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What the next game needs to fix

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The Sims is the most popular life simulation series, holding the monopoly of the genre since the early 2000s. However, the promising indie game Paralives is called to become The Sims‘ first real competitor. After The Sims 4the disappointing release of and its legacy of weird DLC packs, The Sims 5 has high expectations to meet in order to stay at the forefront of the genre.

The Sims 4 omitted many fan-favorite features, focusing on enhanced graphics instead of meaningful gameplay. Paralives capitalized on those omissions and added features Simmers have wanted for years. Whereas The Sims 5 may be Maxis’ last chance to stay ahead of the life sim market before its first direct competitor hits the shelves, there are many ways The Sims 5 may become the best installment yet.

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Bring back the open world

The Sims 3 completely changed the series by making the neighborhood an open world. By eliminating loading screens, players have been incentivized to explore the neighborhood and socialize with other Sims more than ever.

However, Maxis took a big step back by reintroducing loading screens between areas of The Sims 4 and made the 2D neighborhood map. It was frustrating for fans to go from a smooth experience back to the realm of loading screens. The Sims 5 must have an open world in order to bring back that uninterrupted experience that fans loved in The Sims 3.

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Create another memory system

The Sims 2 introduced the memory feature, in which major life events are recorded in Sims’ biographies. Events like marriage, divorce, death, growing up well, or infidelity appear as icons that players can relate to. The biggest benefit of the memory system is that it influences Sims’ AI and determines how they interact with someone they like, like, or hate.

Memories also add depth to the neighborhood. Prefab families have a deep history that players can decipher by going through the memories of each household. Memories provide a background for family dynamics, giving the player the opportunity to build on the existing situation. The Sims 5 would benefit from adding the memory system, as it would create a more detailed world for the player to fit into, unlike The Sims 4which has many families but little information about them.

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Making Sims AI Smarter

The biggest problem with The Sims in The Sims 4 is that they do almost nothing on their own. The player must cause each event, which contrasts with The Sims 2 and 3 where Sims with previous rivalries would fight on sight or show their petulance. Despite all the emotions and personality traits of The Sims 4, Sims take no initiative. The game quickly becomes boring when the player has to do everything himself. To make the world smoother, The Sims 5 must include smarter AI. Rather than letting the player craft and work on the whole world, the world itself should be able to play with (or against) the player.


Introduce a gradual aging process

One of the best features of The Sims is the cycle of life. Babies are born, toddlers grow into adults, and elders eventually die. As new episodes are released, each stage of life has become more comprehensive and central to the growing experience. Children who have a good childhood grow into well-rounded adults, and teenagers with problems at home eventually have the opportunity to run away. Gradual aging is a feature fans have been looking for ever since. The Sims 2and having Sims grow slowly instead of advancing in time on their birthday would make the Simming experience more immersive.

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Abandon fully online experience

Rumors have been circulating for years that the next installment of The Sims will be a fully online experience. If the rumors are true, then Maxis risks slaughtering the versatile single-player experience that Simmers have enjoyed for years. Whereas The Sims 5 would benefit from an online mode, a mode where Simmers can play in a neighborhood with their friends or build lives with real people, Simmers are unlikely to enjoy an entirely online experience. In modern games, online play usually comes with custom content restrictions. Every Simmer uses custom content, which means modders would suffer the most from fully online play. The Sims 5 should prioritize a full single-player mode first, then introduce an optional online mode.

With competition on the way, The Sims 5 has a lot of pressure to become the best life simulation game. The Sims 5 could become one of the best installments in the franchise if it only included a few of these features. There’s no release date yet, but fans can rest assured that after at least two years in development, it won’t be long until it’s announced.