It was only a little over a month ago that EA Games announced an exciting expansion pack for The Sims, which lets players actually follow their Sims to work for a few select career paths, or even start their own business. Oldschool fans of The Sims may be getting a sense of deja vu, but that's because the second iteration of The Sims had a similar expansion pack. Thankfully, Get To Work does offer some new perspectives to make the latest expansion unique.
One of our biggest complaints in the base game was a lack of content, which has since been actively addressed with a series of post-launch updates. Get To Work represents the first attempt at drastically changing some of the gameplay, adding not only new workplace and business lots, but an entire off-world experience, new interactions, and some nice new object content.
The Detective Career Path is probably the simplest experience the game offers, with players gathering facile clues at a crime scene and analyzing the evidence down at the police station. Players will get to traverse around the neighborhood issuing citations (be prepared to make some enemies with NPCs) and issuing APBs, eventually using their clues to arrest the correct suspect and bringing them in for interrogation. Here players can either attempt to don the role of good cop, or really let those negative moodlets flow and scare the suspect into a confession. In our experience, we also found spare time to barbeque at crime scenes, which was a nice plus.
The Medical career invites players into the hospital, where they start looking after patients and performing routine analysis and eventually go on to identify sicknesses and deliver babies. As Sims gain experience, they'll be able to utilize more of the objects within the hospital, and will eventually even be able to predict the gender of as-yet-unborn baby Sims. It's not only challenging and exciting, but players will feel like they've opted in on a rewarding career choice if they choose to follow this route.
The scientist career path is certainly the strangest out of each choice, which will leave players bustling over a variety of tasks and working on unique projects. Most importantly, players will eventually have a chance to generate a wormhole and travel to an exclusive alien world called Sixam, where players can interact with a new species and, dare we say, start to recognize a few things out of place back in their own world.
On the downside, even veteran Sims fans may get a little confused in one or two of these new career paths, which don't always include easy-to-follow instructions. For instance, the scientist career will at one point ask Sims to work on a rocket, but gamers will have a hard time identifying that the rocket is actually in boxes, making it hard to find. Likewise, the detective career path told us to refer to a notebook for a description of the suspect, but we had a hard time identifying where to select the notebook itself.
Owning a retail business is one of the best aspects of the entire series, and here Get To Work has done a fantastic job in keeping gameplay entertaining. Business Lots won't come cheap, so players will need a lump sum prepared if they think they're ready to flex their entrepreneurial muscles.
Shops can sell absolutely anything, from clothes and cupcakes to computers and couches. It'll be up to the player to employ up to three staff members of varying skills, engage customers to cash in on the big sales, and ensure the store is well-stocked. Being a boss is hard work, but business ownership is easily the most rewarding career of the entire expansion.
Though gamers are allowed to own plenty of businesses in the expansion, the shops didn't seem completely autonomous. Those looking to simply make an investment and then stay at home will be in for a hard time, as they'll be required to put in the hours at the storefront - but that's exactly why this expansion is so fun.
Maxis may be closed down, but EA Games and The Sims Studio have put together a good expansion pack that sets a decent standard for the rest of the series. Get To Work won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it does provide a much-needed breath of fresh air that will keep gameplay from getting too monotonous.
Being able to build a retail business from the ground-up is by far the best highlight of the expansion, and hardcore fans will ultimately feel pleased with the amount of content offered in various career paths. For casual fans, the $40 price tag will seem a steep price just to have career options, and for them we recommend waiting until a sale comes before they, ahem, Get To Work.
The Sims 4: Get To Work is available now on PC and Mac.