On June 16, The Sims 4 (2014) released its newest DLC pack, Werewolves. This pack has big shoes to fill, as past DLC failures have left players with empty promises and wallets. Fortunately, The Sims 4 seems to have outdone itself in the best way possible with this new pack.
The Sims 4 is a life simulation game by Electronic Arts and developer Maxis. The game offers a detailed character creator, a build/buy mode for prospective architects and decorators and freestyle gameplay that allows you to write your own story, however weird or chaotic. The Sims 4 is the fourth installment of The Sims franchise, which released its first namesake game in 2000. Since then, it has easily become the world’s most popular life simulation game, with 10 million active Sims 4 players.
The Sims 4 has released 54 DLC packs, five of which introduce a new breed of sims — occult sims. These types of sims stretch the ordinary and provide players with various styles of supernatural gameplay. The most recent occult type was added to the roster with the release of The Sims 4 Werewolves, bringing a wild new experience to fans of the supernatural. But how does The Sims 4 Werewolves stick out among its fellow packs? The answer is simple. By incorporating features that worked from prior packs and introducing new gameplay with an attention to detail, The Sims 4 Werewolves moves up in the ranks as one of the best packs ever added to The Sims 4.
The Sims 4 Werewolves brings back the tier system, which is a familiar feature that makes The Sims 4 Vampires so immersive. This system controls the powers that your werewolf Sim can learn. As you complete various werewolf actions, you will gain points toward new skills and level up toward the alpha rank. Additionally, your werewolf Sim will acquire werewolf traits that may make ordinary life more difficult for your Sim. The Sims 4 Vampires also incorporates a tier system in which your vampire Sim will level up and gain new abilities, some helpful and some not. The tier system for occults encourages players to put effort into their supernatural gameplay and discover all that their occult Sim has to offer.
In addition to the tier system, Werewolves adds a new category to the Sim’s need panel: rage. The rage need is elevated by typical werewolf acts or things that aggravate your werewolf Sim. Once your Sim’s rage reaches its peak, the Sim will transform and become unplayable for a short period as the Sim goes on a destructive werewolf rampage. This is similar to the plasma need in the Vampire pack, which, if left untreated, forces the vampire Sim to bite the nearest regular Sim and drink their plasma. The addition of the plasma level alone adds a bit of chaos to the gameplay. However, The Sims 4 Werewolves takes this feature to another level by ripping the control away from the player and creating a new conflict for the player to resolve, making it far more interesting.
Color Wheel and Paint Capabilities
The Sims 4 Werewolves includes a color wheel and paint tool to further customize your Sim’s werewolf form. This is also not a new concept, as The Sims introduced the color wheel and paint tool in The Sims 3 (2009) for Sims but reintroduced it in The Sims 4 Cats and Dogs exclusively for pets. The addition of these tools to the Werewolves Create-a-Sim catalog not only allows for a wide range of creativity when creating the werewolf of your dreams, but also opens up new opportunities for The Sims 4 to make these tools available for base game Sims in the future.
Extensive Lore and a New Approach to NPCs
Everyone loves lore. With clever clues and a twisty storyline to unravel, good, detailed lore provides depth to the world and purpose behind the player’s gameplay. The Sims 4 Werewolves includes a detailed storyline involving rival werewolf packs, the search for a cure and a lovelorn antagonist shrouded in mystery. Your Sim can dig deeper into the lore by reading books and conversing with the locals. Additionally, your Sim may aspire to either search for a cure, join one of the rival packs or become a collector of town artifacts, all of which require you to do some digging into the town lore.
The path you take will drastically change the way you play the game. The Sims 4 Werewolves is not the first pack to provide an interactive backstory for the world. One of the best examples of this, besides Werewolves, is The Sims 4 Cottage Living. Cottage Living comes with detailed lore and drama that your Sim can discover by interacting with the townspeople. The pack does a fine job bringing this lore into ordinary gameplay, but players do not see a huge shift in their gameplay by involving themselves in the lore of the town. The Sims 4 Werewolves, however, raises the bar by making its storyline even more interactive and immersive.
The Sims 4 Werewolves also provides an open-world experience despite not being a real open world. Open world means that there are no load screens when traveling between lots. To give the illusion of an open world, the pack includes “fake lots” that are accessible by walking and serve as station points for NPCs. This feature is also found in The Sims 4 Cottage Living, which has many community areas that also serve as station points for NPCs. However, The Sims 4 Werewolves improves upon this feature by expanding its walkable area over the entire map and even including hidden passageways and werewolf hideouts for you to discover by exploring.
One of the most interesting areas you can come across by walking around is Greg’s hideout. Greg is a hostile werewolf NPC that will attack Sims if they walk too close. Greg also has the power to turn non-werewolf Sims into werewolves by biting them, which adds a level of danger to your gameplay. The game’s lore dives deep into Greg’s backstory, and adding Greg as an NPC on a fake lot creates more mystery than if he were simply added as a playable character in a playable house. These features add depth and personality to a game that can sometimes become mundane.
How Far Have We Come?
The Sims 4 has not had a great reputation for quality content. DLC packs such as Dream Home Decorator and My Wedding Stories were even released with busted gameplay, revealing the lack of attention given by the creators at Maxis. The Sims 4 Werewolves delivers a well-designed occult-style game, but how much has The Sims 4 really improved in making occult Sims? One of the most disappointing occults introduced in The Sims 4 is the mermaid. The mermaid occult type comes with The Sims 4 Island Living, which is not a horrible pack altogether. It gives players a beautiful island world to play in, a new culture of Sims to interact with and a new playable career in which your Sim can help clean up the environment around the island.
However, its sore spot is its occult type. Unlike vampires and werewolves, mermaids have no tier system. All possible abilities are available to you the moment you become a mermaid, and the game gives no dire consequences to mermaids other than the need to consume water, which adds very little chaos to your gameplay. While the occult type does provide new skills, such as the siren song and the ability to summon dolphins, they eventually get old after hours of the same gameplay over and over. There is no incentive to continue your gameplay as a mermaid, and there is no lore behind the mermaids to discover.
Additionally, the customization options for the mermaids are limited and do not allow for anywhere near the amount of creativity as the customization for the werewolves. Despite all the other well-done features of the pack, many players were disappointed by the release of such incomplete gameplay surrounding the mermaids. By comparing The Sims 4 Werewolves to Island Living, it is very clear the amount of care and attention to detail that went into creating this pack, and it is a hopeful sign for future occult and non-occult DLC packs.
Should You Buy This Pack?
The Sims 4 Werewolves is a great pack! Obviously, it may not be for everyone. The Sims 4 is very much a niche game, and the way you play completely relies on how you enjoy playing the game. Some people may not be into occult Sims or supernatural gameplay, and if you are not, that is totally fine. This pack may also interest gamers who enjoy building, as the game includes build items specifically tailored for a rustic build. However, the pack will appeal most to players who do enjoy the supernatural side of The Sims 4 — and it is so worth it! Due to the chaotic and immersive gameplay, partnered with the detailed customization tools and interactive lore, The Sims 4 Werewolves stands out among its fellow DLC packs as one of the best packs for The Sims 4