DarkSpawn Social Media Manager, Content Creator & EAGamechanger
This early access review was made possible by the EA Gamechanger Program.
Things are about to get Stranger…
If you ever played The Sims 2 you will already be familiar with Strangetown. The nostalgia of the Bella conspiracy and the introduction of Aliens was a big deal in 2004 so it’s not hard to see why so many are excited by the recent StrangerVille teaser trailer. If you didn’t catch the trailer, or you’ve missed the Twitter hype, here is a synopsis of the new Game Pack:
“Start your investigation and solve the mystery of a desert town that holds a dark secret in The Sims 4 StrangerVille. In this ominous town, Sims are acting strange for unknown reasons. Is there a conspiracy? Will this seemingly odd force possess your Sim? Uncover the story of the secret lab where Sims will encounter strange plants and interact with peculiar devices. Can you solve the mystery? “
The trailer has massive ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Eureka’ vibes, but with a classic Sims twist. And with the SimGurus announcing that StrangerVille would be residential, and the addition of a new Military career option, it’s a pack we can really get behind. So without further ado, let’s take a look at what you can expect from StrangerVille.
Create A Sim
There are some really nice new items for a variety of Sims in the new DLC pack. Most notably, there are 3 new great hairstyles for Sims of colour that are long overdue. The whole pack has a country/small town Americana vibe to it. There are cowboy boots and hats, lots of denim, and a 70s feel to a lot of the outfit options. We also receive one new Lifetime Aspiration and one new Personality Trait in this pack; the ‘Paranoid’ trait and the ‘StrangerVille Mystery’ Aspiration.
The window and door offerings in StrangerVille are some of the best I have seen in any Sims DLC. The colour variations and styles are well thought out and I can see them being popular in builds. The one thing I find somewhat restrictive is the lack of wall textures. With only 2 new wallpapers, I feel like the team have missed out on an opportunity to inject some retro style into the pack. With that said, there is something really nice about the two options we do have. The tin shack wall texture and the futuristic option that could be used in residential and community easily.
The buy items available only add to the retro/1970s Small Town feel. There are some items specific to the “Strangeness” element of the pack, but the vast majority of items will enhance any ranch or trailer style homes you might want to build. I get a bohemian feel from some of them too – think of the family that lives in a Motor Home in Independence Day. If you’re looking for game-changing content, this pack might not do that, but it adds a nice warmth and variety. I don’t think we have had a pack similar to this in style or range for The Sims 4. I am excited to explore the options to create trailer park style homes and run-down community lots.
The New World
StrangerVille is an 11 lot world split across 2 neighborhoods. 3 of the lots are preset to community lots, a Library, Bar, and a ‘Secret’ Science Lab. The lots vary in size, and the two neighborhoods have their own distinct feel. Shady Acres is the smaller, more upscale neighborhood, with a distinctive Stepford vibe to it. Featuring 5 lots varying from 30 x 20 to 40 x 30, it is set up on top of a hill/mountain that overlooks StrangerVille Plaza. The Plaza is the heart of the Town, with 2 commercial lots and the ‘crash site’ lot from the trailer. The smallest lot in the Plaza is 20 x 15, and the largest sits at 50 x 40. I personally like the small town feel that the Plaza has, and I think this will give newbie builders a great opportunity to create stunning builds.
All in all, this new pack feels well rounded and refreshing after the packs we’ve received recently. Rather than following the usual route of pack releases, the team has tried something different. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea or dream release for the franchise – but it’s definitely exciting. The nostalgia, the storytelling capabilities, and the new world really do add something special. If you’re a conspiracy theory fan, or you love the 1970s, then I expect you will love this pack for exactly what it is. If you’re not, the SimGurus have confirmed you can remove the “Strangeness” and play the town without any storyline. I think this could be a great start to a series of unique releases for The Sims 4. Good job Maxis.
The Sims 4 StrangerVille Game Pack releases worldwide on February 26th via Origin. The RRP at launch will be £17.99.