The Sims 4 City Living – Full review

Just a few more days until the worldwide release of The Sims 4 City Living, on November 3rd 2016.
We were lucky enough to be provided with an early access code to give you a review of the newest expansion pack!

There is a lot to explore though, so we will get more in depth articles on some topics soon!

San Myshuno

city-landscape-2
San Myshuno is the first city world for The Sims 4. It has 5 neighbourhoods that each have their own characteristics.

  • Spice Market
    • A family neighbourhood famous for its Spice Festival, Flea Market and dockland views

Spice Market

  • Fashion District
    • Popular with young and trendy Sims, the Fashion District is also home to the Romance Festival and Geekcon

Fashion District

  • Uptown
    • The Luxurious heart of the city, Uptown is home to the rich, powerful… and slightly odd

Uptown

  • Arts Quarter
    • Home to the Humor and Hijinks Festival, the bohemian Arts Quarter is beloved by musicians, artists and all manner of creative types.

Arts Quarter

  • Myshuno Meadows
    • Myshuno Meadows is a single lot more than a neighbourhood, it’s the park where you Sims can go if they want to get some fresh air and some nice greenery.

Myshuno Meadows

Apartments

Each neighbourhood has several apartment buildings, each building has 2 or more apartments. In Spice Market there is an apartment building with 4 units.
Apartment UI

You are able to completely renovate your apartment, except for the exterior walls and windows. If you want to add another room within those exterior walls, go for it! For this review I had my Sim move into an apartment in the Spice Market, 17 Culpepper House, and completely redecorated it.

apartement

Living in apartments has it’s downsides though. Depending on where you live, your neighbours might not like it when you take a shower in the middle of the night, or your neighbours are throwing a party which stop you from sleeping.
But it is possible to live in peace with your neighbours and become great friends with them. You might even give them a key so they can come over whenever they want. Not so fond of that friend/neighbour anymore? Just revoke the key and they won’t have access to your apartment if you don’t let them in.

Create-A-Sim

There are a lot of cultural outfits for this expansion pack. Most are inspired by Moroccan, Japanese and Indian culture. This gives the ability to create an even wider variety of Sims.
For the males there are 4 new hairstyles, 4 new head wear, 1 new facial hair, 2 tattoos, 1 necklace, 5 bottoms, 3 shoes, 11 tops and 12 full body outfits.
Females get 6 new hairstyles, 7 new head wear, 1 upper arm bracelet, 2 tattoos, 9 bottoms, 7 shoes, 16 tops and 25 full body outfits.
Girls receive 2 new head wear, 3 tops, 4 full body outfits, 2 bottoms and 1 legging, boys also get 2 head wear, but only 2 tops, 1 full body outfit and 2 bottoms.

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Build/buy

With the last patch (read more about the Patch update here) they added ability to give traits to a lot.
And with The Sims 4 City Living even more lot traits were added.
lot-traits

I’m being clever with my current lot traits. The ’17 Culpepper House’ apartment has the ‘gremlin’ lot trait. The description says: “Stuff breaks here a lot. It’s like there are tiny goblins who come out at night and smash things… but that’s ridiculous, right?” That means every items that can break, breaks at night, not every night, but almost. I didn’t want to remove that trait, it’s still the character of the apartment, so I also added the gnome trait, that fixes every broken appliance at night. They balance each other out perfectly, I was actually surprised I could set lot traits that work ‘against’ each other since that is usually locked on Sim traits.

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There’s been a lot added for builders. You’ll find items to make a house or apartment feel more run down, such as dirty counter tops and kitchen appliances. There’s also new curtains that will fit over 3 tile windows
And, of course, there are items specifically for the festivals,such as a a seller’s table or the street gallery to sell your paintings and wall items on. What I’m also excited for is the garage door. It doesn’t work as a door sadly, but it does look like one! That will come very handy in a build here and there. It can also be used to make murals on. So get you painting skill up to create some art on that ‘door’!

Update: Concept artist Emily Zeinner, formerly known as SimGuruPizza, pointed out that nobody noticed the full length windows that seamlessly match each other on multiple levels, something we haven’t had before.
So, of course, we can’t let that go unnoticed! And as an extra bonus, it has 5 different pattern options in total 10 different ‘colour’ options!

10-31-16_8-19-39-pm

Gameplay

Living in a city gives a lot of new gameplay possibilities. Of course the apartments and penthouses are a part of that, but there is also a lot more activity in a city.
There are Sims playing basketball on the neighbourhood court, living statues and musicians performing on the street.

New collectibles can be found in San Myshuno, snow globes and posters, and there are 15 of each. You can find them throughout the neighbourhood, and some are for sale as ‘swag’ at a festival. So keep an eye out for a stray box to rummage through, or nick some posters off a electricity box.

Collect poster

snowglobes

Festivals

I haven’t noticed that San Myshuno specifically has more Sims walking around on the street than the other worlds, but it gets a whole lot livelier when the festivals start.

Each week there are about 2 or 3 festivals held. There are 5 different kinds of festivals, so you won’t get every festival each week.
I haven’t been able to experience all of the festivals yet, so expect a Festival article soon!

romance-festival

romancefestival

Skills

I found out that my Sim is a terrible singer. In that way, she’s a lot like me. As the singing skill goes up, so does the quality of singing.
Don’t want to practice your singing skill in public? Besides placing an expensive and big karaoke machine at home, there are more ways to practice, like in the shower!
You can also click your active Sim and they will start singing on the spot.
singing-skill

Careers

Your Sims will get 3 new careers to choose from. Each of those careers will have 2 branches.
Political career, branches out to either Polictician or Charity organizer.
Critics can choose between Arts critic or Food critic.
And the Social Media career has the option to either become an Internet personality or go into Public relations.

I’ve fiddled around with the social media career to get a feeling of the new careers. A new option with all 3 of these careers is to work from home.
About an hour before your job starts, you get a ‘call’ where you can choose between going to work, work from home or take a day off.

work from home

When you work from home you get 1 or more assignments you have to complete. Most days it is 2 assignments, but I have seen just 1 for the day as well.
In the social media career assignments could be: Create a social media account, post a status update, take a photo at the karaoke bar, etc. The higher you get in the career ladder, the harder the assignments get, but I haven’t had that the assignments were particularly hard to complete.

I didn’t get as far as I wanted with all the careers, so expect a more detailed post about this topic as well!

Overall impression

This pack brings a lot of diversity to the Sims and to the neighbourhood, with so many cultural influences you can finally create more ethnic Sims and even tot their homes.
The CAS items seem pretty impressive, though as always, the kids do feel a bit left behind, with no new hairstyle and just a 2 head turbans, a few tops, bottoms and full outfits.

The city looks very vibrant and the back stories to each neighbourhood gives it a more community feel. Festivals in each neighbourhood enhance that feeling of community and brings even more live to the neighbourhoods,
make new friends, meet your neighbours explore the activities, maybe even earn a buck at the Flea Market.
 
You can even work from home with the new careers, and home doesn’t have to mean cooped up in your apartment, but you can go out and explore the areas in town and complete your daily tasks there!

The apartments are fun and bring your neighbours even closer, sometimes a little too close if they are having a party, but hey! a life without parties is just boring.
noisy-neighbours

I do think the lot traits can get some tuning though. I don’t mind adding a ‘negative’ trait to a lot, that does add an element of fun and unpredictability, but with the gremlin trait, all the appliances broke almost every night, which made it impossible for my Sim to shower, go to the toilet, make breakfast, or anything that she needed to do in the morning.

I’m giving this Expansion pack a 4 out of 5 stars, I’ve really enjoyed exploring this pack and the city!

city-landscape

Author: Lebanna

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