Sims 4 Snowy Escape first impression review: It's worth it

It's been a while since anything felt like it's just a nice, wholesome break - with a healthy dose of Sims humour sprinkled over, of course.

Maybe it’s the whole year being a complete Eyeball Ring in a dumpster fire thing. Maybe it’s because I personally love hiking. It could have something to do with the fact that summer is about to start in full force in the southern hemisphere and personally, I just prefer winter.

Or maybe it has got something to do with November being a painful avalanche of anniversaries of two people  I’ve lost. Yeah, I know, you’re not here for a memoir. But you're getting it anyway.

Whatever it is, it’s been quite a while since there has been so much anticipation about the release of a Sims 4 expansion pack. Or, perhaps, any pack for that matter.

Not to put too much value into a video game, of course, but after such a relentlessly testing year, you just gotta find something to be excited about, ya know?

Expectations can be a diabolical set-up for disappointment, but for the first time in what feels like forever, it is nowhere to be seen.

Call it manufactured euphoria or whatever, but The Sims 4 Snowy Escape expansion is a whole chunk of feel-good escapism. A sort of weird throwback to the days of removing pool ladders for no good reason (okay, we all had a reason…) and rubbing genie lamps to mend our broken teenage hearts.

There aren’t any genies in The Sims 4 Snowy Escape, of course (there are forest spirits for wishes, though), but the tenth expansion of the popular simulation franchise is just… fun, without taking itself too seriously.

And yet, even the build-up to the release of the pack was a reminder that there is room for taking things seriously and learning as you go. The Sims has come a long way since the early days where babies were reserved for heterosexual couples, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still blips.

Ahead of the pack’s release, South Korean players expressed their concern over some cultural insensitive imagery – a segue into history class for those who haven’t learned that much about countries beyond that borders.

But The Sims 4 team listened and responded – and a bit faster than players had become used to in recent months.

It’s oddly hard to try and distil what the biggest appeal of The Sims 4 Snowy Escape expansion pack is. And therein lies the rub. The pack will have something to appeal to all types of players and yet, its other features are intriguing enough to lure many out of their pigeonholes.

Builders might be intrigued by going on that hike up Mt. Komorebi – because of the hidden lot they can build on when they get to the top. Lifestyle players are rewarded with pre-made builds that are actually not awful because EA partnered with Sims YouTubers to put them together.

The new extreme sports activities, food, cultures and lifestyles (amongst many other things) make this expansion feel like a new BFF. Add the stunning new build objects, beautiful new CAS items and it’s your new BFF in a time where hugs were still allowed.

By no means does that imply the pack is not without its faults. We’ll be reviewing the aspects more deeply over the coming weeks (cough the train station that is not usable for starters cough), but sometimes, we just gotta give people a break.

And The Sims 4 Snowy Escape is one epic break. Just be careful it’s not a break in the neck when you go tumbling down that mountain.

The Sims 4 Snowy Escape expansion will be released on 13 November 2020, following a staggered release across time zones.

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Antoinette Muller
Antoinette is a recovering journalist. She's a multi-award winner and thinks it's strange writing about herself in the third person, unless she's playing as herself in The Sims.