Idk if anyone has noticed, but a lot of the big Sims channels have started playing the Sims 2 again. Like James Turner, Urbanxsims, the English simmer, pixalde, just to name a few. What surprised me is that they all started replaying the game around the same time, and around that time they started expressing how they felt with the sims 4. It says a lot about the overall quality of the sims 2 that people are still able to go back to it and still find new things to do with it. And that, to me, says a lot.
When players are willingly going back to play a game that came out in 2003, wow!, and are still finding new things to do with it and regaining their enjoyment in the franchise should be sending a message to EA/Maxis. When Will Wright created the sims, he made it a game where players could connect with their sims and feel for them. Which makes sense when you realize that he started the Sims series due to a house fire he experienced. Which is why fires in the Sims 2 are so, at least for me, emotionally involved. The sims 2 hit a balance with, at the time, revolutionary graphics, character customization, aging, and simulation technology. It jumped leaps and bounds from what the Sims 1 had.
And I believe that was because of the team who were working on it. Remember how for the sims 2 Expansion packs, different gurus would do a mini let's play to show you parts of it? They really valued what they were working on and really wanted us to know that everything we saw would be in the game. Not to say that the current team doesn't, but there have been too many occasions where it seemed like the gurus were distancing themselves from the game. Which is why I would love to hear Will Wright's opinion on the Sims franchise as it stands right now. If it were me, I would have brought him back as a consultant to help with the Sims 4 in terms of gameplay and simulation. Will Wright said that Sims didn't have emotions that were plainly visible to the player, it was the player who had to interpret how a Sim was feeling based on their actions.
The sims 4 pushed emotions as its biggest selling point, the sims would tell you how they felt and influence gameplay. Well... One of the biggest complaints I see about the sims 4 is that it's too easy. That there isnt any consequences for your sims actions. Well starting in the Sims 1, there was. But the Sims 2 turned them up alittle bit more while still keeping it tame. If your sim cheated, there were lasting consequences that affected how your sim progressed in other relationships. Sometimes they would think of their ex, have a hard time building romantic relationships, or outright woohoo the town because they didnt care, usually the romantic aspiration, or if a fire broke out that resulted in the death of a sim, the surviving sims would carry that sadness for the rest of their lives, each dealing with it in their own way.
In the Sims 4, this is watered down and limited by the emotion system. If your sim cheats, they get over it and act like nothing happened. If there is a fire and death, same thing. They get over it fairly quickly and go back to acting like nothing happened. Guys, in the sims 2, sims would start crying out of nowhere because of a painful memory or get mad when they see a sim who hurt them. There was so much heart and depth put onto that little game at launch with EPs adding even more love to it. I really hope that EA is watching and listening to the climate. Their big game changers are playing a game from 2003 and are really enjoying themselves, there is a person out there trying to make a life sim that recaptures what the Sims is to people, and the Creators of Planet Coaster/Zoo have reached out to those same game changers to have them review their new Zoo simulation game. It's only a matter of time before they, too, try their hands at a life sim. EA/Maxis needs to go back to their roots when it comes to the sims, especially if there is a Sims 5 in the works. Players have listed aspects of all 5 integrations of the Sims franchise that they love, like, could live with or without, and downright dislike. EA should use that when going forward. Cause if they don't, another developer will look at those lists and create something that could create competition.