The Sims 4: Get Famous Review
If your Sims have been working thanklessly as a singer, comedian or social media figure with no recognition or badgering paparazzi to show for it, then they should look no further then Get Famous, the newest expansion pack for The Sims 4 that allows your Sims to do exactly what its title declares.
Get Famous immediately impressed me with its dimension and flexibility. It introduces a new celebrity star system that distinguishes itself from its counterpart in The Sims 3: Late Night by adding layers of complexity to each Sim that climbs the fame ladder. In the previous game, Sims who became famous were all cut from the same cloth, now your Sims can rise to stardom and develop unique personality quirks and perks to go along with it.
The possibilities for how your Sims can achieve fame and what they will be renowned for are limitless and exciting, and in addition to earning celebrity stars your Sims can also earn a good or bad reputation. Fame can be gained performing different actions such as interacting with Simstagram, creating and uploading lifestyle videos, and rising in the ranks of your Sims’ careers, and reputations are determined over time by the way society perceives your Sims’ actions and choices. I found these somewhat-realistic mechanics to provide hours of entertaining gameplay, and it was nice to know that at any point, my Sims could opt out of the fame system should they tire of the spotlight.
Lights, Camera, Action
Get Famous introduces an Acting career, which allows you to follow your Sim to work as they star in various commercials, daytime television gigs and movies. Initially, your Sim will have to join a talent agency and audition for every role, which will require different skill levels in areas such as fitness, charisma, and more. I am impressed by how thought-out the acting career feels: everything from the tedious audition system to the directors and coworkers that change depending on which company you’re shooting for that day seems realistic and calculated. It’s incredibly fun to be able to join your Sims at work and carry out their tasks, some of which include getting into hair and makeup, rehearsing with co-stars, and actually performing different scenes on set.
In addition to the acting career, the expansion pack makes it very accessible for Sims to become famous in almost any way they choose with the new Media Production skill. This skill allows Sims to create videos, edit media and stream their hobbies to share with the world. A few of the new Build items that support this skill are the video station, music station and streaming drone. The video station is essentially a little recording studio with built-in lights and cameras and a computer that can be used only for interacting with media, and the music station is used for producing and mixing different tracks. The streaming drone can follow Sims around and record their everyday actions, and with a high enough media skill this footage can then be edited and turned into an exciting video to share with the Sim world. This means that regardless of the career or hobby, a Sim can record themselves doing anything from cooking to fishing and monetize from these potentially viral videos on the Sims’ equivalent of Youtube.
One of the best aspects of Get Famous are the perks and quirks earned over time through fame. Perks can be redeemed through spendable fame points, and vary in reward from initial relationship boosts to breezing through careers. Quirks, on the other hand, are involuntary personality traits that develop from the pressure of the spotlight. Perhaps your Sim’s phone number will be leaked to the public and they’ll start receiving unsolicited messages from crazy fans, or they’ll develop a severe aversion towards being touched. The kind of person your Sim will mold into through fame is tailored uniquely to your own playthrough.
Quality over Quantity
In terms of new Create A Sim items, I feel that the pack succeeded in quality over quantity. The new men’s hair and clothing items were actually substantial, which is refreshing considering the men’s selections are typically overlooked, but as far as women’s hair, makeup and accessories, the amount of new items ranges from little to none. Still, the items that were delivered look great and exhibit a nice amount of detail, especially the new costumes that go along with the acting career.
I am impressed with the new haul of Create A Sim and Build items, and I feel this content does what too few of the Sims expansions do: it actually almost merits its high price tag. The movie set objects are extremely cool, and the new high-luxury furniture pieces and wall patterns are sure to help your Sims exude wealth and success. As always, it seems that there needs to be a bit more of them, but again, I’ll give it victory in quality over quantity this time around.
In terms of detail and immersion, the new neighborhood called Del Sol Valley is one of the best worlds introduced to The Sims 4. Modeled after the real-life L.A. area, it looks highly realistic and it really does feel like energy pulses around the playable lots. In the less-affluent district where you will likely place your starting family, it looks as if there are dozens of suburban houses surrounding yours, some with boats hitched on the driveway, and each with a Southern California character of its own. Cars are a really large part of the identity of the neighborhood, and it’s too bad the developers missed the opportunity to start implementing playable vehicles into the game.
As much as I love the look and feel of the new neighborhood, this is actually where Get Famous loses major points for me. Del Sol Valley is just way too small, and leaves no room for creativity. Out of the six residential lots, there is only one empty lot in the starter-friendly district, and anything you want to build beyond that must first bulldoze over an existing building. In the district modeled after Hollywood, there are only five community lots, and the rest of the map is just empty space that is made to look full of life with non-playable buildings. It seems intuitive that in a neighborhood where fresh-faced Sims are going to flock in search of stardom, at least one apartment building would be available in addition to more hangout spots. For the up-and-coming Sim with a low celebrity star level, there is truly only one lounge available to spend time at, unless your regular social hangout of choice is a museum or a gym.
Worth the Buy
I had a blast in my playthrough of Get Famous, and will definitely be returning for more. The Acting career is the only job in The Sims 4 where I am excited to accompany my Sim every single time, because watching them interact with the set and perform in front of the camera crew is super amusing. I appreciate that the fame ladder is not easy to climb and that useful perks can manifest from having a high celebrity star level or a good reputation. It is worth noting that where this expansion could fall short for a fair amount of people is its practicality in regular, long-term gameplay: if you do not wish to have every Sim or family become famous in some way, your Sims’ daily lives will likely be completely unaffected by the pack, unlike mechanics in other packs such as Seasons that carry through daily gameplay no matter what your choices are.
I cannot understand why the choice to make Del Sol Valley so small and restricted was made, and due to the game’s nature of encouraging building and creativity, I have to hold this against the expansion pack to an extent. It is disappointing that the player community has been asking for cars for years now and this perfect opportunity to introduce them was missed, but the playable content that was introduced is excellent in quality and just downright fun to interact with. I love that there are many different options for how your Sims can achieve fame and the kinds of people they can shape out to be depending on how fame affects their lives and personalities. Overall, this expansion pack is solid and entertaining, and while $39.99 still seems like a high price to charge for DLC, it is pretty much worth it for any player who sees themselves using the fame system often.
*** PC code provided by the publisher ***
- Developed personality traits
- Redeemable fame perks
- Acting career is incredibly entertaining
- New neighborhood is too small
- Could have more CAS items
- Gameplay is niched and not applicable for every Sim