The Sims 4 Werewolves Game Pack introduces the werewolf occult life state along with a new world, Moonwood Mill, plenty of lore-rich worldbuilding to uncover, and all-new CAS and Build/Buy items — but is it worth it?
Since its release, The Sims 4 has slowly been incorporating occult life states from previous games into the title, bringing in everything from Mermaids, to Vampires, and even Servos! Now, we’ve got the vampire’s sworn enemy stepping into the moonlight with The Sims 4 Werewolves, taking the total Game Pack count up to 12.
Featuring Moonwood Mill — a new neighborhood that might just be one of the most open-world feeling environments yet — and an array of Create a Sim and Build/Buy items that will make any Rags to Riches challenge fans’ heart skip a beat (there’s plenty of tattered and worn items on hand), it’s another example of a pack that is only held back by its own limitations.
Please note that some images included in this review are from a pre-release code.
The Sims 4 Werewolves Game Pack – Key details
- Price: $19.99 / £17.99
- Developer: Maxis
- Release date: June 16, 2022
- Platforms: PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox
Moonwood Mill is as open-world as it’s going to get
Moonwood Mill is an absolute treat to explore, and while it might be more muted and rundown in its overall style compared to the dazzling blue waters and sun-soaked beaches of Tartosa from February’s My Wedding Stories Game Pack, that by no means means that it’s any less beautiful. As always, The Sims’ dev team excels at creating stunning backdrops for your Sims to live out their lives in, but Moonwood Mill takes the cake in terms of how interactive it is.
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The world — with the gorgeous cliff overlooking the swimmable Lake Lundvik and the aged, decrepit factory buildings dotted about the landscape — has a similar feel to that of Granite Falls in terms of its locale, bordered on all sides by towering trees and rocky cliffs. Despite only featuring five lots in total, Moonwood Mill feels incredibly spacious — and is arguably one of the most open-world feeling neighborhoods so far.
Shipping with two residential lots, a library, The Grimtooth Bar and Bunker, and one empty lot, there are also hangouts for the two joinable Wolf Pack clans; The Wildfangs and The Moonwood Collective. What’s great about these is that each one feels like an additional lot within the world while not actually being one, giving you a reason to head off from home and explore. Yes, each of these ‘hangouts’ is a rabbit hole, but an interactive space surrounds each one, allowing you to spend time getting to know the other members there.
What’s more, they can both be reached — without a loading screen — on any lot that you’re on. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the super cool new ‘hangout’ interaction that can be found by clicking on either of the two rabbit holes once you’re in the gang, allowing you to lean against them in a savoir-faire, chill manner. Along with the new Underground Tunnels that grant you the ability to travel across the map — and even to other worlds like Forgotten Hollow, on occasion — they all work towards creating this sense of openness that I hope to see continue within The Sims 4 going forward.
That being said, it’s a real shame that some areas — like the one shown below, close to the Wildfangs Pack hangout — cannot be explored. Particularly as this world is built around an abandoned factory location, it would be great to explore these areas late at night while hunting for collectibles or even just as cool places to take pictures or hang out in.
If you’re a fan of lore, this Game Pack has lots of it. From the board in the center of town that explains Moonwood Mill’s small community and details rare collectibles to the local librarian, Wolfgang, providing a deeper insight into werewolf lore and even his own personal backstory.
CAS for Werewolves ups its A-game
Moving into Create A Sim, Werewolves’ offering of new content provides more than enough variety to cover multiple aesthetics, and the items here definitely work outside of their centralized wolfy theme — I’ll definitely be using many of these pieces for my Sims going forward.
As has become standard for many of The Sims’ DLC offerings, masculine Sims still receive the short-stick in terms of how much variety they receive. While feminine-framed Sims have eight new hairstyles to choose from (along with an additional two recolors), six outfits, and twelve tops, masculine-framed Sims receive only three hairstyles, two outfits, and ten tops. Of course, these items can be used regardless of the frame, but it would always be nice to have more items for these Sims. There are also some pretty grizzled-looking scars that can be applied to your Sims, perfect for creating a battle-hardened Wolf Pack alpha.
For the piece de resistance of this brand new Game Pack, EA have taken a slightly different route from the more humanoid form of werewolves in The Sims 2 & 3, in favor of a much more anthropomorphic, characterized style.
Having spent a decent amount of time playing around with the occult life state in-game and in CAS, I think the dev team has struck a great balance with the character model, and there’s enough wiggle room here for a Simmer to create everything from a more sinister, ferocious-looking wolf through to a more anthropomorphic, cartoony style. Including a paint tool akin to the one introduced for pets in The Sims 4 Cats & Dogs is a fantastic addition, and there are even stencils that can be placed upon the Sim’s coat and filled in to create grizzled scars or a sown together ragdoll-type look.
Maxis has opened up existing CAS clothes to werewolves too, giving these Sims the chance to show off their personal style even when they’re out rampaging in the night. I appreciate the idea behind the feature, but it leaves a little to be desired. While testing out my existing wardrobe of clothes on my Sim, many of the pieces were oddly warped and stretched across the wolf’s frame (see above) — meaning that the pieces I’ll tend to lean towards for werewolves are simpler jackets and shirts without buttons or more intricate necklines and fits.
In-game, the werewolf life state introduces all-new abilities for the occult to unlock as they make their way towards the ‘Apex’ rank. Working in a very similar way to those introduced in The Sims 4 Vampires for those toothy, night-stalking fiends, the werewolf skill tree provides everything from Lunar Resistance to stave off its influence on full moon nights, Super Speed for ultimate zoomies across a world, and the familiar immortality ability.
What’s more, there are even ‘Dormant Abilities’, which are hidden abilities that cannot be unlocked by progressing through the tree. Instead, you’ll need to meet certain prerequisites first. For example, ‘Transformation Mastery’ — which allows werewolves to transform at will without losing their humanity — needs to be unlocked by refraining from scaring other Sims during a Fury-induced rampage.
Alongside these new abilities, werewolves can also obtain certain unique Temperaments that affect their Fury. Fury naturally builds throughout gameplay until it reaches its maximum point which triggers an uncontrolled rampage. With the Transformation Mastery ability mentioned above, this is less of an issue due to their learned control, but at the earlier stages, Sims will be running, scratching, and antagonizing Sims’ throughout their transformation — limiting even the player to particular interaction selections.
These Temperaments, of which there are over 20, affect how Fury is built. These cannot be chosen yourself and are assigned through gameplay. ‘Hates Being Wet’ builds extra Fury when a Sim has found themselves in a watery situation, whereas those with ‘Survival Instincts’ gain it quicker while Scared or Tense.
Running alongside the new wolfy features like digging for resources, sprinting on all fours across the map (which looks a little strange, in truth), and even ‘marking their territory’, these features add a whole treasure trove to utilize in order to create a unique and compelling tale for your werewolves.
Cohesive, rags to riches themed Build/Buy additions
While I’m not a builder in The Sims per se and often wait to pick out a perfect download from my favorite content creators to place in each of a new world’s lots, the items included in Werewolves are absolutely fantastic. If you’re a fan of the Rags to Riches challenge or are looking for more pieces to create a dilapidated, rundown building, you’re in for a treat.
From industrial walls, rubble that can be placed around on the ground, and decorative scratches to cover the walls and floors alongside more naturalistic wooden pieces, there’s a wide breadth of themes that can work nicely in multiple different builds. Including everything from a shell of a hollowed-out bus-turned-makeshift bar, a placeable Underground Tunnel that can be used to navigate the world’s subterranean system, and The ‘Night Night Moon Moon Lamp’ — which prevents monsters from appearing under child Sims’ beds — these pieces are surely going to become staples that builders will be reaching for time and time again.
The Sims 4 Werewolves includes everything that fans of The Sims’ quirky sense of humor have come to expect with its anthropomorphic styling for the occult state, alongside the inclusion of fun and well-thought-out unlockable abilities and Temperaments that can be used to weave unique stories for your Sims.
Moonwood Mill feels incredibly open despite its small size with only five lots and is only held back by the limitations on the set pieces that cannot be explored. Regardless of whether you’re a fan of occult life states or not, the unique CAS items and fantastic Build/Buy catalog make this Game Pack one that we’d definitely recommend you to pick up.
Reviewed on PC