Sims 4 Expansion Brings New Locales, Mechanics to Iconic Series

EA Play 2019 closed out with some big things coming to The Sims 4, a game in a long-running franchise known for regular content updates via stuff, game and expansion packs.

Executive producer Lyndsay Pearson and senior producer Michael Duke started with their biggest announcement: the new expansion pack, Island Living.

The expansion brings players to the island of Sulani, where Sims can enjoy various island pursuits. All of the classics you’d expect will be there: swimming, snorkeling, boating, aqua zips, tropical fish, coral reefs and dolphins your Sims can befriend. Your Sims will even be able to walk right into the water for the first time in franchise history.

But this expansion isn’t a typical trip to the beach; your Sims will make a home on this island. The neighbor Sims on the island will welcome player Sims and help them out, and player Sims can join in on community events such as barbecues and festivals that will pop up on their own from time to time.

There’s also a new career, Conservationist, that allows your Sims to have a direct impact on the care of their island home. For the first time in the franchise, this expansion introduces a dynamic world that will change as time goes on. The better taken care of it is, the more lush it will become.

As can be expected with a new expansion, there are plenty of new hairstyles, clothing, accessories, interior and exterior items and architectural features available. There are bright colors, new textures and patterns, and lots of things to help your Sims stay relaxed and cool on Sulani. Sims can also make extra Simoleons doing odd jobs such as being a lifeguard or dive instructor, and while the game has had fishing as a hobby skill for some time, it’s been made more lucrative for Sims to pursue.

The island also has its own history and culture, meaning there are mysterious and fantastic things to encounter. There are island spirits who may manifest to interact with your Sims if they’re feeling compelled by something happening on the island. There are also MERMAIDS! The Create A Sim screen promised lots of unique options for mermaid creation, and according to the producers, the mermaids have some secret powers players can discover.

Pearson and Duke cited Polynesian culture as the inspiration for the expansion, and mentioned that they reached out to others across EA to decide what to add to make the game feel authentic, but it was unclear whether they actually worked with a Polynesian consultant. Autosave has reached out to them to try to get more clarification on this.

There were also some smaller–yet equally important–announcements. Producer and content creator Joey Graceffa revealed that The Sims is partnering with the It Gets Better Project and rolling out Pride items in all of the Sims products beginning June 18th, including Free Play and The Sims 4 mobile. Items will include It Gets Better and Pride clothing as well as a gender neutral bathroom.

The next new stuff pack is Moschino, which means new Moschino fashion for your Sims as well as a new part-time job option, Freelance Fashion Photographer.

Lastly, Pearson and Duke gave us the title of the next game pack, Realm of Magic. They said more information will be coming later this year and the game pack itself will release this fall. The community has been asking for another game addition similar to the original Sims Makin’ Magic or Sims 3 Supernatural expansions, and many in the audience at EA Play seemed excited by the news.

The Sims franchise has continued to find new and interesting ways to branch out and grow with each iteration of the game over the last nearly 20 years, and Island Living looks like it will be a refreshing addition that explores islands beyond a commercial and tourist perspective.

You can dive into Island Living on June 21st.

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About Kelso Rowland

Kelso Rowland is an artist, podcaster and long-time gamer who resides in the Twin Cities with her husband and three fur children. She watches too many horror films and has sold her soul to Bioware. You can find her on Twitter @kellyinacan.
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