Entertainment

The Sims 4 Hits the Slopes

Sims 4 SlopesIt’s that time again for another Sims 4 expansion pack. The franchise just announced “The Sims 4: Snowy Escape,” which is expected for a Nov. 13 release date.

As the 9th expansion pack, it features snow-based activities for your sims to enjoy like snowboarding, skiing, sledding, and rock climbing. The Japanese-inspired snowy mountain town, called Mt. Komorebi, incorporates many elements of Japanese culture like new food items (sushi and shabu-shabu, a hotpot dish), kimonos, tatami mats, and even the vending machines seen all over Japan.

The expansion pack also introduces hot springs and bath houses, more important aspects of Japanese culture. It’s the perfect getaway for both you and your sims at a time when traveling in real life is at a halt due to COVID-19.

However, the most notable element missing from this pack are hotels and resorts for your sims to either stay in or manage while at Mt. Komorebi, a feature fans loved in The Sims 3: Island Paradise. If the game developers wanted to add this feature in The Sims 4, this pack would have been the perfect opportunity to do so.

At first glance, Snowy Escape seemed to me like a rebrand of other DLCs like Seasons, Outdoor Retreat, and Spa Day, with hints of cultural elements from City Living. However, one unique feature is the introduction of “Lifestyles and Sentiments,” which will add more depth to sims’ personalities and relationships. Between the new world, new winter vacation activities, and new ways for your sims to build relationships, it seems like a pretty well-rounded pack.

This year, the Sims team also released the “Eco Lifestyle” expansion pack in June, the “Star Wars: Journey to Batuu “game pack in September, and the “Nifty Knitting” stuff pack in July. The Sims team also added more content through patch updates this year, like improvements on darker skin tones and a customizable platforms build feature, two elements that will greatly enhance Simmers’ freedom when it comes to creating sims and building lots.

From now on, the franchise has to step up their game because they have competition—Paralives, an upcoming simulation game that was revealed in 2019 but has not yet landed on a release date.

Snowy Escape makes a lot of sense as the next installment to the Sims 4 series—it’s what fans of the game have been craving for a while, along with a farm-themed pack that will hopefully be the next announced pack.

With Sims 5 already in development (although it won’t be released for another few years), Sims 4 still has a long shelf life, especially since fans are still waiting for much more content and gameplay to be added to the game. Along with a country living pack,  I would love to see the addition of bands and musical instruments into the game, just like we saw in The Sims 3: Late Night.

Overall, Snowy Escape seems like a fun diversion to your sims’ everyday lifestyle. Like all other DLCs, it will be available on PC, Mac, Xbox, and PlayStation 4. I’m not sure if it’s worth the full retail price of $39.99, especially since it will include gameplay and items that should have been released with Seasons back in 2018. Like every other pack, I’ll wait a few months until the price is marked down by 50 percent before adding it to my game collection.

IMAGE TAKEN from Electronic Arts