyal fans.
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