Sims 4: Get Famous Review - Read Before You Buy

Sims 4: Get Famous Review
Rise your Sim to stardom in the Sims 4 Get Famous.

I was skeptical when I saw that Get Famous was the next installment of EA’s wildly popular franchise.

A celebrity expansion pack? Of all the things that they could have chosen to highlight as we roll into the holiday season, this was their big money-maker? Well, beggars can’t be choosers, and I will take what I can get as I have been playing The Sims and all its older siblings since the year 2000.

It’s not like I haven’t seen the good (the Sims Makin’ Magic!!!!), the bad (a Katy Perry-themed stuff pack, omggggg), and the downright ugly (My First Pet Stuff: aka EA’s Shameless Cash Grab), so who better to take off the gloves and look into this pack than me?

About The Sims 4: Get Famous

EA’s latest installment in their simulation series, The Sims 4: Get Famous, lets Simmers live out their dreams of fame, fortune, stardom--and everything that comes with it!

The game was announced on October 9th, 2018, and the official announcement on the Sims 4 forums saw most Simmers pretty excited. Sparkly Becca commented: “This sounds.....AWESOME!!!!!!!!” Historic Kiwi shared the enthusiasm, “Yes, I am VERY excited for the new pack! I always love playing rich and ‘imagine’ my family to be a famous household like the Goths and Landgraabs - now my imagination can come true!”

Of course, there were less than enthused reactions as well. “Is it going to break the game as Seasons did? Sorry but it's definitely something I would want to know. It took over a month to makes Sims 4 playable without mods after the initial update for Seasons,” Drakharis commented. Understandable, I found myself nodding along as I read that. However, they go on to say “Just hoping the fame pack isn't as bad. From the sound of it, it would be a pack I would consider getting right away which I hardly ever do.”

Overall, a decently positive attitude. I’m optimistic.

When the game released on November 16th, 2018 (ahhhh! only 38 days between announcement and release…love it when they do that!), the positivity continued. Simmers raved and raved about the expansion pack on its release date. The entire first page of the “How is everyone liking Get Famous?” thread is full of nothing but players gushing over things that they love about it. Everyone seems to agree that the new world is lovely, albeit a little boring as far as residential lots go, but all in all good gameplay and fun new interactions. The Introvert Simmer more or less summed up the community reaction, “I'm in the UK and used Tunnelbear to download this expansion earlier today, at around noon, sat down to play it and just now stopped because I realized it's eight and I need food!”

The Sims 4: Get Famous Story

Sims try their luck in the city of angels (or the city of the sun, in their case!) to try and make it big.

The theme of the game is all too present in Get Famous; whether it’s acting, singing, or just plain ol’ “Simstagram,” the whole point of this expansion pack is to make your Sim famous. The devs definitely gave a heavy nod to old Hollywood when they designed this expansion pack, complete with a whole new LA-esque world to explore called Del Sol Valley. The world itself isn’t terribly big, but the devs explain why in JStationX’s article. A bit of a bummer., but small world aside, the attention to detail is outstanding. More on that later.

There are lots of ways to make your Sim famous. EA writes that your Sim can become a fashion icon, an actor, a comedian, a musician…the possibilities go on and on. Since I’m a nostalgic sucker and fondly remember The Sims Superstar, I decided that my Simself would go the way of the acting career when I tested this game.

The Sims 4: Get Famous Gameplay

CAS contains 8 new hairstyles for female adults, and a disappointing 4 new hairstyles for males. Whyyyyy? I wasn’t even impressed by those few male hairstyles; one looks kind of reminiscent of Roger Klotz from Doug, and one of them isn’t even unique—it’s a female hairstyle too. However, there is a decent selection of new clothing items for both genders, including some beautiful dresses that hearken back to old Hollywood glamour.  As expected, there are costumes as well, about half a dozen of them. These range from old West-inspired getups to pink striped superhero costumes. I was surprised when I looked and found that there is hardly any new makeup, the exception being the “dirt” streaks under the face makeup category. I expected glossy red lipsticks and glittery eyeshadow, but alas, no luck. *Shrugs*

My Simself hubby and I moved into one of the two available residential lots (again, this is disappointing) in Del Sol Valley, opting for the one with the house instead of the empty lot. I personally dislike premade EA lots and usually bulldoze them immediately upon starting a new save. As I expected, this one is pretty vanilla, but it’s laid out nicely and I think I can work with it (plus I’m trying to be loyal to gameplay here and not cheat. This will be a challenge.). My real-life family is actually from the LA area originally, so when I was gawking at the neighborhood and the surrounding areas, I got a kick out of seeing how realistic Del Sol Valley is. The palm trees and barren hills with the billboards in the background look so Southern California. The zillion cars lining the sidewalk are a nice touch, and I hope this is a hint that playable cars are not too far away. The small details sold me on Del Sol Valley early on, small as it is.

The premade Sims in Del Sol Valley include 2 celebrity families who live in mansions on the hill (the Bailey-Moons and the Ward families), and a single Sim named Venessa Jeong (who happens to be the same Sim who is showcased in the trailer).

I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the Buy/Build Mode catalog—the new objects are stunning! Old Hollywood continues to trend in this pack in the objects and build items: marble walls and flooring, deep red velvet drapes, and yes, a gold-plated toilet. Ah, the luxuries of being rich and famous! I was impressed by the quality of the new objects—the designers clearly spent some time working on them. They’re beautiful and I know I will find plenty of uses for them.

There are plenty of new accessories and clothing items to choose from, including shoes, jewelry, and hats.

The actual art of getting famous is truly more realistically difficult than I expected it to be. Your Sim must earn “fame points” in order to be noticed as a celebrity, and they’re not as easy to get as you might think. I hadn’t the foggiest idea how to go about collecting fame points, so on a whim I clicked her phone and had the option to “add to Simstagram story” which had new little green stars beside it. Success! A pop-up notification informed me that my Sim was “on the road to fame.” When I checked the new fame status bar, I was a little surprised to see that there was no progress yet—usually in the Sims it’s all too easy to move up in careers, etc. Perhaps this is a method they’re improving upon? In any case, using the cell phone to find a job has the new “actor” career front and center, so I had her choose that. The player gets the option to choose which talent agency to sign with, and based on the descriptions given-it’s clear that one is better than the other! I decided to sign with the less-good one just to see what happens. Next, you’re given the option to check open auditions with a small list to choose from.

Four of Del Sol Valley’s five new lots have new lot traits, either “the hottest spot in town” or “up and coming hotspot.” There is a “walk of fame”-type area right off of a lounge called Orchid a Go-Go, where a bouncer only lets VIPs in through the velvet rope. This is where “proper celebrities” gathered for the first time in my game, and where I found the first really annoying thing about Get Famous. Every time a celebrity is nearby, Sims lose all control. Literally. They start screaming and going nuts, fawning over the celebrity and even passing out. I mean it’s entertaining and I daresay realistic, but a little annoying. It’s like when something catches on fire and all your Sims will do is point and scream at it—obnoxious and distracting from the rest of the gameplay.

Some NPC’s hang around—paparazzi, namely, and stand around taking pictures of the celebrity. There is a new “reputation” meter in your Simology—since my Sim is yet unknown, there’s nothing interesting going on for her. However, when I loaded one of the premade celebrity Sims (Judith Ward), I found that she has an “awful reputation” and might receive calls from other Sims about “intriguing opportunities.” This, to me, is what makes Get Famous worth spending some serious gaming time on—there is so much to explore within the fame and celebrity system, and goals you can unlock from either end of the reputation.

The Sims 4: Get Famous Quest/Mission System

The acting career is similar to Get to Work in that your Sim has a list of tasks to accomplish, and your skill level and mood directly impact how well they do. For example, you have the option to act a scene in a “risky” way or in a “safe” way, and successfully completing a risky task boosts your chances of doing well in that scene. The better you do, the more you get paid, and in turn increases your chances of being “called back” for another audition. You also have skills to hone and tasks to accomplish to prepare for your roles. One way boost your Sim’s performance is using a mirror to improve the new “acting” skill.

My Sim was successful in 3 commercials and each of them had unique tasks. There were the obvious ones, like “stand and present product,” but there were other cool ones, like “rehearse with a costar” and “gossip about X actor.” I liked that the higher up in your career you get, the more interactions you unlock—again, realistic! As a fledgling actor it’s not like you’re going to bust in and start gossiping with everyone the minute you get there You need to develop a relationship with the director and fellow actors beforehand.

The set is a fun specialty lot. There are Sims in costumes running all over the place, and plenty of NPC’s to go around. Again, I must state that the devs were really thoughtful in how they did the NPC’s; there is one for every piece of equipment, and they all wear headphones and name badges. I liked those subtle touches and really it immersed me more in the whole “getting famous” schtick. I know that storytellers run rampant in the Sims community, so my first thought was how awesome this lot will look in screenshots. The new sunken-in sets are a really neat touch, and will make for some interesting builds down the road. I’ve always thought it was stupid that we don’t have the option to do interior platforms in build mode like we could in TS2, so this will make for a cool workaround.

The Sims 4: Get Famous Graphics

As far as graphics go in The Sims 4, you either like them or don’t. I know when TS4 was announced a lot of Simmers were worried that it looked “cartoony” and more exaggerated than The Sims 3 (which I don’t disagree with), so it really comes down to personal preference. I like the cartoony look and I prefer it to the “puddingfaces” of TS3, so Get Famous was all that and more.

The poses and the Sims’ facial expressions cracked me up in Get Famous. Watching a grown adult male fall over himself because Judith Ward wandered into the bar made me laugh out loud. The ridiculous poses that the celebrities strike had the same effect- I was snorting to myself watching them flip their hair and pout their lips!

Del Sol Valley is quite pretty too. They did a good job capturing Southern California and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood life. I especially think that Del Sol Valley is pretty at night; the twinkling lights are reminiscent of the stars that your Sims are trying to become.

Realistic touches to Del Sol Valley like the palm trees and the “In and Out” sign add realism to the new world.

The Sims 4: Get Famous Developer

It’s unfortunate, but gamers beyond just Sims players have come to accept that EA generally just doesn’t care about what their fanbase has to say. Again, I find myself agreeing to this. Gamers of all kinds have been screwed by EA; we all remember the outrage when My First Pet Stuff was released, proving once and for all to Simmers that EA is more interested in their bottom dollar than the people who paid for their success. In light of this, I always approach a new Sims installment with caution.

My name is Hailey and I am a heavy mod user. It’s the truth. So of course, all my standby mods like MCCC and the teleportation mod were shattered to pieces. Thankfully they have hotfixes now, but even so-lame. Even playing through without mods, I have yet to encounter any bugs that are devastating to my gameplay. I did some digging and found a couple of reported bugs in Get Famous, but thankfully I haven’t been one of those victims yet.

Generally EA puts out one patch a month, fixing various bugs and issues, but even as I write this review I see that there’s a patch already available to squash out the Get Famous bugs. Nice! I am actually and genuinely happily surprised to see that. Well done, EA!

The Sims 4: Get Famous Price

So far Get Famous is only available on PC and Mac, costing $39.99 if you buy from Origin. I took a quick look on Amazon to see how much it costs and yikes, save your pennies—it’s $10 more there!

FINAL VERDICT: 8/10

Like I said in my intro, I was skeptical of this game—it seemed weird to me that this was the direction that EA was going instead of giving Simmers what we’ve actually been asking for (supernaturals! universities! cars!). But despite the fact that this was the expansion pack nobody asked for, EA seems to have done well by its fans.

It’s lovely and clearly well-thought out, reaching for a fun new challenge and hitting the mark nearly perfectly. The tasks to becoming famous are challenging enough to keep you wanting to come back and try as many avenues as possible, but simplistic enough that you can take your time getting there.

The only thing that really held me back from giving this a perfect 10 was that a) it was not my first choice for an expansion pack, and b) Del Sol Valley is tiny.

Pros

  • Adds new challenges and dimensions of gameplay
  • The build/buy and CAS items are beautiful
  • Del Sol Valley is very pretty and well-designed
  • The option to “turn of celebrity shine” is readily available through clicking a celebrity Sim, which is a nice touch
  • Your Sim can opt out of fame—again, another nice touch if you wanted this pack strictly for the buy and build items
  • New careers are available, including the “self-employed” career path (which came with a patch, but even so, it’s nice!)

Cons

  • Del Sol Valley is very small
  • The pre-built lots are boring
  • Sims lose their minds when they see a celebrity in public, distracting them from completing other assigned tasks

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