Gaming News: Sims 4, Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor

Sims 4 has just been released. Here’s an official trailer demonstrating gameplay:

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I loved the Sims franchise and have played it since Sims 1. I think this is the point where I quit, though. I’m not going to invest in Sims 4. There’s a good review and quite intelligent, well-informed discussion here on Reddit:

Having read this, and it is, unfortunately, totally in line with what one has come to expect from EA, I am going to stop consuming now. Salient points in my opinion:

  • Sims 2 was in many ways the best of the bunch, it had the best memory-recording system and was quite raunchy. So for example, a sim might be enjoying a naked jacuzzi with his boyfriend in the front garden at three in the afternoon while waiting for the kids to come home from school, but then if his wife caught him, she would remember catching him in flagrante delicto even if they later repaired their relationship.
  • Sims 3 added the open-world element, which is hard to give up once you’ve got used to not having to look at a loading screen every time you want to travel to another lot. This important element of functionality is dispensed with in Sims 4, the town map that’s linked to from the reddit thread looks ridiculous and it does resemble a mobile or tablet game. Compared to Sims 2, though, the loss of a worthwhile memory-recording system in Sims 3 took some getting used to and the game wanted to record a memory of every time your sim stubbed his toe but he would have no lasting feelings about the time his wife had a baby with someone else.
  • I’ve just learned from the Reddit discussion that there’s a mod for Sims 3 that lets you alter the way memories are recorded so that you only record the important stuff.
  • It is probably the case that newcomers to the Sims (are there any? I guess so) will find Sims 4 much less demanding to run than previous versions. It’s a game that’s made notoriously heavy demands on the user and their PC. Not everyone has a top of the range machine.
  • But I am a PC gamer anyway so that’s why I’m not going to give EA any money for the privilege of having them transition me over to a light-weight, more mobile, less content-rich Sims. I need a good PC anyway because I also play Warcraft and Skyrim and blah blah blah. So that’s why I’m going to upgrade my PC to something really robust and then install that mod and play a bit more of Sims 3, until I remember that it is full of bugs. And that, in turn, will remind me why I play Warcraft, which hosts millions of players simultaneously in a live, real-time environment and is almost bug-free. Speaking of which …

The next expansion pack for World of Warcraft is Warlords of Draenor, it should be released by Christmas and you can read about it here:

http://eu.battle.net/wow/en/warlords-of-draenor/

Trailer:

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I fucking love Blizzard. I am a pretty satisfied Warcraft customer and have been playing not for all of its 10 year history, but since 2007, so nearly. I most definitely invested in a pre-purchase of Warlords of Draenor because it is a given that I will be playing it. Points to note:

  • Story-wise, this is like a prequel, a return to more primitive times when it was Orcs versus Humans.
  • Location-wise it looks like they are going to mash up the lands of the Burning Crusade. It is jolly lucky that I’ve just about got my Pandaren monk to level 69. It’s very exciting, actually. The map looks very different.
  • Pre-purchase benefits include a character level boost to 90; I am going to use this on my Blood Elf paladin once she gets to 60 (she is currently 50 and loitering in Winterspring, awaiting more levelling). If you get your character to 60 before boosting, then you get all your trade skills levelled up to 600, blah blah useful stuff. Also this will neatly boost her past those Outlands levels. 
  • New player character models – smoother artwork. Warcraft does become more colourful and cartoony by the second, but frankly that can be easy on the eye if, like me, you play a lot of Skyrim. Skyrim resembles a remote and mountainous area of Finland and it is nearly always dark and raining, or if it is not raining, it is snowing. It has noticeably worse weather than London. At least Warcraft has jungles and beaches, so much lovely coast line, so many lovely places to see the sun rise and set in real-tme, over the holiday-brochure blue sea. Skyrim sea is grey, like the North Sea. Warcraft is a bit more like the Pacific.
  • New types of gameplay to do with garrisons or something that I will probably care about when it happens.

And that’s all tonight’s gaming news. 

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