Reviewing additional content for The Sims is never easy. In fact, there is no consistent yardstick all the way, as the expansions of the life simulator conceived by Will Wright they are more unique than rare cases within the videogame panorama. The Sims 4 above all, unlike the chapters that preceded it, it has been criticized since its launch for a villainous poverty of content, accused of wanting to then sell the various Expansion Pack o Game Stuff. The ultimate purpose of this review is therefore to understand if Oasi Snowevata turns out to be a worthy product within the scope of the additional content already developed for the latest Maxis creature, but even if in 2020 it is still worth paying the canons 39,99 , XNUMX Euros for this type of operation.
The new Region
So let's start with the most obvious things, that is the so-called tip of the iceberg; even if in this it would be better to define it "peak". Snowy Oasis allows players to create their own family in a new and highly inspired location: Mount Komorebi and its appendages. At the first glance of the game map you immediately realize how much the authors have deliberately let themselves be inspired by Mount Fuji and the typical Japanese mountain (and tourist) resorts. Precisely this combination strongly characterizes the new objects available in the Create and Build mode: the new furniture and decoration sets give the possibility to create stylish environments. mountain refuge and homes typical of rural Japan. Wood is therefore the predominant material, whether you want to build your own cabin, or whether you decide to opt for a type of construction characterized by a certain lightness and harmony with the environment that surrounds our Sims. The glance, net of some clearly recycled models, is undoubtedly the most successful aspect in this new expansion dedicated to The Sims 4, thanks to the large typological differences between the three districts on the map.
The new Region, as just mentioned, offers three distinct districts. Each of them offers a theme and stylistic imprint dictated by the background chosen by the Level Designers. We are talking about Wakaba, Sonbachi and Yukimatsu.
Without wanting to give an order of preference to the three locations offered, I would say to start by talking about the district furthest from the summit, as if we had to climb Mount Komorebi together. Wakaba is the district of reason mainly dedicated to tourist reception and built, in the imagination of The Sims 4, in recent times with respect to everything that can be visited within the map. In addition to some vacant accommodation, including the one chosen by myself to be able to try Oasi Snowevata and review it, players have access to an elegant Lounge Bar equipped with all the equipment to show off their singing skills. I would have preferred the latter to offer a more typically Japanese experience, as karaoke is a discipline strongly practiced in the Land of the Rising Sun and very characteristic; certainly worthy of further study. To complete the picture of the points of interest there is then the main square of the district, used as the main venue for the city festivals and where it is possible to take pictures a selfie with the local mascot. Too bad for the total impossibility in visiting the tourist places that overlook this last area, which in the end is excessively bare.
Approaching the slopes of the mountain you then come across Sonbachi, that is the ancient area of the town. Without dwelling too much on the cosmopolitan-style house and pub that can be visited (beautiful and inspired, but offers nothing new), the player's attention is completely channeled into the majestic temple that overlooks the entire neighborhood. The latter is located inside a lovely park that can be visited where you can let your Sims perform healthy physical activity. Thus reached the foot of the temple, and after passing through a typical torii, the disappointment arrives: the temple cannot be visited. It is not clear why the authors of the expansion wanted to characterize Oasi Snowevata so strongly and then propose a series of such superficial locations. In fact, where one can "forgive" the lack of interiors in tourist districts, which in any case are also part of a certain type of experience offered by Japan, there is no justification for the absence of any interaction with such an impressive and typical structure as the temple if not with della healthy dose of laziness.
Fortunately things get better by visiting Yukimatsu, that is, the mountainous area is covered in snow. The term they know how to offer a unique environment among those already seen in the course of these six years with The Sims 4. Inside them, Sims can relax with warm and reflective baths. Also nice is the possibility to dive naked in the shared outdoor pool, consequently creating embarrassment and confusion in the Sims present nearby. The main course is definitely the ski facility, well articulated and wide-ranging. The plant is not managed as a plot of land but rather along the lines of the parks. Players can visit it entirely on foot and try their hand at ski and snowboard descents on three difficulty levels. For intermediate and expert level slopes it is then necessary to use the funicular. In order to access the entire system, it is however mandatory to have your virtual alter-egos run the right experience. To complete the experience, finally, the possibility of climbing the summit, but only for the most daring Sims.
Snowy Oasis, Emotions and Lifestyles
Having examined what is offered by the map, we finally come to the beating heart of the game offer. With Snowy Oasis the developers have decided to deepen the two features that have characterized The Sims 4 since launch. Sims' ambitions, traits, and mood swings have been the main focus of this fourth installment of the series. Despite an excellent performance, however, they have shown themselves, above all by virtue of over six years since the launch on the market, some static mechanics and eager for a refresh. Here, therefore, are added two new functions that do not invent but implement.
The Emotions they give a sort of historical memory to the inhabitants of the virtual world, who remember particular events lived together with other Sims and feel about emotions. If someone witnesses our moment of anger, for example, they may later feel fear or resentment towards us. The mechanics therefore integrates what has already been seen with the moods, already excellently functional to the social part offered in The Sims 4, adding a further layer of depth that is absolutely successful.
On the other hand the Lifestyles they give much more dynamism to the traits of our Sims over the course of their life. There are 16 styles in all and can be unlocked by performing certain and repeated actions. The Sim used by me for the game on which the review is based was for example created with an athlete profile (Ed. first time this happens to me: fruit of the personality test on which I would strongly doubt at this point); if you decide to make it particularly sedentary, perhaps forcing it at home every day, in the long run it would unlock a lifestyle more compatible with your habits. And this is precisely the fulcrum of Lifestyles: examining habits. In all, each Sim can have a maximum of three styles unlocked. This is not an upheaval of the formula, but after trying this mechanic there is no turning back: it would be missed too much.
Let's conclude… The Sims 4
Is Oasi Snowevata a good expansion? Absolutely yes. In terms of additional content produced for this chapter of the brand, it is definitely one of the most successful. Not so much for the contents, which are as usual limited and superficial, but as for the well-chosen focus of the developers who have been able to work and strengthen the depth of the offered formula.
Oasi Snowevata is a piece of content worth 40 euros? No. Having reached the third decade of the new millennium, we cannot help but look at the playful offer of this kind of products with a little tenderness. In a market full of independent titles and at the dawn of a new generation, it can no longer be granted to be able to sell at a similar price cut in this mold. These turn out to be much closer to the "seasonal" additions of the various free to play titles that clog servers around the world of streaming services, rather than the classic DLC which on average offer much more and cost much less.