The Sims franchise is encouraging players to go green with the Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle as the next expansion pack, coming to PCs and consoles on June 5. The recent reveal trailer shows Sims embracing all aspects of sustainable living, from solar panels to dumpster diving. Taking inspiration from current conversations on climate change, the trailer hints that players will have a direct impact on their world, and introduces new, environmentally friendly gameplay to the world of The Sims. Here’s everything we know so far about the new expansion pack from the trailer and from Twitter Q&As with the team, as well as everything that fans want to see in The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle.
Evergreen Harbor Living
The biggest surprise to come from the first-look trailer is the new world of Evergreen Harbor. Unlike the locations we’ve seen so far in The Sims 4, this one changes based on your Sims’ actions. Your behavior dictates the state of your environment: let the trash pile up and you’ll find yourself in a polluted dystopia; clean up your neighborhood and Evergreen Harbor becomes an eco-urban paradise. We’ve seen hints at this before, but the team has confirmed that there will be no Strangerville style missions, implying a more fluid world than we’ve seen before. It does raise a few questions: do we start off in a neutral world and have control over its fate, or do we have to put in more work at the beginning to transform the wasteland?
Aesthetically, it’s a super-modern combination of urban and eco, with builds defined by their resourcefulness. This makes an interesting change from the pristine landscapes that have come before, giving this pack a unique edge. One exciting feature is the introduction of container homes, taking recycling to the next level and incorporating the natural world into an industrial style. This eco-modern look has a lot of fans excited to get into the new Build/Buy Mode objects and create some ultra-fashionable structures.
It’s also looking like we’ve got a lot more freedom coming our way in how we decorate our virtual homes. EA have confirmed that the new dumpster-diving activities allows Sims to create new furniture from trash and embellish their houses on a budget. Clips from the trailer show cardboard doll houses and decorations – as well as the exciting new addition of indoor ladders, which the team has confirmed will be a part of an upcoming base game update. And don’t forget about renewable energy! You can now equip your builds with solar panels and wind turbines. Could this be the next step up from Tiny Living in which our Sims can live bill-free?
An environment-based pack could have easily been too similar to previous content like Jungle Adventure and Outdoor Retreat, but this pack seems to be bringing nature into the modern day and beyond, as the trailer teases high-tech environmentalism (and even a machine that vacuums the pollution right out of the air). That’s not to say it’s all futuristic; quaint community gardens seem to play an important role in the gameplay.
Careers & Crafting Updates
There’s also a big change coming to the Careers system with the imminent arrival of the Maker career, through which you can craft candles and fizzy juice to sell online or in organized community markets. The online selling option has been confirmed as a new feature in the upcoming Nifty Knitting Stuff Pack, and the community markets could be similar to the Flea Market event from City Living. Of course, this is the first time that these features will be a part of the Careers system.
These brand-new crafting skills will play a huge role in the new activities for your Sims. The trailer also briefly shows a Sim standing over a compost bin as he lovingly holds what looks like some kind of worm. Could this be the next big trend in pets following on from Cats & Dogs? It’s unlikely, but it’s certainly intriguing. There also seem to be some tech skills to be gained from the mysterious and futuristic eco-gadgets that the trailer revealed – but we’re yet to discover how exactly this will fit into existing skill-building and career paths.
One of the most intriguing revelations was the emphasis placed on community involvement in this pack. EA have announced that in Eco Lifestyle, social changes will be made through a new voting system, in which your Sim has to actively campaign for change and encourage non-playable characters to support the cause. The Sims 4 has so far been somewhat lacking in this department – you could easily play the game without interacting a lot with other Sims in the world – but it looks like NPCs will be getting more involved with this expansion.
But there’s still so much we don’t know about this expansion pack, and there’s still plenty that we hope to see. The most exciting prospect about The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle is the endless potential for creativity that we’ve been getting a lot of in The Sims lately. Tiny Living opened up a whole new world of building challenges, and we’re likely to see the same thing come from this pack, where the goal of building the most sustainable home revitalizes your gameplay. They’ve touched on a lot of these themes in other packs, so the main expectation for Eco Lifestyle is that the Sims team manages to push the limits of what we’ve seen before and release something totally unique.
One thing is for certain: The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle has the potential to create a whole new realm of opportunities and develop the freedom we have to shape the world around us. It’s arguably one of the most ambitious projects taken on in the franchise to date, and fans have no doubt set their expectations high. The team will answer more questions in due course, with livestreams to showcase new features in the works, but Eco Lifestyle’s June 5 release date can’t come soon enough.