The Sims 4 Island Living: First Look at Gameplay

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During today’s Sims 4 livestream, Maxis revealed some details on the new features coming with The Sims 4 Island Living Expansion. In game footage and commentary below.

For the first time in The Sims 4 our Sims are going to be able to walk right into the open water. Just like you see in the trailer, she walks right in, our Sims can do just that. You can snorkel in the water, there’s swimming, floating, and there’s also those pretty awesome AquaZips if you’re in a hurry to get where you’re going. We’ve take the sims to many different world and places, but we hadn’t yet really played with the idea of where the land and the water meet and really bring you into an ocean environment which is a great addition to the game.

The Island of Sulani really is the perfect place to unplug and enjoy this natural feel. So you can explore all these little alcoves, you can live closer to the coast, or you can live higher up towards the hills. So we had to put this active volcano in there and you don’t have to live next to it, but riskier Sims may choose to live nearby. They just have to watch out for those lava bombs. Beautiful locale, slightly dangerous.

It wouldn’t be The Sims if we didn’t let you befriend some of the animals, so in this case the one we are excited about it the Dolphin. They are very cute and you become really good friends with them so maybe they will do some tricks for you or squirt water in your face. We also added a bunch of Tropical Fish to the water too. We really wanted to get those coral reefs around the island to feel lush and full.

We wanted to capture what it would be like to live on that island. It’s not just a place where you vacation, but we wanted this to be a place that’s home for your Sims. There’s lots to do on the beach. You saw suntanning, sun burning, building castles (mischievous Sims will knock them down), the whole family can go out together and play or find seashells. You will have to take time to explore it all.

We’re very excited about a new thing we are introducing and that’s the Conservationist, where Sims will be able to clean up and take care of the island. Their job is going to be to keep this ecosystem looking beautiful. Certainly, one of the big goals was a way for your Sims to care for their world and make it a better place. Something new we’ve also added is that the island changes over time. So if you’re taking care of the world it will become more lush with more greenery and brighter beautiful flowers and more butterflies.

In order to make this island a place to live we had to add a way for Sims to make some extra simoleons. So we added a couple odd jobs where you can work whatever hours you want, so they added the ability to make fishing more rewarding, and also added the Lifeguard career. If you want to spend more time in the water you can be a Dive Instructor, and there’s a lot of ways to just pick up a job whenever you want to earn a little bit of money.

Being that this is a place you live you need to learn a bit more about local culture. The locals are super friendly and will even come and help you out with all sorts of things as you explore the island. If a fire breaks out your neighbor might even bust in and help you put out that fire. Locals also have their own activities that your Sims will also be able to join. You might stumble across a barbecue that started in town, or a festival that celebrates things going on. You may also stumble into a Cava Party. Cava is a special island drink that Sims can learn to make and share with their friends on the island. This is one of the many delicacies Sims will learn exploring life in Sulani.

We wanted to give sense of history being present on the island so there are traditions that are unique to Sulani. There are elementals around the island – these spirits – who are ancient and care a lot about Sulani and they want to see their world taken care of. When you do good things they might get really pleased and if you’re bad to the island they may not approve. We also added some new traits with this pack. If your Sims are super in touch with the land they can use the special trait to unlock some new behaviors.

Every time we make a world we want to learn a lot about the influence that goes into that place because its not a particular real place, but it is inspired by real places. Short of flying there and researching it ourselves, we reached out to a lot of our friends and colleagues within EA to say “hey we’re looking into exploring a place inspired by this culture, so could you share with us some patterns or iconography or symbols, or even items that mean something to this culture”. This allows us to create items that feel rich and authentic. Some of our specific décor items came from these recommendations.

There are mermaids in the game and we know lots of players are wondering, so yes it is a very fully featured occult. You can make them in CAS you can create and style your mermaids with lots of different tails. Mermaids can also do a little bit more. They are very in touch with the ocean life, so we’d recommend your mermaid meet a dolphin…that might work out for you. But lastly, mermaids have some pretty cool powers that you will want to discover. There’s a little bit of mystery to the mermaids, but they are definitely worth exploring.

There is obviously some new architecture and build features like stilted foundations, and also Lounge Chairs! There’s a lot of décor to capture that Polynesian feel, so we made sure there was a lot of clutter to make it feel authentic. You can choose to go more “cabana on the beach” feel, or you can go for something a little more high end and modern. Sims can even go ahead and dive into the water right from the deck.