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The Sims 4 Werewolves Review: ‘A Much-Needed Win After Wedding Stories Fail’

The Sims 4 Werewolves Review: ‘A Much-Needed Win After Wedding Stories Fail’
Images via Maxis

Written by 

Kiera Mills

Posted 

23rd Jun 2022 15:59

The newest game pack to grace our sims files finally adds werewolves to the game, allowing us to fulfil the vampire/werewolf love triangles of our dreams, enough to make Twilight fans envious. The Sims 4 Werewolves follows the disastrous bug-filled launch of The Sims 4: Wedding Stories, which knocked the confidence of many fans. If you're worried The Sims 4 Werewolves will have the same gameplay issues, stay tuned for the full scope of gameplay, story, and items included in the pack, so you can judge for yourself if it's worth buying or not.

Create A Sim Items

A character in The Sims 4 werewolves showing an outfit in create a sim
Click to enlarge

The cosmetic items featured in 'create a sim' lean into the werewolf tropes of classic horror. Most options are torn trousers and flannel shirts, as you'd expect from any 90's horror flick. There are also knit-wear options that can be worn by both male and female body types, which affords versatility in clothing choice for your sims. Whether you want to rock a torn-off shorts look, or have your wolves lounge around in cosy jumpers, the possibilities are varied. There's a total of twelve tops, seven bottoms, and three pairs of shoes included in the pack. What's interesting is the new choice of nose piercings, tattoos, and scars. With only two new tattoos, however, this feels like a missed opportunity to inject some much-needed grunge into The Sims.

Whether you love or hate them, mullets are back in fashion thanks to the success of Stranger Things. As such, the Maxis team has cashed in on this and there is a choice between natural and vibrant mullets to try. Now you can pop a mullet and colourful jumper on your sim and sing 'Running Up That Hill' to your heart's content as your werewolf rampages through the town.

As always, CAS falls short when it comes to children and toddlers, with very few options. The adult hairstyles are available for children, which is a nice touch, but if you were hoping for new clothing options, you'll be disappointed. There are only two full-body options for toddlers with this pack, and two tops and one set of shorts for children. The shorts do have a wolf tail attached to them though, which may spark some joy.

A character in The Sims 4 werewolves showing a werewolf with a skeleton costume on
Click to enlarge

Like that of the vampire pack, your sim's werewolf form can be edited through CAS. Remarkably, the werewolf system shares the same colour wheel as Sims 4: Cats and Dogs, meaning that you can fully customise the werewolf pelt to include hand-drawn designs and colour schemes. This full versatility allows ultimate creativity, something that the sims community is known for. Already there is an outpour of werewolf designs on social media, available if you need a spark of inspiration.

Build And Buy

A screenshot of gameplay from The Sims 4 werewolves
Click to enlarge

This pack shines through on the build and buy options. Think shabby/chic or repurposed grunge. The furniture items all follow through with the werewolf theme, with most items appearing run-down like they have been in circulation for several years or found through a car boot sale. This is great news for any 'rags to riches' players who wish to start their sim from nothing and work their way up the fortune ladder. For story-telling purposes, this pack allows simmers to represent the different classes and lifestyles of sims, in a way that goes hand in hand with The Sims 4: Eco Lifestyle pack.

A sim's home in The Sims 4 Werewolves
Click to enlarge

For builders, the new possibilities these items bring are worth the cost alone. Most furniture items have different swatches with varying amounts of degradation, meaning you can make your home look as run down as you like. These items will lend themselves well to any eco builds or farmhouses, meaning the pack will work well with the Eco Living and Cottage Living packs.

As always, the sims team has hidden Easter eggs and lore through item descriptions in the build and buy menu. These nuanced descriptions are well-worth the time investigating as the expanded lore for this pack has been a major stepping-stone in fleshing out The Sims 4 occult factions, their backstories and how they fit into The Sims universe.

  • Read our Sims 4 Werewolves lore guide for more information on how the sims team have expanded the lore of werewolves in the universe.

New World/Map: Moonwood Mill

A town in The Sims 4 Werewolves
Click to enlarge

The new world, aptly named Moonwood Mill, is forever misty like something straight out of Sleepy Hollow. The level of world design on display is impressive, with new Lycan-inspired forage items and artefacts ready to dig up. There are new explorable tunnels, however these are standard rabbit holes with pop-up choices rather than new areas to explore for yourself. One of the rabbit holes does lead to an underground werewolf bunker, and this is a standard area to eat, rest and wash. It would have been exciting if the sims team implemented a secret world like that of the Sylvan Glade or Forgotten Grotto in Oasis Springs. They missed an opportunity here to have a hidden werewolf den with rare collectables or even an Easter egg to other werewolf pop culture and lore.

The theme of the world hits the mark, with Moonwood Mill being an abandoned milling town, there are scrap heaps and broken windows throughout the world, adding to the environmental storytelling. The trope of industrial buildings being reclaimed by nature is something that's been popularised with post-apocalyptic genres like the Last of Us, as such, we can see that inspiration here.

Sadly, there are only five available lots, two community lots, and three residential on the map. Maxis have expressed through previous game packs that worlds are getting smaller to accommodate for more packs and bigger game files, as such smaller worlds are made to keep our games running smoothly. Regardless, smaller maps are always disappointing to the community with the limitations it brings to creativity. That being said, the areas between the lots are much larger than previous game packs, with different rabbit holes, collectables and forage areas to keep you occupied.

The Sims 4 Werewolves outside scene showing a mountain and cabin
Click to enlarge

The world cements the feeling of grungy angst-meets-fantasy with its lore around its resident lone wolf, Greg, who lives in a trailer by Lake Lunvik. Greg's story is a mystery to slowly uncover through gameplay and item collection. This is enough of a hook for many players, who are happy that Maxis is taking time to connect the lore behind the different occults in The Sims 4.

 

Gameplay

Werewolf abilities screen from The Sims 4 Werewolves
Click to enlarge

There are a few possible ways to become a werewolf in The Sims 4 Werewolves, once transitioned there are four possible aspirations to complete. Either hunt for the cure, become a lone wolf or join one of the two packs, the Moonwood Collective or the Wildfangs. The Moonwood Collective are the 'good' guys, they believe in harmony between wolf-kind and human sims and expect you to behave respectfully. The Wildfangs operate more as renegades, without any rules or the need to blend into society.

The pack system is surprisingly challenging, a refreshing change from past game packs. To be accepted in a wolf pack you'll have to prove yourself first and pass three trials. Once initiated it will take you some time before you're strong enough to challenge the alpha for their rank. This approach to gameplay will keep people playing, as progression takes time and is rewarded duly.

Originally it seemed as though there was only one new aspiration, however once you become a wolf it will branch into these four different directions. This means that there is a certain amount of re-playability, highly important for players who wish to get their money's worth.

Along with the new aspirations, there are many werewolf abilities that you slowly unlock as you progress through the game pack. In a similar skill tree to the vampire pack, as you become a stronger werewolf, you'll unlock new abilities such as marking territory, immortality, deciphering lore, and tunnelling to different areas of the map to travel.

Unfortunately, there are no new traits with the pack or wolf interactions with pets which is slightly disappointing. Having a sim react differently to situations based on traits, allows for more detailed storytelling and is a feature that many simmers look for. Having the ability to communicate with dogs and initiate a feud with pet cats could have been a great feature, even if it only resulted in text pop-ups.

Two werewolves interacting in The Sims 4 Werewolves
Click to enlarge

The werewolf design has split many in The Sims community. Most can agree that they're an improvement from The Sims 3, with the wolves appearing more like animals, rather than hairy humans with fangs and ears. However, the uncanny valley aspect is difficult to put aside, as most of the wolves in the game look more like sims in wolf costumes rather than werewolves. Comparable to the live-action Cats movie, this isn't helped by the fact that wolves will be fully clothed and bipedal whilst walking around in the world. Something just seems a little 'off' about them, and the fact they have eyebrows and are missing tails doesn't help. If they had longer snouts, elongated feet or simply looked a little more ferocious it would ease the unsettled feeling a little. Judging that The Sims is rated 12+ however, it's clear why Maxis chose not to go in this direction. This is all down to opinion of course, for as many fans who dislike the design, there are just as many who love it.

Thankfully, there have been few bugs reported from the pack. One bug, that hid werewolves from the CAS screen, seems to have been fixed on launch, which is great news for those of us with The Sims 4 Wedding Stories still fresh in our minds. This previous sim pack was notoriously filled with game-breaking bugs on launch and most key gameplay features simply wouldn't work. All in all, The Sims 3 Werewolves is a much-needed win for the franchise after The Sims 4 Wedding Stories fail.

Is The Sims 4 Werewolves Worth A Buy?

A werewolf in The Sims 4 Werewolves who is dressed in a skeleton outfit
Click to enlarge

In short, yes. Even more so if you're a fan of playing with occult Sims. This is the best occult pack in the series for far, with more lore, gameplay, and replayability than the other occult packs. Even if you're a regular simmer that enjoys making a family and watching it grow, the build and buy items are well worth the price point for the storytelling purposes they are capable of. 'Rags to riches' players will get use from this, as well as any builders who wish to tackle more industrial-looking projects. The pack has replayability through the different aspirations, and the Moonwood Mill setting is delightfully moody.

  • For more tips on how to get started with the pack, read our guide on how to become a werewolf in the Sims 4 Werewolves.

 

8/10

Reviewed on PC. Code provided by the publisher.