‘Sims 4’ adds terrain tools

In keep with their tradition of adding tools that were a part of the base game in previous iterations, the “Sims 4” has finally released terrain tools. If you played the “Sims 3,” you would know that from the beginning we had been able to change ground that our Sims houses are set on. Like toddlers, this was a feature that has been oddly missing in the “Sims 4,” but four years after the game’s release, you can now create all of the hill houses your heart desires.

These tools come in a free update ahead of the “Get Famous” expansion pack that is coming Nov. 16, and like most things in the “Sims 4,” the tools are more intuitive and easier to work with. There is something very satisfying about watching the ground grow and shrink in a clay like fashion as you manipulate the terrain for your sims living space. Now is the time to build your castle moats and Rapunzel towers as surprisingly molding the ground around your house is as easy and intuitive as house building has been in the “Sims 4.”

Easily the best additions with this update is the ability to create buildings on different levels and placing things across water. All of the tools you remember from the “Sims 3” are here, from smoothing to raising things out or flattening the entire lot, the potential for better lots that fit a specific vision is possible.

My favorite aspect is the ability to sink the ground all the way to the base level the lot is built on, giving an almost “Minecraft” feel. The first thing I did was create a giant sinkhole for my Sims to have to avoid. Surprisingly, the Sims themselves pathfinder worked very well around the uneven layers and steep hills. I have had few problems in my builds that I could not easily fix.

In addition to the tools, quality of life things have been added as well, such as the ability to place stairs from the top floor rather than only the bottom. Plus, you create buildings with different foundation heights or you can ditch the foundations entirely. There are also more half-wall heights and two more additional basement heights, meaning you can now create an eight-story home, which is insane and awesome.

The update also comes with the new Influencer job and the long awaited first person camera perspective. For the first time in Sims games we can experience our little Sims lives through their eyes, which is both a little jarring but oddly mesmerizing. With these new changes it already feels like we have received a miniature expansion right before the big $40 expansion drops on us in a few days.

While it has taken Maxis a long time to give their gamers the things we have grown accustomed to in Sims games, free additions like the terrain tools that are done with skill and thoughtfulness are helping to smooth over the rough edges.