It's all gone a bit X-Files in The Sims 4 today. Or at least a little Eureka, toning down the menace levels a little. In the new Game Pack, StrangerVille, your Sim can respond to the call of action and head out to a sleepy little desert town to unravel a possible conspiracy. There's an abandoned lab in a crater, glowing purple plants are popping up around town, people are stumbling around like zombies (or cats wearing Smarties tubes on their legs), and the weirdest thing of all? In the feature breakdown trailer below, characters are talking English, not Simlish. Spooky.
I'm curious to see how well a story-driven investigation works when shoehorned into The Sims 4's quirky interface. I doubt that fun commands like 'plant bug on clothing' or 'palm keycard' will carry over back to the main game (it should), but it's interesting to see whole new verbs added. It's still The Sims though, and there seems to be a bit of grind to it all. Objectives like 'talk to five Sims about StrangerVille' and 'gather 15 pieces of evidence' suggests that there's going to be enough slack in the story to fit in your own soap opera antics. It wouldn't be The Sims if a key goal wasn't derailed by suddenly needing the toilet.
The Sims has gone weird places before. The previous game even had a major expansion dedicated to all things weird and supernatural, although not quite as story-driven. The Sims 4 has dabbled in out-of-town adventures in the Jungle Adventure pack, too. The latter did give you a chance to bring some souvenirs back with you to decorate your house. A cursed statue that can cause a Sim to burst into flames? Sure, why not, just leave that laying around. Fingers crossed that StrangerVille lets players to do the same with its mind-bending, potentially extraterrestrial plants. Can't be stranger than aliens impregnating the menfolk in the Get To Work expansion.
The StrangerVille Game Pack for The Sims 4 is out now. You can find it here on Origin for £18/€20/$20, minus a 10% launch discount. There's an official comic here, too, due to update over the next couple weeks.