Hello, friends. Welcome to the second installment of “In the Cloud With Kitty”; a little piece of internet that IHC has foolishly given me to use in any way I see fit.
There were many things I intended to write about this week. I was going to plug my new remix (ahem). I was going to show you this Deadspin article about Travis Scott biting everyone else’s swag, and then giggle about it with you. I was going to make a video of myself lip-synching Lady Gaga’s early hits while my rats (I have three rats now. What the fuck is wrong with me.) crawled around on my body. Unfortunately, none of those things happened because this week, I succumbed to a force powerful enough to keep me from giving a shit about any other obligations. This week, I got The Sims 4 for my birthday.
If you’ve been living underground in some sort of experimental NASA cave for the past 15 years and are unfamiliar with The Sims, it’s a magical game in which you create and control simulated humans. The original Sims game was released in 2000, born of a game designer’s idea to create a virtual dollhouse. Although the original game now seems simplistic (and frankly, really fucking boring) to anyone over the age of 10, it went on to become the best selling PC game of all time. Every few years, the game gets a gigantic makeover and is rereleased as “The Sims (whatever number)”, and each new release comes with 72,000,000 new and improved ways to accidentally waste entire days of your life doing creepy shit.
I fell into the evil clutches of The Sims around age nine. My parents bought me the game under the condition that I was not allowed to make anyone have sex, and ever since I’ve been spending a humiliating amount of time breaking that rule. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the release of The Sims 4 for a couple of years, and downloaded it on the day of it’s release. This release, friends, is more important to me than any Sims release ever before. For the first time in my entire life, I have my own entire column to talk about The Sims and there is nothing that anyone can do about it.
I welcome you all to join me on my Sims 4 journey, complete with photos, videos and commentary for your own voyeuristic pleasure.
I began my game, as I always do, by creating myself. For any Sims aficionados reading this- creating Sims is completely different in this game than any of the others. Instead of using sliders to sculpt facial features, you now have to click and drag different parts of the face to change its shape. I am not a fan of this change for two reasons:
1. My hand-eye coordination sucks, especially on a fucking MacBook touchpad.
2. All I can think about the entire time is that opening screen in Super Mario 64 where you drag Mario’s face around while he makes weird sounds.
Tell me this does not remind you of this.
I continued my game (AS I ALWAYS DO) by creating a virtual Skrillex to live in my home with me. This was extremely annoying, because not only do I fucking suck at this face-dragging but there are also NO hairstyles for male sims that are longer than the one that I used here. That is the longest possible hair that male sims are allowed to have. Is this game set in 1953? I am SHOCKED and APPALLED at this heteronormative garbage. This motherfucker does not look like Skrillex. Not even slightly. I had to put a fucking Skrillex shirt on him just to differentiate him from the Keanu Reeves sim I plan on making in the future. So there’s strike two.
For some reason, I decided to add Rihanna and Iggy Azalea to my family, and started picking out personality traits for each sim from a very limited list of options. I decided to keep it realistic with the personality traits, and was disappointed to find that the “Over-Emotional” trait from The Sims 3 has been removed. It was IMPERATIVE to creating a realistic Kitty.
I moved us all onto a shitty starter property, typed in money codes to cheat my way into an expensive mansion (come on. I’m living with Skrillex, Rihanna, and Iggy Azalea. I’m not going to waste my time with the obligatory new-sim-struggle-poverty bullshit). The first things I notice here is that there are only like seven locations to visit, and all of them are separated by loading screens. In The Sims 3, I could walk through the whole open world and fuck around in forests and shit. Why did they take that out?
Finally, I noticed one thing that The Sims 4 DID improve. The game’s format follows Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which means that basically before you get to do anything fun (like gardening, or making out with strangers) you have to fill the sims Bladder, Hunger, Energy, Hygiene, Social, and Fun needs. It gets really fucking annoying, because sometimes your sims will just piss on the floor and then all the other ones start making fun of them, and then your sim is sad and you have to make it happy again. Thankfully, in the Sims 4, sims needs bars stay full for waaaaaay longer than ever before.
A new thing in Sims 4 is this weird mood feature. It’s kind of cool because different moods unlock different interactions, but it’s also really pissing me off because half of the emotions are completely out of nowhere. Also, Sims can do two actions at the same time now, but only SOME of them. If anyone knows what governs which actions you can do at the same time, please for the love of GOD let me know.
At this point in my game, Skrillex started flirting with Iggy Azalea, and human Kitty got extremely jealous and force-quit the game without saving any of it. I decided to start over without Iggy Azalea in my house, but I won’t bore you with the details of the 14 hours of pointing-and-clicking that followed. In the end, Sim Kitty became a famous pop star in her Sim world without ANY help from Sim Skrillex, and that’s all that really matters.
In closing, I’d like to thank you all for following me through this disappointing introduction to what I thought would be my favorite game of the year. Even though there’s a 99.9% chance that I’ll continue ignoring all of my obligations to play it for hours on end, The Sims 4 just isn’t a fulfilling follow-up to the extensive open-world of The Sims 3.
There is one thing they did right, though. The dancing is fucking sick.
I’ll be back here next week to rant about something that may or may not be more culturally relevant than this was. By the way- keep an eye out tomorrow for a new thing that I made with my voice and a microphone. It will be here on IHC (: