October 08, 2014

The Sims 4 Content Rundown

Now with half the features and twice the drama!

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg (Head Writer)

Verdict: Teenage Gamers (For Sexual Themes and Death Scenes.)

Release Date: September 2014

Developer: The Sims Studio

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Platforms: PC

Genre: Life Simulation

Areas of Concern:


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--Sims can "kick the bucket" (for the booksmart crowd, "die") in a variety of ways:

-Sims can be set on fire; when this happens, flames engulf the Sims who runs around, panicking, trying to slap out the flames, which covers them in soot. Eventually they will cough, fall over, and die. (This is the most realistic death of the bunch.)

-Sims can be eaten by a Cowplant (a plant mixed with a cow-head); the Cowplant can grab them and swallow them whole, killing them instantly. (This is not very graphic.)

-Sims can do of hunger; they clutch their stomachs, fall on their knees, and collapse on their side, dead.

-Sims can be electrocuted; they convulse in their air in an exaggerated fashion as electricity surges through them and collapse on the ground, dead.

-Sims can die of overexertion; they stumble, fall on their knees, check their pulse, and collapse dead.

-Sims can die of laughter; they laugh really hard, convulse, become limp and fall over, dead.

-Sims can die of anger; they stomp and scream, but then suddenly check their heart and go limp, falling over dead.

-Sims can die of embarrassment; they hide their faces, crouch down and fall over dead.

-Sims can die of old age; they simply lie down slowly on their side, gesture to other Sims, and die. 

--Sims can get into fights; both genders can slap each other in a cartoony fashion, with birds flying around their heads. They can also get into full-on fights; they wrestle as a cloud of dust forms comically.

Context of Violence: Shock Value, Cartoony, Darkly Humourous (Sim deaths are simultaneously shocking, cartoony, and darkly funny, with the Cowplant death being all three at once.)


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--Sims of both genders can Mess Around (have sex); we see both Sims go beneath the covers and hear excited giggles and moans as the bed covers move and flop around in an exaggerated fashion, with romantic hearts coming out of the bed. This goes on for about 30 seconds.

--Romantic relationships between Sims are featured in the game; Sims kiss passionately, flirt, smooch, embrace, and "Mess Around." Allusions to romance are made. (Note: This happens automatically and can occur between Sims of the same sex.)

-Sims can kiss in a variety of ways, from making out (intense kissing), to smooching, to a shy kiss, to a peck on the cheek, and so on. 

--When Sims take a bath/shower, use the toilet, or are otherwise naked, a pixellated blur covers any nudity. Female Sims can breastfeed babies, likewise with a blur covering any nudity.

-Sims of both genders can be stripped down to their underwear, exposing thighs, cleavage, abdomens and backs, and so on. This can happen for extended periods of time.

-A couple of woman's clothing items expose cleavage, bare midriff, legs, and so on.

Context of Sex/Nudity: Justified (Since the aforementioned are a part of human life, the creators obviously chose to try and depict it in a clear, but not too graphic, way.)


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

-Sims are able to insult each other, although no swear words are used in the game at all.

Context of Language: Comedy

Spiritual Content: 

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--While not featured in the game yet at the time of writing, ghosts make an appearance in The Sims 4, being the spirits of dead Sims who are able to interact with normal Sims. Here is an article detailing the upcoming ghosts.

--When Sims die, they receive a visit from the Grim Reaper, who helps their souls move on to the afterlife. He is depicted wearing a black cape and has a scythe. He can be spoken to and even be pleaded with so that the Sims in question can have their life back. (Which has a chance of happening.)

--Plumbob statues (the Sim icon thingy) are available to buy, which, when turned on, emit an "Emotional Aura" which can give your Sims certain emotions.

Context of Spiritual Content: Fantasy


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--Sims can go to "bars" to drink "juice". While they are unable to get drunk, the juice is served and bottled in a way that obviously references alcohol.

Context of Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco Usage: Justified

Gross Stuff/Gore:

--Sims can use the toilet; a censor bar covers any nudity. A urine stream is seen from male characters. Splashing sound effects are heard. Sims can also pee themselves if not able to access a toilet in time; a puddle of water is seen and the Sim becomes extremely embarrassed. Sims can also vomit when sick; fluids are shown.

-Based on their emotions, the options to use the toilet change, like "Pee like a champion", "Take an angry poo", and so on.

Scary Stuff/Emotional Scenes:

--In a hidden area, a pair of disembodied eyes can be seen hovering around ominously.

--When Sims die, other Sims mourn their passing; they cry and sob in a somewhat comical but realistic fashion, with tears dripping out as they cry.


Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

The Sims are a quirky bunch of people, but the player is able to control how good or bad they are through selecting personality traits. Players can also choose to engage in fights or comfort sad Sims.

Morality Type: Player Dependent

Thoughts & Impressions:

"Trimming the layers of fat straight to the bone, The Sims 4 is a rather slim offering, but one sure to please fans of what matters most: The Sims themselves."

While my experience with this game is rather limited, I'll give you a quick summary of it to the best of my abilities: First of all, you're going to be rather claustrophobic with it if you're coming from The Sims 3.

The third instalment made playing The Sims an vast, open, and seamless affair with plenty of things to do and plenty of people to meet in plenty of locations. And that's only the base game, excluding plenty of expansion packs. (I'm sure you get the rather plentiful point now.)

The Sims 4, however, brings the wide open fence inwards quite far. It's a jarring leap and one which won't be popular with the impatient. However, for the patient, it will be a largely rewarding experience with plenty (hurr hurr) of unique scenarios resulting from the biggest new feature: Emotions.

Now, the previous Sims games had some kind of an emotional component with "moodlets" and the like, Emotions totally change the way your Sims act and think, even causing them to do really dumb or really inspiring things.

I can't go into much detail about this, but it is a great system and one which will keep things fresh for newcomers and long-time series fans entertained for months.

Until the expansion packs arrive. Then you're pretty much gonna keep going for years. Yep.


Let's cut to the chase; Sims are able to form romantic/sexual relationships all on their own, and some of these romances are homosexual in nature. 

A friend of mine told me how he left his Sim alone for a while, concentrated on something else for a few minutes, and when he came back, his Sim had gotten a boyfriend, with lots of kisses and "Messing Around", literally out of nowhere.

It's a rather funny story, and one that I found entertaining, even after the obvious concerns about homosexuality and how it will affect the attitudes of children playing the games. Of course, parents should always monitor their children's gaming habits, and if you're on this site, you're a pretty awesome parent in my books. ;)

Otherwise, sexual relationships are not graphic, but it could be a little too mature for young children to handle. Any nudity is blurred out, language is virtually non-existent, and drug-related content is limited to "Juice", which have the external appearance of alcohol. (Your Sims can't get drunk, however.) The deaths are rather cartoony, but they also happen to be the most graphic of the entire series.

Overall, The Sims 4 requires a lot of parental guidance, but it should be okay for Teenage Gamers and older, who are able to handle the game with maturity.

The Preacher: Do I REALLY need to say what happened when I made the Sim versions of me and Trent, and let them loose on the unsuspecting Sim world, thereby embarrassing both of us in the extreme?

Trent: Nah.

The Preacher: Yeah, I agree. It's a bit...superfluous.

Verdict: 16+
For Sexual Themes and Death Scenes

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