Developer/Publisher: Maxis, The Sims Studio / EA Games
Release Date(s): Mar. 31, 2015 (North America, Brazil), Apr. 2, 2015 (Europe, Australia)
Platform(s): PC, Mac
Language(s): English, German, French, Russian, Polish, Czech, Swedish, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Br. Portuguese, Chinese (trad.), Japanese, Korean
Pricing: $39.99 / £29.99 / €39,99
Rating: T (ESRB), 12 (PEGI), 6 (USK)
The first major expansion to The Sims 4, called Get to Work, offers four new careers to pursue, each of which has an appeal all its own. In contrast to the occupations you've been able to play up until now, these new careers give you the opportuntiny to accompany your sims to work and help them complete a wide range of job-related tasks. You can also still play the "classic" jobs, of course, but then you're going to miss out on several cool new features.
There's also the new the "Magnolia Promenade" neighborhood, as well as all kinds of new objects of all types, they don't really need more than a brief mention, considering the extensive gameplay changes. The most interesting ones are practical items like cash registers and billboards, and for those who aren't to keen on designing their own buildings, there are also some new completely decorated and furnished rooms that you can just place in the game without having to go through all the hassle of picking out each part individually. There are even some patterns that are specifically designed for business environments, but lots of them can only be used when you reach a certain experience level in your career. Besides a laboratory à la The Big Bang Theory, there's also a detective's office that Sherlock fans should enjoy.
The new neighborhood, unfortunately, offers just four plots, and three of them are already occupied at the beginning. In addition to a large shopping center, there are also smaller buildings that are perfect for like, a restaurant or a bakery. While the new area does look really nice, it would have been a lot better if they'd offered a larger space allowing for more creative freedom. While the four plots do abut one another, and you can always see the other ones during the game, there's no way to access them directly. The fact that The Sims 4 makes you put up with a load screen each time you want to switch between plots is a big drawback for fans of the open world in The Sims 3, and unfortunately this has been carried over to the expansion as well.
Gameplay: I'd like to use the next section to take a closer look at the four new careers, and shed a bit of light on the details of each one. The new careers include Detective, Scientist, and Doctor. There's also a retail option that allows players to open their own shop, where they can sell clothing, furniture, or food, baked goods, and even artwork they're produced.
Detective The best part about the Detective career is the wide range of different tasks you can do over the curse of a workday. In addition to simple office work like researching cases on the police computer or cross-referencing the information you've collected with the department's database, there are several classic police activities to do. These include booking perps at the station, discussing cases with your colleagues, and taking prints from suspects. But that's not all – if you thought a Detective's work is all done at the station, you'd better think again.
The interesting part of police work begins as soon as you get a case. Your Sim and several colleagues will travel to different crime scenes, where they will search for clues, take crime scene photos, and speak to witnesses at the scene. This is how you build a profile and narrow down the suspects, until you've collected anough evidence to make an arrest. You've really got to be very thorough here, since pinning the crime on an innocent citizen followed by an fruitless search and arrest isn't exactly good for your career, which is what can happen if you jump to conclusions before you have enough evidence. When you're investigating the crime scene, make sure you take your time and really pick up as many clues as you can before you return to the station, because once you leave a crime scene, you can't go back to continue your investigation.
Another activity that's not part of the average work day for most people is patrolling the neighborhood. This allows your Sim to get to know the citizens personally and interact with them on a professional level. During patrols, you often catch criminals in the act committing theft, arson, and other crimes, who you can send back to the station where you can question them later on.
Interrogating prisoners is another cool thing about the Detective career. This is where you get to decide if you want your Sim to play the good cop or the bad cop. Depending on how you feel, you can baragin with the suspect by promising to reduce the charges in exchange for a confession, or you can make him talk by telling him horror stories about life in prison.
Doctor The Doctor career path doesn't appear to be quite as multifaceted as the Detective. You spend all your time at the hospital, and when you get started at least the tasks they have you do can be pretty monotonous. Your activities are for the most part limited to talking with your colleagues, making beds, and drinking lots and lots of coffee. It's not until your first promotion that you actually start to treat patients. But of course most of this is basic routine stuff like taking swabs and checking patients' ears and eyes.
The way they depict your rise from lowly orderly all the way to chief of staff is pretty well done, but compared to the Detective career, the Doctor career just doesn't offer enough variety. One thing that's particular of note in this case is that this career path requires a high degree of social interaction, which means that the gameplay here is more often not all that different from the regular Sims 4 gameplay when you're not at work.
ScientistThe Scientist career, on the other hand, is a different story. Though you're going to spend almost all of your time at the science lab, the tasks you have to do there are so varied and wide-ranging that I guarantee you're not going to get bored with this job. Every branch of science is covered here, from physics, to chemistry, to astronomy and more.
This job allows your Sim to create a series of wacky objects, which he or she will then be able to use in their everyday life. One of them is the "Sim Ray", which you can use to freeze anybody in the neighborhood for a brief time, among other uses. Over the course of your career you'll invent all kinds of other useful items in the lab, including a synethtic food serum that offers hungry Sims immediate relief. You can also research a wide variety of plant species, which you can find on the lab's spacious premises, or you can just bring them from home and continue your work at the lab.
The fact that there are so many different devices at the science lab means that even after you've worked several days there, there's always something new to discover. Of course you're going to have to find your way around a bit before you get the hang of all the various features and functions of the lab equipment, but once that's done, working at the science lab is really a whole lot of fun.
Features of all three new careers In all three new careers, your current task will displayed in the upper left corner at all times. When you've completed one task, another one takes its place. At the end of each day, your Sim is evaluated, and if he or she did a particularly good job that day, they'll receive bonus pay, or maybe even a promotion. Your rating will be determined most of all by how many of the assigned tasks you completed, because just like in real life, the choice is up to you whether you want to work hard and conscientiously, or if you just want to bide your time till it's time to go home.
If you decide to make a Sim that's an unreliable, miserable employee, you can of course spend your work day surfing the Internet or idly chatting with your co-workers. Get to Work even allows you to skip work or duck out early, but neither of these options is going to be very good for your career. More diligent employees, on the other hand, can use the overtime button once each day, which will extend the work day by two hours, giving you more time to do the things you need to do in order to get that promotion.
Since your Sims will be spending several hours a day at the workplace, each location is equipped with bathrooms, a kitchen or a snack bar, as well as places for relaxation and recreation. So don't think you're going to have to neglect your hard-working Sim's basic needs.
I should also mention that you don't actually have to play through each work day. Before your Sim goes to work, the game will always ask you if you'd like to accompany your Sim or just send them off on their own. If you do decide to go to work with them to work, all current actions at home will be cancelled and after a brief load screen will open up while your Sim travels to work.
Retail: In addition to the three new career paths, you can also choose to open up your own shop on any plot that's not already zoned for residential use. So you can't just open shop in your front yard and then live on the same premises, like you could in the popular Open for Business expansion to The Sims 2. Of course, since there's nothing stopping you from putting a bedroom, kitchen, and bathrooms in your shop, you can pretty much stay at work as long as you want to without having to go back and forth to your house. You're just going to have to get used to the fact that your customers will also be able to use these rooms.
When you have your own shop, which you can purchase at any time from your Sim's smart phone, every item at that location can be sold for cash. This means it's entirely up to you what kind of shop you want to run – do you want to sell homemade baked goods or hand-painted works of art, or would you rather use your shop to liquidate furniture and home appliances you don't need or want anymore? All you need is cash register so your customers can pay you, and you're good to go. If you ever get tired to having to check out each customer yourself, you can hire an employee to take on various tasks. You can also promote – or demote – your employee, depending on their job performance. Sims who run their own shops have a variety of tools at their disposal to help get their business up and running; you can design uniforms for your Sim and your employees, or use the cash register to pay for TV and Internet ads. These things raise your shop's profile and attract the attention of potential customers, which can mean considerably more business for you.
Since as a shop owner, you're "unemployed" as far as the game is concerned, it's also possible to take a job at your own business. However, you'll have to take care of you Sims basic needs in addition to all this, of course, and trying to juggle them both at the same time can get pretty frustrating after a while. But then again you can open and close your shop whenever you feel like it, so this afford you some degree of escape when you just want to do something and get away from the daily retail grind, which really can get pretty tedious.