The Sims 4: Get to Work Expansion Review

Work hard, play hard.

One of the biggest complaints with the launch of The Sims 4 was saying goodbye to many of the features and activities that you grew accustomed to with The Sims 3. Standard features like pools and basements were noticeably absent at launch, and have only recently been added to the game through things like free updates and Game Packs. Still, though, the big complaint is just a lack of things to do. As we mentioned in the initial review, replacing five years worth of content won’t come quickly. But Get to Work is a start. As the first fully fledged expansion pack for The Sims 4, it not only adds fresh new content into the game, but gives The Sims Studio a chance to showcase their overall grand vision for the game.

For the most part, The Sims 4 is all about creative freedom. Freedom to do anything — whether it’s creating your own wild stories or building your dream house. And while that’s fun, the lack of direction can sometimes create a feeling of “what do I do now?” Sometimes a little too much freedom can be a bit overwhelming; a little direction can be a good thing.

That’s exactly what Get to Work does. Not only does it give you an outlet to experience and create fresh new stories at your job, but it also provides you with clear goals — something to work towards. Get to Work introduces three career paths: detective, doctor, scientist. Regardless of path, you’ll always start at the lowest level and work towards something greater, whether that’s finding a discovery or conducting your own case. Once you pick a career, everything remains the same except now you actually get to travel with your Sim to work.

Once at work, you are presented with a goal-oriented system similar to the one that appears during a party. Each day you’re given a number of continuously unlocking objectives related to the career path. For example, as a detective, you’ll be presented with a case and must perform a series of tasks from searching the crime scene for evidence to analyzing evidence to interrogating the suspect. For a doctor, you’ll have to perform tasks like treating a certain number of patients.

The SIms 4 Doctor

Each career offers its own unique location which is fun to explore, but a bit disappointing that you don’t get to customize them to fit your own taste. As a doctor, you’ll work at the local hospital, diagnosing and treating a neverending line of patients. As a scientist, you’ll work in a lab, using all sorts of scientific equipment and fancy gadgets to conduct research. And lastly, as a detective, you’ll mainly work in the police precinct, occasionally visiting crime scenes to investigate and gather clues. Each careers starts off with basic menial tasks, but becomes increasingly more interesting as you progress in the field.

For the doctor, you’ll start off doing basic diagnostic tests and non-medical tasks like bringing patients food. As you climb your career ladder, however, you’ll learn new skills that allow you to perform more complex tasks, like diagnosing and treating patients, performing pathology tests, and even predicting the gender of still-to-be-born baby Sim. This was easily my favorite of the three paths, but the hardest as well due to the sheer amount of patients you must treat with little help.

The Sims 4 Scientist

As a scientist, most of your work involves research — using the various lab equipment to create scientific specimens and new items with both practical and decorative benefits. This is the most open of the career paths and offers the most amount of replay value due to the sheer number of items you can discover and invent. This career path also invites you to discover aliens. While you can easily create aliens through Create-a-Sim, a more interactive goal to work towards is inventing the ElectroFlux Wormhole Generator which allows you to travel to the Alien home world (requires maximizing your Rocket Science skill).

Admittedly, I was initially most interested in the detective career, being a Law & Order fan and all; however, I found this career quickly became the most repetitive of the three. It’s a pretty straightforward career, requiring you to take on a case, gather evidence at the crime scene, analyze the evidence at the police station, and then find and book the suspect. The best parts of this profession involve the “good cop/bad cop” interrogation and interacting with your police chief at the end of the day. While I had the ambition of being an Elliot Stabler, the repetition of the constant grunt work was too much to continue on with.

The Sims 4 Detective

Although these are the three “main” career paths offered, Get to Work also gives you the option to be your own boss. The new “Magnolia Promenade” offers four additional slots — a bit on the low end if you ask me — where you can set up shop. What’s neat about opening your own retail business is you’re free to sell just about anything that’s available in-game. While the idea of opening your own shop sounds appealing, the allure of selling things like clothes and furniture is lost when you realize you can buy it all directly from Buy Mode or Create a Sims. Because of that, I found running your own retail business works best when paired with one of the two new skills Get to Work introduces: Photography or Baking. Owning and operating your own store would have worked better if released alongside something that also allows you to open your own restaurant or cafe — giving you true freedom to run and operate a business that actually gives purpose to the game.

As the first true expansion for The Sims 4, Get to Work adds some much-needed content to a game sorely lacking things to do right now. It’s not necessarily as impactful as I would’ve hoped, as each career is still limited in scope, but it’s nice to finally have something to work towards. Obviously, The Sims 4 still doesn’t have the number of features offered by The Sims 3’s 11 expansion packs, but there’s still plenty of time. As the first expansion, EA has done a good job expressing their vision for the future of the game.