The Sims 4 is a social simulation game developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. It is the fourth major title in The Sims series, and is the sequel to The Sims 3 (2009). The game was released in North America on September 2, 2014, for Windows, an OS X version was released in February 2015, and PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions were released in November 2017. The game was moved to a free-to-play model on October 18, 2022, monetized by the purchase of various paid downloadable content packs that have been developed since its release.
Occult Sims are introduced in various expansion packs and "game packs", these occults include aliens, vampires, mermaids, spellcasters, and werewolves; some occults can be directly created in Create-a-Sim. Cat and dog pets are introduced via the Cats & Dogs expansion pack, and can be created in the "Create-a-Pet" mode within Create-a-Sim, or adopted during gameplay. Gender options for Sims were expanded in a 2016 update, allowing for greater freedom of gender expression. With this update, hairstyles and outfits can be worn by any Sim of any gender, and pregnancy is now possible regardless of gender. The diversity of skin tones in the game was greatly expanded in a 2020 update, following strong player demand; skin tones were divided into warm, neutral, and cold tones, and the ability to adjust the saturation and opacity of skin tones and makeup colors was introduced.
The Sims 4 includes three worlds in its base game: Willow Creek and Oasis Springs contain pre-made houses, community lots, and Sim families, while Newcrest is a sandbox world only containing blank lots free for players to build upon. Additional worlds are included in the game's expansion packs and "game packs", with the added world usually being a core feature of the pack. These worlds frequently borrow inspirations from real-life locations; for example, Island Living introduces a tropical world named Sulani, Jungle Adventure introduces a Latin American-inspired vacation world named Selvadorada, Snowy Escape introduces a mountainous Japan-inspired world named Mt. Komorebi, and Cottage Living includes a rural England-inspired world named Henford-on-Bagley.
On May 6, 2013, Maxis confirmed that The Sims 4 was in development, and would be scheduled for release in 2014. The Sims 4 was unveiled via gameplay demos and release trailers in August 2013 at Gamescom. Several trailers were released on YouTube in May 2014; a Create-a-Sim trailer revealed the variety of Sim customization options; a Build mode trailer showcased the new interface and building tools. Game footage was shown at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) on June 9, 2014, and the game's North American release date of September 2, 2014 was announced, to be released on Windows. A free playable demo of the Create-a-Sim feature was made available for download on August 12, 2014.
In response to players' complaints about missing features, Maxis pledged to introduce additional content and features to The Sims 4 via free updates. This includes features from past The Sims main titles that were excluded at launch such as swimming pools, genealogy, toddler Sim life stage, and basements. Other major features added in updates include the Newcrest sandbox world, gender customization in Create-a-Sim, gameplay scenarios, terrain manipulation tools, "Neighbourhood Stories" gameplay storytelling system, a "wants and fears" goal system, and an infant Sim life stage. EA affirmed their commitment to long-term support of the game for "ten years, fifteen years, or more" in 2021, citing a "shift across the entire games industry to support and nurture our communities long-term". As of 2022, free content and feature updates for the game continue to be released regularly.
Paid downloadable content (DLC) packs for The Sims 4 have been released since 2015; there are four categories of DLC packs: expansion packs, "game packs", "stuff packs", and "kits". Expansion packs are the largest content packs, primarily focusing on major new features relevant to a theme. Game packs are similar to expansion packs, but include a smaller amount of content. Stuff packs are minor DLC packs only containing a small number of furniture and clothing items. Kits are the smallest DLC packs, with each kit exclusively focusing on either furniture or clothing items. Critic reviews for expansion packs and game packs have received "generally favorable" to "mixed or average" reception, according to Metacritic.
As far as monsters are concerned, the Locations connecting between Hubs (such as the Cellar Archives, Prison, and Sewer) are the most hazardous. The Hubs and some of the attached rooms (including the main "puzzle rooms" in particular, such as the Laboratory, Machine Room, and Control Room) are entirely free of monsters, although some other rooms attached to Hubs are very dark, scary, and usually hazardous (Wine Cellar, Storage, Morgue, Choir). The Shadow gradually consumes the Hubs (except for the Cistern Entrance) as Daniel comes closer to solving how to proceed.
Amnesia: The Dark Descent was published by Frictional Games through digital download services such as their own digital store, Steam, Gamer's Gate, Gamefly, Desura and Impulse Driven. The game is also available on the OnLive service, making the game playable on numerous systems including personal computers and the OnLive gaming system. It is also possible to purchase DRM-Free versions of the game from Humble Bundle or GOG.
The official soundtrack for The Dark Descent was composed by Mikko Tarmia. It features 19 tracks and is available for purchase at Frictional Games' digital store. The soundtrack can be downloaded for free for anyone who pre-ordered the game from the store.
On April 12, 2011 Frictional Games released a free add-on for owners of the steam version of The Dark Descent, titled Amnesia: Justine. The add-on was later included as an update for all versions of the game, as part of the v1. 2 update. 781b155fdc