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Longtime Sims fans know the true definition of “hype” when they hear about a remaster of a classic Sims expansion pack release. Some expansion titles of the eighteen-year-old simulation series have become staples. Examples of these essential and loved packs include pets, university life, and any packs that include family and nightlife features. One pack, however, that may just be the most popular and anticipated expansion of each new generation of The Sims has to be Seasons.
I have had the pleasure of purchasing this $40.00 USD expansion from EA and I am here to give you my personal opinion on this highly-anticipated add-on to The Sims 4.
Spring is a pretty standard season. Not much happens in this season and it is quite reminiscent of the default weather from Pre-Seasons Sims 4. What sets Spring apart from the default weather, however, is the rain and storm feature. Compared to The Sims 3: Seasons, this pack offers dynamic lightning and of course, mood effects. Other than this, though, I see no real difference from The Sims 3: Seasons. Spring is quite underwhelming as a season overall, and that is reflected in this game.
Summer is a fun season, considering the addition of the Heat Wave weather feature. I actually find it quite entertaining to have to watch the temperature and make sure my sims do not overheat and pass out. One feature that does add atmosphere to the game is that when a heat wave occurs, there is a wavy filter applied to your game. This really gives the game that hot, sweaty, heavy-aired feeling that heat gives to real life. Pools are especially more fun in summer. It feels like having a pool actually has a purpose now. The summer feels a little more full. What I mean by that is that there feels like there is so much more to do. Although it is much hotter outside, the added content makes you want to challenge the heat and enjoy the weather. Kids do still go to school, though. Sorry, kids!
Fall is a beautiful season in this game. Like spring, it is a little underwhelming, possibly because it is a transition season. What I mean by this is that the spring and fall simply have such few and subtle features that it doesn’t pose a significant effect against your in-game activities. The one thing you have to look forward to is Harvest Fest (Thanksgiving, essentially). This is a normal, yet fun take on the classic American holiday. Other than that, fall is comprised of falling leaves and piles of leaves around the yard. The leaf piles in The Sims 2: Seasons and The Sims 3: Seasons were wonderful. They were fun to play and woohoo in and added a pretty fall aesthetic to your world. However, the leaf piles in The Sims 4 have got to be one of the most infuriating additions to this game. Why does a pile of leaves rile you up, Jordan, you ask? The leaves stink. They actually have a smell cloud emanating from them after sitting out for about an hour if they are not burned and disposed of. Perhaps it is just me, but I don’t want smelly leaves in my yard! I seriously do not understand this design choice, as the previous seasons expansions in the other games never feature stinky leaves. It is such an odd and unnecessary addition to the leaf piles that, frankly, make me wish fall would not happen. This is significant to me because, in real life, I absolutely love fall and look forward to it.
Winter is my favorite season by far in this game and in real life. What’s not to love about this beautiful time of year? Winter in this expansion is the most well-done season in this entire pack. The snow makes you feel cozy, especially when coupled with a fireplace and warm lighting. Building homes made of wood and brick also add to this cozy feeling when the flurries begin to fall. The cold feels true to life and the effects of it on your sims are significant. When sims are outside and walking, they sometimes slip on ice and they hold themselves in an attempt to conserve warmth. They also shiver and blow vapor from their mouths. Winter is the most aesthetically pleasing season with the plush, white snow and the looming grey clouds. The atmosphere truly feels like a blizzard-covered landscape. Winter Fest (Christmas or Hanukkah, depending on your preference), is such a wonderful and beautiful holiday in this game. Coupled with the weather and the new decorations, it truly feels like something to be celebrated. My only gripe about the winter season is the fact that snow depth has been removed. This was quite a disappointment to all Simmers, I included. The snow depth in The Sims 2 and 3 made the snow feel more threatening and overwhelming. The snowfall also seems to be a lot lighter than in previous games. Personally, I feel as though the snow itself in the past expansions was much more impactful in The Sims 4, but what can you do.
There are quite a few new, notable features added in this pack. One feature that has never been seen before is the thermostat. I love this feature, as it adds a realistic touch to the game and makes the house feel more like a sanctuary from the elements. The botanist employment option is also a cool idea and adds motivation to begin experimenting with gardening. Before the new gardening overhaul and new career option, gardening felt so pointless. Now, there is more incentive to discovering what plants you can breed and grow to use in cooking or floral arrangements. For those of you who are wondering, cow plants and money trees have returned. One returning feature from previous games is Beekeeping. I feel as though the excitement of beekeeping is varied from individual to individual. The process of beekeeping was executed well, although it can become a boring or monotonous hobby quickly.
My absolute favorite addition from this pack is the holidays. This is absolute, hands-down the best thing that the developers have incorporated into this franchise. Not only do the official annual holidays feel well-done and fulfilling, but they have added unofficial surprise holidays that randomly appear. My favorite random holiday so far is the lottery. Just like the lottery in real life, you purchase a ticket over the phone and wait until the next morning and a winner is announced and rewarded a handsome fortune. This event adds anticipation and a will to play on until the next morning to see the outcome. Other events include t.v. show premieres, rebate day, neighborhood brawl day, and more. These little surprise events add so much more to the game in terms of breaking the monotony of everyday chores and activities for your sims.
My Final Verdict
Honestly, this is the best pack released for The Sims 4 so far. It adds the most enjoyment to the game that I have seen out of any expansion, stuff, or game packs released since the original launch date. Although there is much to be desired that has not been incorporated from previous seasons packs, what has been added is entertaining. This pack is not perfect, but certainly enjoyable. Does it warrant the $40.00 USD price tag? No, absolutely not. I would advise waiting for a sale, as I would advise for all the content released by EA. On that note, if you decide to purchase this pack for whatever price, I am sure you will enjoy what it offers.
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