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  • As we approach the fourth year of The Sims 4’s existence, finally we have long-awaited

  • Seasons pack for the game, being the fifth full expansion pack released so far.

  • It arrives at the expected retail price of 40 US dollars

  • and provides pretty much everything I’d hoped for.

  • I’ll admit, I was growing a bit concerned that they might leave out a lot of stuff like

  • they did with Cats & Dogs, or even release

  • each season individually through smaller packs or something.

  • But nope, I’m happy to say that this is a proper expansion pack worthy of the long-running

  • Seasons name, with only a few disappointing caveats here and there but more on that later.

  • For now, holy crap weve got seasons!

  • And the first thing youll be doing is selecting your starting season when you load a game

  • from a list of the usual suspects: spring, summer, fall, and winter.

  • And while there is no new world provided in this pack, every one of the existing worlds

  • will be augmented and affected by each of these four seasons in some way.

  • Yep, even desert and tropical worlds have winter, but the temperature and weather experienced

  • in those locations will affect the weather, so you won’t get

  • random snowfall in Oasis Springs or anything like that.

  • As hoped, the weather is on-point in The Sims 4 Seasons

  • and is a true improvement to the overall experience.

  • Rain, snow, lightning, wind, clouds, and sunlight all play an immediate and impactful role to

  • make each passing day more distinct and every fleeting moment feel more alive.

  • Yeah I know it’s a virtual world of pixelated people who need to pee a lot, but dang it

  • if this stuff doesn’t put a big happy grin on my face.

  • It just feels nice.

  • Atmospheric effects like mist and fog, and ground effects like puddles and snowfall go

  • a long way towards making The Sims 4 a more immersive experience.

  • Yes there was a bit of an online howl when it was revealed that the snow no longer accumulates

  • with varying degrees of depth in this iteration, the way it did in previous Seasons packs.

  • That does suck, it would be nice if it was more than just

  • a white texture plopped onto the environment.

  • But in practice, it’s not something that I felt notably detracted from the overall

  • experience, because for me having dynamic weather patterns at all is what makes the

  • biggest difference here.

  • But thankfully, The Sims Studio did their part to make sure that it’s worthwhile by

  • including much more.

  • For one thing there are hundreds of new hairstyles, clothing items, and accessories across every

  • one of the in-game ages and fashion style preferences.

  • This is one of the more substantial Create-A-Sim additions to The Sims 4 thus far,

  • with over two hundred new items.

  • And this makes sense seeing as there are new outerwear outfit types youll need to create

  • for each sim, in the form of both hot and cold weather outfits, which your sims will

  • change into automatically depending on the current temperature.

  • And while I initially found it a bit strange that there are no new traits to pick here,

  • that’s only because they decided to include them as aspiration unlockables instead, largely

  • consisting of buffs to simsabilities to tolerate or prefer certain types of weather.

  • Once youve gotten a sim decked out in seasonal apparel, theyre free to live their virtual

  • lives among whatever atmospheric conditions are thrown at them.

  • Speaking of which, it seems appropriate to explore the rest of the content through the

  • lens of each season individually, so let’s begin with spring.

  • This brings about mild temperatures ranging from decently cool to decently warm, as well

  • as plenty of potential for rain and thunderstorms.

  • The latter of which can be a bit of a problem, not only scaring certain sims and pets into

  • hiding, but also potentially striking close by.

  • Sure, you can play and even shower in the rain,

  • but is it worth the chance of being struck by lightning?

  • [LIGHTNING STRIKE, SCREAMING]

  • Apparently it is since there’s a chance of gaining some kind of lightning powers,

  • but that’s quite rare and you might just fry instead.

  • While your sims are very much affected by all this weather, theyre certainly not

  • restricted to mother nature’s whims exclusively.

  • Much like the Weathernaught and the Climatron in past Seasons packs, here youre provided

  • a machine to control the weather yourself,

  • in this case Dr. June’s Weather Control Device.

  • It requires a bit of luck and high handiness skill to make the most of, but when it works

  • you can rework the world’s weather at will, and even change the current season entirely.

  • It isn’t the only way to manage weather and seasons though, since the options menu

  • provides several layers of customization to cut down or prolong various features relating

  • to the sky and environment.

  • Another thing you have at your disposal at all times is the calendar, a much-appreciated

  • interface that not only reveals the weather forecast, but a list of upcoming events, work

  • days, and holidays for your current household.

  • And yes, holidays make a return in Seasons.

  • Love Day is the spring holiday, and it’s very much a valentine’s day kinda thing

  • where sims are encouraged to exchange flowers, give gifts,

  • go on dates, and generally get their freak on.

  • This works the same way as other temporary events in-game, with a little box at the top-left

  • providing a list of tasks to perform so that your sims arbitrarily have a good time.

  • But the best part about holidays to me is the ability to roll your own day of celebration

  • by using the new holiday creation tool.

  • Ahh, the potential for silliness here, this is the kind of thing that I love in The Sims games.

  • It’s pretty much an extension of the existing club creation tool introduced in The Sims

  • 4 Get Together, except this is a one day affair

  • with a set of traditions to apply to your holiday.

  • Unfortunately I wasn’t able to create my desired Chair Appreciation Day since the

  • item appreciationtradition here only works with an ambiguous list

  • of things like decorative items, artwork, and plants.

  • Oh well, now it’s Clutter Object Day, a hallowed event where everyone appreciates

  • non-drinkable lemonade, cooks hot dogs, and goes streaking.

  • Let’s move right along to summertime though, because while this is pretty much the default

  • season that weve had in the game until now,

  • it’s also one that’s received several noteworthy additions.

  • The first, and most amusing personally, is the new radio station known as Summer Strut.

  • I don’t know what I expected from this, but I was pleasantly amused to find it was

  • a bunch of covers of popularsummer-themedsongs in Simlish...

  • [Simlish "Walking On Sunshine" cover plays]

  • Yeah this station is great, you get everything from Katrina and the Waves to Nelly!

  • [Simlish "Hot In Herre" cover plays]

  • Hehe, I also never knew that I wanted simlish Alice Cooper,

  • but now I don’t know how I lived without it.

  • EA, release an album of Simlish cover songs already!

  • [Simlish "School's Out" cover plays]

  • One summertime tradition is the fact that it’s hot as balls outside, so make sure

  • your sims are wearing their coolest attire and not spending too much time outside or

  • there’s a chance theyll overheat to death, especially during a heatwave.

  • But also place a thermostat inside your house, because otherwise itll be about as hot

  • inside as it is outside, with sims growing rather miserable without climate control.

  • Another way to cool off is by playing in and around water, whether it be the existing pools,

  • prancing around under a sprinkler system, or lounging in the new kiddie pools.

  • There’s also a bucket of water balloons for water balloon fights, and wait, did they

  • seriously use the texture and model from the infamous ball pit again?

  • Kinda looks like it.

  • And the fights themselves, eh they're just okay, with sims mostly standing around while a few

  • animations loop between them.

  • Ah well, at least theyre staying cool and not burning alive in the sun.

  • Speaking of which, you can no longer burn alive in the sun!

  • And by that I mean that sunburn is no longer a thing, neither is tanning, so feel free

  • to soak up all the UV without consequence.

  • Yeah it’s a small feature and I can’t say I’ll miss it, but I’m sure someone

  • is curious and if that’s you then hello, sunburn enthusiast.

  • My apologies that you can’t cook your skin to a crisp, but hey, at least you can dig in the dirt.

  • That’s right, gardening has received a substantial expansion in this expansion.

  • It’s gone from green-thumbed hobby to full-blown career in Seasons, with the potential to become

  • a proper botanist or a professional floral designer, depending on your ambitions.

  • Researching plants, publishing papers, and generally just role-playing a version of Carl

  • Linnaeus with less fabulous hair has never been so enjoyable.

  • And crafting custom floral arrangements with different vases, scents, and emotion-altering

  • qualities can be shockingly lucrative.

  • But even if you don’t plan to make plants your full-time job, gardening is a far more

  • streamlined and enjoyable pursuit now, with improvements to plant maintenance, harvesting,

  • and selling that make it a bit less of a chore and more of a pleasant pastime.

  • Not only that but BEES!

  • ["Bees are comiiiinnnng!"]

  • [meme continues]

  • You get bees, you get bees, everyone gets bees!

  • Plop on a beekeeping suit and dive in to grab some of that sweet, all-natural honey.

  • You can even go in without protection, and if you don’t get stung repeatedly you can

  • bond with the critters to improve your relationship to receive better honey and even get swarms

  • of bees to do your bidding.

  • [sim laughs maniacally as bees swarm to harass other sims]

  • And in another nice addition, adults aren’t the only ones with a fresh career option.

  • Children and teens can complicate their lives further by becoming a Scout, an after-school

  • activity that works a lot like a job.

  • They get their own outfit, attend meetings at certain times of week, and climb the ladder

  • of accomplishments by performing tasks like exercising, cleaning, reading,

  • and overall being a decent person.

  • Badges are earned along the way, which can be pinned on the scouting board and shown

  • off for the rest of your life for no real reason but hey you invested all that time

  • so why the heck not.

  • Let’s move onto autumn now, or fall as referred to here,

  • the season of colorful leaves and crispy evenings.

  • And layers of leaves on the ground that demand the attention of a rake, eventually leading

  • to a big pile of leaves that makes a nice impromptu woohoo location.

  • Even if it’s rotten, doesn’t matter, had woohoo.

  • Fall also brings us to a thanksgiving-like holiday known as Harvestfest.

  • The main appeal of this holiday is to eat, a lot, of absolutely everything.

  • And to accomplish this sims can now prepare Grand Meals in addition to the copious other

  • types of food already on offer.

  • These are sizable, dense, colorful portions of foods like ham, fish, turkey, even tofu,

  • all great things to put sims in a bloated but thankful mood.

  • But we have to talk about the gnomes.

  • Yes, gnomes, the oft-forgotten but nonetheless omnipresent

  • porcelain creatures in The Sims series.

  • Well with this holiday tradition theyre no longer content