Release date: 5 June 2020
Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Developer: Maxis, The Sims Studio
- New hairstyles & accessories
- Lives up to its name of being eco-friendly
- Dynamic gameplay
- Tedious neighbourhood action plans
- Ugly new outfits
With The Sims 4 expansion packs, you always get hits or misses. From the unexciting Get to Work, and the uneventful Get Together, to the game-changing Pets, and life-changing Seasons. Fortunately, Eco Lifestyle is an exciting and extensive addition that falls closer to the latter on the expansion pack spectrum.
Every neighbourhood from Glimmerbrook and San Myshuno, to the all-new Evergreen Harbour, can result in eco-footprints affected by your gameplay. For instance, you’d find your Sim wheezing and coughing in the smoggy environment of a heavily-industrialised neighbourhood. Possibly the most political expansion pack in The Sims 4 to date, its developers are definitely making a statement about going green.
Green is the new black
It seems almost hard to avoid the stereotypes when the game is all about living the eco-friendly lifestyle. And as much as it’s a cliche, it makes perfect sense to do so. Because who better than Sims with partially-shaved heads and septum-piercings to go with all that candle making, kombucha brewing, bug farming, and gardening. One may say it’s stereotyping. But we say it’s fitting.
Try out different new hairstyles including a space bun with bangs, shaved undercut, a messy up-do held together by chopsticks, or even a new beard for guys. And there’s a new paper bag head accessory and more piercing options too. From the edgy to the eccentric, these new additions are going to be the mane attraction of the game for you. And while it succeeds in making a green statement with new upcycled clothing options, it fails terribly in making a fashion statement with how they look. Who wears denim on denim? That said, It’s a very solid concept with many opportunities to dumpster dive for goodies, recycle unused items, and even make your own homewares and artisanal beverages.
It’s not easy being eco-friendly
Get ready to spend more time if you’re planning to save the world. Well, at least in The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle. Because Eco Lifestyle will make you work doubly hard for just half the pay-off. With alternative energy sources like wind turbines, solar panels, and even dew collectors, You’d find yourself working harder just so that your Sim can flush the toilet bowl. Likewise, you’d find your Sim diving into a nice meal after a rigorous session of dumpster diving session. Need a bath after your meal? It’d be a toss up between staying clean and going green because your Sim won’t be able to shower for long after using the power to make a meal. Which stinks, literally. Because you’ll find your Sim smelling and feeling like shit.
Go green and get into the routine
You can go green by growing some greens in the vertical garden on the rooftop of the shipping container. Add a few garden plots and grow your own food for consumption and for sale. Be warned that you won’t find your plants growing in the dead of winter —all thanks to the Seasons expansion pack. Or you could could turn your house green by building a makeshift greenhouse in it!
Plus, you can also take part in neighbourhood action plans, such as green gardening. But you’d have to spend time walking the ground and be active in your grassroots efforts to rally support.
No walk in the park
The gameplay of Eco Lifestyle is by no means easy, just as it is with going green in reality. But these mechanics only serve to make the gameplay realistic. If you’re planning to make a change, you got to lay the groundwork. And that’s no walk in the park.