Another day, another new Sims 4 piece of DLC, this time focusing on getting away from the humdrum at your own personal island getaway. But this couldn’t be a getaway for an existing Sim to undertake; instead we needed Sims that knew how to survive on a mysterious island, having done so before. For this little exercise, I created Jack Shephard and Kate Austen from the TV show Lost. (I also created Vincent the dog from the Cats & Dogs expansion, but more on that DLC another time.)
Firstly though, it needs pointing out that many of the same issues remain from my original review of the base game. Load times are long, the controls are quite frankly, awful – The Sims simply isn’t optimised for consoles – and now my character creations are not saving properly, wiping a lot of hard work to make these two look as close as they did back when Oceanic Flight 815 first crashed.
But let’s discuss what’s new rather than what issues still exist. Firstly, when creating a Sim there are a lot of new clothing items ranging from traditional beach wear – swim shorts, bikinis etc. – to diving gear as well. But this being an island paradise, there are also some slightly more unusual get-ups including a Hawaiian skirt, and what can only be described as a fishing net fashioned into a string vest. With some kelp covering one shoulder.
But Jack and Kate didn’t pack for a beach resort, as they crash landed onto their idyllic paradise and were wearing more standard clothing. Rather than have them start from scratch though by building shelters from plane fuselage, I did move them into a pre-furnished house. Maybe in time the string vest will come naturally to Jack.
For those expecting something high-end though, Island Living’s furniture additions will be of a disappointment in terms of aesthetics. Their beach shack may have overlooked the sea – and it must be pointed out that it was a cracking view – but the new furnishings have a bit of an acquired taste. Take Mother Nature’s Lava Sink for example, made with real volcanic rock! It comes with a note of ‘Functional while Off-the Grid’ which is helpful should you choose to have your Sims island lifestyle be that way, but it also provides an insight that it isn’t the most luxurious sink you can buy.
Overall though, you will be spoilt for choice with Island Living furnishings. And look at it on the plus side, most of these additions will be more in line with your modest budget. Save the high-end stuff for the Get Famous DLC.
Unbeknownst to me, The Sims 4 decided to move Jack and Kate in to their new abode at around 11pm. That obviously meant they went straight to bed before I could even queue up any actions for them.
When the sun rose, I instantly sent them out for a swim. The crystal-clear water showed me coral and fish were waiting underneath. Click on the buoy in the water and you have the option to snorkel rather than just swimming and building up the fitness skill. A quick somersault in the sea and a snorkel is equipped, just in time for a pod of dolphins to arrive! Everything and everyone were happily swimming around the buoy; there wasn’t much interaction between human and dolphin parties, but it was a cool moment nonetheless.
After a breakfast on the veranda, I sent Jack and Kate off to explore the rest of the DLC. First stop, the beach.
Clicking anywhere on the beach brings up options like beachcombing or building sandcastles. As usual with the Sims the items required for these activities are magicked out of nowhere, so you don’t need to shop around for a bucket and spade beforehand. But it wasn’t too long before Jack and Kate had built up a substantial thirst. Thankfully, The Sand Bar was right next door with tropical cocktails a plenty.
But unfortunately, this lifecycle is tough to keep up without any external funding to back it up. Just as well then that there are some new jobs available to apply for on the islands including diver, fisherman, lifeguard and conservationist. I let them have a few days of island fun though before applying for any of them.
Away from Jack and Kate’s little bubble of island luxury, the Sulani islands offer more than just a quick getaway; there is the island of Mua Pel’am for the more nature-oriented people featuring lots where Sims can live ‘Off-the Grid’, and also an active volcano. Then there is the more upscale island of Lani St. Taz which features white sandy beaches and jungle environments to explore.
When it first came to it, the price of £34.99 shocked me considering the price of the base game is around a similar price. But this Island Living DLC for The Sims 4 on Xbox One does add a significant chunk of extra stuff. Clothes, furniture, careers, all the fundamentals are there along with a sizeable new area that is very diverse from what is currently available. Jack and Kate may never want to leave the island.
- Gorgeous looking water
- Changes up the Sims formula with island paradises
- Lots of new content
- Price is still off-putting
- Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to : EA
- Formats - Xbox One (Review), PC, PS4
- Release date - July 2019
- Price - £34.99