The Sims franchise is one that is known for being fraught with peculiarities. From aliens to vampires and bigfoot to tragic clowns, there is no shortage of bizarre things to encounter in any generation of the game. With their latest game pack, The Sims 4: Welcome to StrangerVille, the series aims to up the weird-o-meter. Can they do it?
In addition to containing the eponymous StrangerVille world, the game also comes with several new items of clothing, hairstyles, furniture, and assorted accouterments, as any other game pack does. The fashion and hair skew towards military or southwestern looks. Think cowboys, just with a modern twist. The furniture and decorations don’t follow as specific a theme, but there’s still not an overwhelming amount of either that are added. If you’re thinking of buying it for the fashion or items, there’s really not enough variety or new options added to make it worthwhile.
But aha, what about the big alien mystery? That is, after all, what will draw people to the pack, not red cowboy boots that let you reenact that one scene from Footloose. You can choose to investigate the mystery with or without the new StrangerVille aspiration. Either way, the game is very picky about the order in which you do things. With the aspiration, I found that I needed to tick off the checklist. While I would have preferred to hop around and investigate things out of order, that was out of the question. While you don’t have the checklist without the aspiration, the game still sets you on a very narrow path. It's clear that StrangerVille wants you to investigate the mystery in a set order.
This game pack has a laser focus, which is its biggest problem. The central storyline is the whole point of the entire town, which makes it quite fun to play through maybe a couple of times. However, neither the town nor the pack offers much beyond it. I quickly got bored interacting with NPCs whose sole focus was the mystery. Seemingly everyone working at the local lab and the military base is a conspiracy theorist. If you don’t want to play in the town of StrangerVille, there’s not much else that the pack really offers. If you finish the storyline, the town doesn't offer that much additional diversity.
StrangerVille also includes the Military career option, included in base games of past generations. It’s nice to see it back again, and you do get to check out a bit of the local military base. While it’s great that this is another step towards adding back features from previous generations to the Sims 4, the game pack fails to address any of the base issues and design flaws with the basic game.
If you’re really into mysteries or are a diehard Sims 4 collector, this pack is for you. You probably knew that already. If you’re looking for something bizarre to play while waiting for the next episode of Welcome to Night Vale, try checking out Gray Matter or Oxenfree instead. Better yet, just go replay Sims 3.
TechRaptor covered The Sims 4: Welcome to StrangerVille on PC via Origin with a review code provided by the publisher.
Have you played The Sims 4: Welcome to StrangerVille? What do you think of the pack? Let us know in the comments below!