I Was Hoping The New Sims 4 Marriage Pack Will Fix Marriages, But They’re Still Shattered As Ever

I admit I was skeptical when EA announced The Sims 4: My Marriage Stories game pack. After all, weddings have always been a notoriously chaotic affair. Trying to guide all of your guests to their seats without anyone dying, catching fire, or being struck by lightning is a real headache. The whole ordeal usually ends with your sims exchanging vows while your guests are busy scrapping in the middle of the road or eating a pizza they’ve kept in their pocket for an emergency.

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(Image credit: EA)

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When I saw the beautiful Italian-inspired new world, range of striking wedding dresses, and added depth to marriage that My Wedding Stories offered, I put some of my hesitation aside. EA monetizing a feature that spent so many years in disrepair isn’t great, but at least it would fix them and make them more immersive, right? Nope! The Sims 4 packed up all their matrimonial baggage and threw it all over this pack.

The biggest problem is that, basically, the pack just doesn’t work. While I’d tinkered with an early access build and repeatedly warned that the software wasn’t final, I still ran into the exact same issues in this week’s official release. The wedding ceremony itself – perhaps the most important part of a wedding-centric game pack – is an absolute nightmare. While planning the ceremony, you have the option to choose your sims’ wedding outfits, set a theme for your guests, and even choose a color palette, but when I uploaded the wedding venue, absolutely no one had adhered to my dress code. Everyone arrived in their everyday attire, and even my own wives had failed to put on the dresses I had carefully chosen for them. Luckily I was able to manually edit my own sims, but everyone else looked like they had been dumped by the wedding on the way home from the supermarket.

A bride smiles in The Sims 4: Wedding Stories

(Image credit: EA/Maxis)

My Wedding Stories has introduced a few ways to try and help you bring your guests together around the gaffe. There’s a pretty extensive menu filled with commands like “it’s time to sit down”, “throw rice”, and “it’s time to eat cake”. Unfortunately, almost none of them seemed to work. Instead of wedding guests, I felt like I was trying to manage a bunch of misbehaving little kids. Getting everyone to sit down proved difficult, partly because there were only eight seats for my 20 guests, and also because most of them preferred to stand in the went chatting. Attempts to send my two honor sims down the aisle were unsuccessful, with one not even near ceremonial activities.

bride on the run

At this point, one of my wives had wandered into another room while I was trying to convince the other to walk down the aisle herself. I gave up trying to orchestrate anything normal after five minutes and went to issue the “exchange vows with officer” command. Nothing. I could see my officer clear as day, seated in the back row. But no amount of gentle coaxing could get him to get up and do the damn thing.

Eventually, I gave up the officiate and decided to exchange vows without him. Only two sims seemed to pay attention at the key moment, while most still crowded the aisle to chat about blah bloobs, or whatever the sims were saying. My fiancée then took the ring out and got stuck in a very long loop, popping it on her new bride’s finger about 20 times.

Surprisingly the only thing that worked was getting my guests to throw rice at the newlyweds. It was the only command I didn’t have to repeatedly issue or finally give up. Later attempts to get sims to dance or sit down to eat were painful. I was also without cake thanks to problems before the ceremony. It’s not very clear initially how you’re going to get a wedding cake, and even if you do manage to nab one, it’s a gamble whether or not the game will allow you to assign it as the cake for your ceremony.

The wedding blues

It’s a shame, because aside from the main ceremony, there’s a whole lot to love about My Wedding Stories. New World Tartosa is beautiful, stuffed with romantic Italian lot names and a scattering of quaint residential plots. It feels more like a world you’d see in an expansion rather than a game pack, and I was pleasantly surprised at how well you can interact with it. The new create-a-sim items fill a much-needed void for formal wear, with a variety of wedding dresses and costumes that span many different cultures and levels of elegance. I also found a lot of cool stuff in the new build/purchase items. Although they lean more towards a specific event rather than everyday use, I can see myself incorporating the new curtains and a neat backdrop into my regular builds.

A bride walks down the aisle in The Sims 4 My Wedding Stories

(Image credit: EA/Maxis)

Despite the frustrating bugs in the ceremony itself, the shenanigans before and after the wedding feel more fleshed out, with engaged sims able to host a host of events. There’s the gender-neutral bachelorette party, as well as engagement parties, rehearsal dinners, and wedding receptions. You can also do vow renewals for already married couples, which is incredibly sweet. Sims can ask their friends to be Ring Bearers, Flower Friends, Officiant, or the coveted Honor Sim. The prep phase is a lot of fun, I just wish the fun doesn’t turn into frustration when you’re trying to tie it all together.

I’m actually a lot hotter about the idea of ​​a wedding pack than I was when I dove into it. While I usually play The Sims 4 through the lens of a cynical millennial bachelor, the pack encouraged me to take my future sims through some more romantic endeavors. I think My Wedding Stories could become a fantastic way to create more immersive stories for my little virtual humans. But as of now, my dreams of my Sims having a completely normal marriage still haven’t come true. This might be the most broken pack we’ve received to date, and I’d hate for it to stay in a barely playable state similar to other game packs like Dine Out. Come on EA, my sims deserve better than this.

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