Amid the cottagecore trend, EA has thrown their hat into the ring with the new Sims 4 expansion pack, Cottage Living.
The 11th Sims 4 expansion introduces a new, English countryside-inspired location called Henford-on-Bagley, where Sims can raise cows, grow their own food and forage in the wilderness.
Similar to Stardew Valley, Cottage Living focuses on farming and interacting with the community.
The new release, which came out on July 23, comes with a host of new items inspired by pastoral life and nature.
One of the standout additions in this new expansion is the “errands” feature. Sims can run errands for the locals, including growing their produce and foraging in return for items.
The Sims franchise has managed to remain relevant through regular expansion packs for the base games, but often these seem to leave players wanting something more. Cottage Living, however, feels like a fully realised game.
For the first time, exploring beyond the confines of a Sim’s home to fully engage with the whole environment is a compelling option.
Weekly county fairs keep Sims focused on the task at hand, creating a self-sufficient and thriving homestead.
New lot challenges such as “Simple Living” require Sims to have all the ingredients to cook meals and keep the gameplay interesting.
The environment is beautifully designed, with expansive woods, ruins and a quaint town centre all open for exploration.
The main issues Cottage Living has are characteristic Sims issues—items and animals going missing, and sometimes questionable animation and Sim AI.
Like other Sims 4 expansion packs, Cottage Living retails at just under $50 without the base game.
The base game is also the same price, and there are 11 other expansions needed to have the full suite of items and experiences, which begs the question of whether EA should reconsider their pricing structure.
Compared to previous expansions, this pack includes lots of new gameplay, but the price tag still feels slightly unreasonable.
Overall, EA seems to have pulled out all the stops to create an expansion pack that’s just what the player base needs in these uncertain times.
Cottage Living is a welcome addition to the host of other expansion packs released for The Sims 4 so far.
The only other fault of the expansion? Players are bound to sink way too many hours into the comforting, wholesome world of Henford-on-Bagley.
So, grab your overalls, Hozier playlists and snacks and get stuck into The Sims 4: Cottage Living—you’ll be playing obsessively for the foreseeable future.