The Sims 4: Cottage Living Is So Beautiful I Cried

The Sims 4: Cottage Living Is So Beautiful I Cried

It’s fair to say the last 2 years have been tougher than most.

It’s not every day you live through a deadly pandemic, breath a bit, then find yourself battling an outbreak again. Living in Sydney during the rise of coronavirus has been a blessing. While the vaccine rollout leaves a lot to be desired and on-and-off again lockdowns have disrupted daily routines, it’s mostly been fine.

I thought I was fine too, until I started playing The Sims 4: Cottage Living.

Cottage Living is the latest expansion spicing up gameplay for The Sims 4 and it’s also the biggest expansion to date. After a long string of middling entries like Eco Living and Journey to Batuu which barely changed the formula, Cottage Living feels like a breath of fresh air, and gives players plenty of reasons to revisit the game.

It’s also a surprisingly calming, wholesome experience.

So, what’s new in Cottage Living?

sims 4 cottage living review
Screenshot: Kotaku Australia

Cottage Living is an expansion with all the bells and whistles. As usual, there’s a new assortment of hairstyles and fashionable clothes, backed up with new mechanics. The primary of these is animal raising, and it’s the one that’ll spark the most joy. Cottage Living gives you llamas, cows and chickens to care, and then live off the produce they create.

They can be loyal companions; they can help you with your weekly groceries.

There’s also new farming mechanics which include over-sized crops, new ‘rustic’ house types and new ‘lot challenges’ dictating whether you need to purchase groceries each week. They all combine to make The Sims 4 feel like a whole new game, and one you can get lost in.

Life in Cottage Living feels simpler. You can while away your time gardening, farming and petting your llama. You can even walk down to the local lake and go for a quick dip in cool waters.

For anybody locked inside during an ongoing pandemic, it’s an absolute blessing.

sims 4 cottage living
Screenshot: Kotaku Australia

Cottage Living is the perfect gaming escape

Currently, I can’t leave my house.

But in Cottage Living, I have so much to occupy myself with. My llama Trent is a bit mean, but we’re getting to know each other very well (and he’s stopped spitting at me). I have a little chick called Eggie that loves being talked to. I’ve even made friends with the local fox who keeps trying to steal from my pen. It’s not quite the same as being outside in the real world, but it’s so relaxing it’s filling a void in my life.

And yeah, it might be making me cry a bit — but there’s no shame in that.

All the rustic charms of the expansion pack has me wishing for a life as simple. Sure, life in The Sims is idyllic and doesn’t take into account the real-world difficulties of living on a farm and rearing animals, but it’s nice to dream.

Cottage Living is all about leaving your stress behind and escaping into the embrace of a hearty countryside. It’s bright and colourful, and filled with gorgeous sights.

sims 4 cottage living
Screenshot: Kotaku Australia

And when your time in the country starts getting lonely, or you just want some friends, you can head on down to Henford-on-Bagley town square, a locale that looks straight out of a Victorian England novel. While many of the shops are non-functional (which is a real shame), the square is filled with life — and even a pitch-perfect English bar.

It’s tiny, it’s idyllic, and it’s beautiful. The perfect escape for anyone looking for a quiet moment or space to clear their heads.

The little details in the new expansion are beautiful, and it makes the entire experience feel fresh. Cottage Living reminds you to take a breath. It calms your mind and allows you to enter a more peaceful world.

Right now, some of us can’t leave our homes. Even a tiny holiday feels miles away. But if you’re looking for an easy escape, Cottage Living is your answer. With this expansion, you can simply shut off your thoughts and let your troubles melt away.

It’s enough to make anyone weep.

The Sims 4: Cottage Living is set to launch for PC and consoles on July 22.

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