The Sims 4 has been around since September 2014 and EA Games’ owned Maxis is still creating expansion packs, game packs, and stuff packs – they even have packs for the expansion packs. While most these packs are remakes of expansions from previous Sims game, Star Wars: Journey to Batuu is finally something brand new!
Or so it seems at first glance…
Star Wars: Journey to Batuu is a recreation of Galaxy’s Edge, a Star Wars-themed land that can be found at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Florida. It’s an accurate recreation with all of the shops, restaurants, and even several familiar characters such as Rey, Kylo Renn and Vi Moradi.
On Batuu, players can join one of three factions: Resistance, First Order or Scoundrels. Each one allows the player to participate in different missions that, if successful, will build up their ranks in their chosen faction, earn credits and take-part in new adventures.
The faction element seemed promising at first, but it quickly became a laborious chore as it requires repetitive interaction with Batuu natives and virtually nothing else. There are only so many times I could “ask about the scoundrels” before becoming extremely tired.
This sort of gameplay isn’t unique to Journey to Batuu, as talking to other Sims has been a mainstay since the very first Sims, after all, it’s how you build relationships. Still, the developers could have provided a unique way to build your rank instead of resorting to the same old routine.
Once you make it to a high enough rank, you can fly an X-Wing, Kylo Ren’s TIE Echelon, and even the Millenium Falcon! Just don’t hold your breath because attempting the Kessel Run is not as fun as it should be. Your sim will vanish near the falcon, which will take off and disappear from the map for a minute or so, with the only interactivity being a couple of prompts which determine whether you are successful or not.
That leads me to the worst part of the pack. The rabbit holes!
A rabbit hole is a name given to buildings your Sim can enter but you – the player – cannot. This means you are stuck to wait outside while your sims complete the task. Oddly, a large majority of the game pack is made up of these rabbit holes, including all of the restaurants, most shops, but worst of all, the Droid Depot and Savi’s Workshop.
These two locations would have made for some decent gameplay because they offer the chance to build your own droid and lightsaber and yet the experience is reduced to the player waiting outside and choosing their options from a selection screen.
There isn’t a whole lot to say about Journey to Batuu because it’s such an empty experience. It’s fun to zoom the camera around and spot familiar locations from the theme parks, and decorating your home with Star Wars merchandise is an excellent addition, but that’s pretty much it.
The Sims community have been campaigning for specific additions to the game, such as diverse skin tones, and the ability for their Sims to interact with babies properly. These requests have mostly gone ignored, so it’s no surprise that many have disliked this Star Wars addition. I honestly can’t say I blame them on this one because Star Wars: Journey to Batuu feels nothing more than a shameless and hastily made cash grab, a common complaint about many EA Games, including previous Star Wars games, remember Battlefront?
As a Star Wars fan and a casual Sims player, I found this game pack to be one word: dull.
Unfortunately, it’s not worth the money as it brings nothing new to the table and the majority of your time will be spent staring at buildings while your Sim goes on an adventure of a lifetime – one that you cannot see or even partake in for the most part.