When EA announced today that The Sims 4's next expansion would be Island Living, I imagined a quiet existence in a cottage somewhere round the outer Hebrides, starting every day with a bracing swim watched by seals and maybe, eventually, finding I too was a selkie but my skin was callously kept from me but I sneak into the cruel fisherman's hut and steal it back and return to live in the sea as I know I should. It is not that. No, Island Living introduces the genericised Polynesian-ish tropical island of Sulani, where we can live life like an influencer's Instagram feed. But you can be a mermaid.
Of you go, back to the island (in a dark corner of nowhere, the huddled wretch once known as Alec Meer starts hissing "It's coming! I know it! It's coming! The Vengabus is coming!), to live in raised wooden houses or above the sea on stilts, swim, sunbathe, swim, perhaps get a summer job as a lifeguard or conservationist, swim, become a mermaid, swim, and even swim.
It is very much a tourist experience. Except, as stated, not the kind of tourist experience where I swim in icy water, sit on the beach and stare out to sea for hours, then swim again.
"Sulani traditions define the island, and your Sims wouldn't reach real island heights if they didn't experience as many as possible," EA say. "Immerse Sims in their newfound lifestyle by bonding with neighbours at the fiery Island Celebration, taking part in local culture, tasting tropical delicacies, and pleasing ancient spirits from the island."
The Sims 4 Island Living is coming via Origin on June 21st (well, late on the 20th for us in the UK) priced at £35.
EA dropped a cheeky little mention that, after this, The Sims 4 will expand with Realm Of Magic in autumn.
See our E3 2019 tag for more news, previews, opinions, and increasingly surreal liveblogs.