The Sims 4 Seasons expansions arrives nearly four years after the release of the base game, though it’s well worth the wait. Seasonal weather, events, and holidays give players a wealth of content to keep them and their digital companions busy well into the future. During my time with the expansion, my grumpy creation dealt with thunderstorms, discovered the joys of playing in the snow, and found out that cranking up the thermostat during the hottest time of the year is a great way to make your friends hate you. Oh, and he discovered that lawn gnomes are, in fact, hideous creatures that don’t play well with others when they’re not in a great mood. As someone who hasn’t spent a lot of time with The Sims 4, this expansion has convinced me that I need to devote more time to this joyously quirky world.
To kick things off, I decided to dump my freshly minted Sim (a mean-spirited, child-hating elitist geek called Herman Head, who is named after an obscure 90s sitcom) into the wilds of winter. I soon learned that he detests the cold, most people, and, yes, kids, but he doesn’t seem to mind running outside and making snow angels with whoever is wandering across his lawn at the moment. Of course, he tends to insult them or tell a very gross joke when they’ve finished their jaunt in the snow, but for a brief second, Herman doesn’t care that he hates almost everything around him. He also didn’t seem to care too much about the Seasons’ Christmas-like holiday (aka Winterfest); after digging through a box containing a ton of decorations, he didn’t pay much attention to them. In fact, the only time he reacted to these adorable items is when I accidentally blocked his passage into the kitchen with a Nutcracker statue. He did seem to enjoy the festive ham he cooked, but overall, Winterfest didn’t strike his fancy. At all. Maybe that’s because he spent most of them alone. Paging Mr. Grinch.
As Herman headed into spring, he surprisingly became a bit more social. His job as a stand-up comedian kept food on the table, and he often practiced his comedic skills at a lounge in town. He didn’t seem to mind the rain, and his relationship with the beehive in his backyard aided him in his quest to antagonize the people who didn’t appreciate his awkward sense of humor. Here’s the setup: If someone didn’t appreciate his joke about monkeys, he’d invite them over for some afternoon fun. Then, when they least expected it, a swarm of bees would ruin their day. It’s possible that Herman’s antisocial behavior is nothing more than an extension of the digital leash (I’ve never attacked anyone with bees, mind you), but he seems to gravitate toward these nihilistic situations on his own free will. However, when the opportunity arises, I simply use Seasons’ additions to the vanilla game as weaponry against my character’s legion of detractors and haters.
If it makes you feel any better, there’s always the possibility that Herman could get struck by lightning, which is a very real possibility in Seasons. It hasn’t happened yet, but as much time as he spends outside tormenting those who wander onto his property, it’s really only a matter of time at this point. I’ll admit he’d deserve it. He’s also building a relationship with the magical scarecrow in his backyard, but I’m not sure how that’s going to play out. It seems to appreciate his jokes, but as soon as it decides that Herman’s corny dad humor is no longer funny, I fear that he’ll end up in the trash — or worse. Protecting Mr. Head (and his precious, precious ego) keeps me on my toes, especially since the littlest things tend to set him off. One minute he’s raking leaves, the next he’s rushing inside to give himself a pep talk in the mirror. Did something happen while raking those leaves? Did he hear sinister voices in the autumn wind? Are the gnomes whispering terrible things in his ear? It’s might be seasonal depression, but it’s too early to say for sure. Although he’s up in age, Hermans’ still a young Sim.
Since poor Herman’s still struggling to make a name for himself in the entertainment industry, it’ll be a while before he can afford Seasons’ nifty new items. In fact, he can barely afford the decorations available in the base game; outside of the items he received when I put together his prefab house, he has a bookcase and an art easel. That’s about it. While the urge to use a “free money” cheat often gets overwhelming, I’m inclined to let Mr. Head earn his goodies through hard work and dedication to his craft. Besides, shoveling snow gives him a good workout, and making snow angels seems to scratch a certain itch when he’s ready to have fun. Also, coming in from the cold to a toasty house gives him plenty of joy, which is something I doubt an expensive refrigerator or a fancy shower stall will provide him. We can explore fancier options when he gets his stand-up career properly in gear. Given his awkwardness, that might take some time.
A friendly public service announcement: Your pets won’t perish as a result of the weather conditions. I’ve contemplated getting the Cats & Dogs expansion, as I believe that, deep down, Herman really needs a friend to keep him company throughout his solitary journey. My biggest concern, then, was that an evening playing in the snow or, heaven forbid, a jog through the neighborhood during a thunderstorm could have an adverse effect on my pet’s life. The developers apparently have a soul; none of the conditions that could prematurely end your Sim’s life will have an effect on his or her furry counterpart. While you can run the risk of death while playing in the sprinkler during the dead of winter, Fluffy won’t meet the same end. Herman’s one step closer to being a pet parent. I hope he makes a friend who can care for this pet after he’s gone because I don’t think Herman has longevity in his bones. He’s just a little too off, but I love him for it.
As stated, I don’t have a lot of experience with The Sims, but The Sims 4 Seasons has definitely brought me around to the idea of spending some hard-earned cash on its multitude of additional content. Introducing my chemically imbalanced Sim to the joys of spring, summer, fall, and winter made me smile, even when Herman wasn’t on his best behavior. I do hope that he comes around to the idea of Winterfest (which, by the way, you can rename if you’d like); spending so much time alone during the holidays isn’t good for anyone, especially a struggling comedian who tends to laugh maniacally for no good reason. I think things will eventually get better for the big guy, and I can’t wait to see what the seasons have in store for him. As long as he has his army of angry bees and his magical scarecrow backing him up, I don’t think Mr. Head’s existence will suck too much — as long as I can keep him out of the sprinklers during the winter, that is.
This review is based on the PC version of the game. A copy was provided by Electronic Arts.
The Sims 4 Seasons introduces your Sims to the joys of spring, summer, fall, and winter - and the dangers of bees, lightning, thermostats, and devious lawn gnomes. It's as quirky, weird, and funny as it sounds.