The Average Gamer

The Sims 4 – You Get Hats AND Hair Now

Sims 4 Create-a-Sim Face

The Sims 4 was on show at gamescom this year and it’s all about emotion. Where Sims would always throw tantrums if you tried to make them do something boring while they were hungry, tired, or smelly, in The Sim 4 everything they do will be affected by their current state.

While watching your sim, their emotional state will be displayed next to their portrait in the lower right-hand corner. If they’re feeling confident, more dialogue options will be available in conversation.


Animations and character models have been overhauled. The Create-A-Sim feature is one of the best I’ve ever seen in a game. You start out with your basic face and bady archetypes and then tweak individual areas simply by dragging. Decided that your sim will be a professional track athelete? Start with a muscular archetype, grab her calves with the mouse cursor and drag them out. Want to give him crazy eyes? Zoom into his face, grab each iris and drag to make it bigger or smaller.

The face archtypes change the underlying bone structure. This should make it easier to create different races of sim. Even then, you can still grab and adjust loads of components, from jawline to nostrils to ear size. All the better when creating virtual versions of your friend to put in compromising positions.

Sims can have different walk styles as well. Want yours to be straight out of Mean Girls? Give her the snooty walk. Maybe her boyfriend is a cliché jock – have hm swagger down the streets.

The hat thing might seem small, but it’s an important change for Sims fans. Hair used to be part of the hat model, so if wanted to wear one, you’d to accept its associated hair style. They’re completely separate items now, so wearing a cute beanie hat doesn’t give you an entirely new do.

Build Mode

Build Mode has had a huge upgrade. The most convenient change is the addition of room blocks. Instead of building as you would a real house, you can plop down common room shapes, like a square or an L-bend. Grab the walls and drag them out to expand the size of the room.

There’s also a “By Room” option that lets you buy entire room sets all at once. Buy all the essentials for your kitchen at the touch of a button. Don’t like the sink? You can still sell that and install your own components.

This feature works for other items too – use it when purchasing windows and the game will automatically populate the outer walls of the room with windows. Drag them around afterwards and add extras where you want them.

Sims 4 Build ModeRoofs have been made more nuanced as well. You can add curves, giving your house a more arched, or a more pagoda-like feel. You can even drag the roof all the way down to the floor, giving your house that viking-hall feel.

There were some other tweaks – if you forget to put a foundation on your house, you can add one at any time, rather than having to demolish entire wings. You can also customise the height of your walls – maybe go for a towering lobby, but cosy top-floor bedrooms.

My gamescom demo was, alas, cut short by technical problems so I still have plenty of questions. How many furniture options will come with the game, vs having to buy them for extra money in the Sims Store? Can we walk around inside shops again? Will they bring back the porno cutscenes when your Sims are Woo-Hooing?

The Sim 4 will be coming to PCs in 2014.