What We're Looking Forward to in The Sims 4: Growing Together Expansion
The Sims 4 is taking on relationships and full generational living in their Growing Together expansion pack. With a focus on creating family interactions that felt unique, as well as giving all ages of Sim more chances to be individualized as they experience "the drama of life," Growing Together is set to become a must-have expansion pack.
There's lots to come with the upcoming expansion. A recent livestream showed some of what Growing Together will have to offer. The Infant Update is also set to come along two days before the Growing Together expansion pack. Let's go over what you can look forward to in the expansion to see if it's worth getting to pair with the Infant Update.
There are a ton of new options coming for all ages in CAS. The new styles were defined as urban-casual as well as vintage. New hair styles featured natural as well as braided African American styles. Age spot, birth marks, body freckles have all been added.
When talking about families, the dynamics between members can vary from person to person. Now there is a new Family Dynamics feature that allows you to set what the relationship between two family members is like. These can be set in CAS, which makes them permanent, or earned through gameplay. Some options are:
These family dynamics will also influence autonomous actions done between those Sim. The dynamic does stay even if a family member, such as a child turned adult, moves out or is in another household.
The Likes & Dislikes section has gotten some new categories to help personalize each and every Sim. The max you can choose increased up to a total of 50 Likes & Dislikes.
Characteristics are based off general archetypes and are meant to play into the Compatibility mechanic introduced in Growing Together. Sims who like the same things or act the same way will get along better than Sims who have differing interests.
Here's the list of available Sims Characteristics for adults. Children have the same list minus Romance Enthusiasts.
- Emotional Decision-Makers
- High Energy
- Nature Enthusiasts
- Pet Enthusiasts
- Romance Enthusiasts
What Sims want to have talked about to them or with them fall under this category. This strongly influences how your Sim will react to others when conversing.
These different topics also have their corresponding icon mapped to the pie menu when playing to help navigate all the interactions.
- Deep Thoughts
- Discussing Hobbies
- Discussing Interests
- Flirtation (adults)
- Malicious Interactions
- Potty Humor
- Silly Behavior
- Small Talk
New child aspirations are coming to The Sims 4 for the first time since the base game.
When looking at aspirations there is now the Multi-Skill selection, which has four sub choices, effectively doubling the number of aspirations you can pick from. These also combine more than one set of skills allowing for more varied leveling.
- Slumber Party Animal: This Sim wants to be the life of the party - in a uniquely creative way!
- Playtime Captain: This Sim loves to see out active play - with friends!
- Creative Genius: This Sim wants to build their creative and mental skills to inspire innovation and play!
- Mind and Body: This Sim wants to master both their mind and body!
The world of San Sequoia is loosely inspired by San Francisco, as seen in the design with a large suspension bridge and "Bay feeling". Though there are no Sequoia's currently, there used to be many, with Ol' Stumpy telling the tale. To learn more about San Sequoia, select Share Sequoia Secrets with any NPC.
The world is comprised of three neighborhoods.
- Anchorpoint Wharf: You can walk out onto the wharf, and Ol' Stumpy is located in this neighborhood. Closer to the city vibe with a movie theater, food stands, reclaimed buildings, and a kid friendly library.
- Gilbert Gardens: Deforestation done by Gilbert Gilberts, whose estate makes up a large part of this neighborhood. In the pond of the gardens beware of White Claw the Crocodile. There is a Splash Pad as well as Rec Center, which features the new gaming tables for puzzles and simbles. This is where your Elders can power walk with the new walking paths.
- Hopewell Hills: This neighborhood is more suburban, set away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The Michaelsons can be found in this neighborhood, but not much else is known about it yet.
Gameplay Additions in Growing Together
There are a lot of changes made to relationships with this pack.
Compatibility is now a mechanic and can be tracked with the puzzle piece icons on Sim portraits. If there is no icon that signifies neutral compatibility.
Relationship change modifiers were also tweaked, such as having a child's relationship with another child develop faster than a child to a teen. Newborns were also given new temperaments.
Temporary Stays are a new system in Growing Together. A Temporary Stay is when extended family or friends can live in your house for between 1 to 6 days. Either the game will prompt a stay via phone or one can be initiated by you through the calendar. Temporary Stays cannot stack or overlap, so think about when you want them to occur.
Quirks are personality traits that are discoverable for toddlers and infants to give the younger Sims more individuality. They are discoverable through gameplay and a Sim can have up to 3. Each age has different quirks that are pulled from a pool of 18, so there are quite a few combinations that can occur.
A massive mechanic in Growing Together, milestones track a Sims life from baby to elder. Some milestones will also reward house decor items, such as a Certificate of Marriage, or Tooth Fairy Certificate.
All Sims have the same three milestone categories under the new Milestones panel:
Infants also have two additional categories:
- Fine Motor
- Gross Motor
Milestones will impact gameplay significantly as some are required before being able to do certain activities. An infant who has not unlocked the "Sit Up" milestone cannot sit in the high chair and try new foods. A child who has not learned how to ride a bike, cannot take the bike to travel into the neighborhood.
Adult Life Drama
Adults were given new prompts throughout their life stage to spice things up a bit.
- Midlife Crises: There are four different types of Midlife Crises that can occur. If you play through some of the goals listed it can shorten the crisis or cause other rewards.
- Workplace Rival: More to do at work was needed. With a rival, you can try to work things out in the office or sabotage them. You can also invite your rival over to resolve the issue or "Take care of" them.
- Burnout System: From leveling a certain skill too much or working too hard, Sims can burnout. No more 4 days straight of chess, Sims need a break.
- Ability to be Laid Off / Fired: Your Sims can now be fired from their job or there may be cuts happening and your Sim makes it through.
Children now have confidence that varies from low, neutral or high. It fluctuates depending on how caregivers respond to the child, how skills grow and what interactions with items happen. When a child ages up with low or high Confidence they will gain the trait low or high self esteem.
While playing through the world, Sims may get to a point where they discover something about themselves. The game will prompt you if you want to add a trait related to that activity, such as ambitious from getting a promotion at work. Through self discovery, up to three new traits can be added to your Sim.
- Baby Shower
- Family Reunion
- Slumber Party
New items shown include:
- Adult bike
- Child bike
- Diaper Changing Table
- Public Changing Table
- Celebration Cannon
- Game Table
- Splash Pad
- New Oven
- Keepsake Box
- Friendship Bracelet Kit
The Sims 4 Growing Together expansion pack has so many new mechanics, items and ways to interact with world. From being able to play through all ages with new age related items or conversation topics, to exploring the new movie theater, there is plenty to do.
Growing Together is slated to release on March 16 for $39.99 on relevant storefronts, but the Infant Update just two days earlier will bring plenty of content and be free. Keep up with more The Sims 4 news and keep an eye open for more The Sims 4 guides with the game receiving its newest expansion.
Featured Image via Electronic Arts