Iris Ophelia has an article up on New World Notes (NWN) about her experience in the as yet unreleased SIMS-4. It is a long article for NWN. See: The Good, the Bad, and the Unclear: My First Impressions of The Sims 4 Create-a-Sim Demo. (Translating for non-SIMS people, Create-A-SIM means create an avatar.)
She writes about what she liked and didn’t. For instance the SIMS developers are going for a CG look not a photo-realistic look. Hats can be worn over hair… apparently any hat over any hair. I wonder how they did that? I would love to be able to wear hats with any of my do’s.
It seems previous versions of the SIMS had clothing categories. So, mixing beach wear and evening wear was not possible. The categories are apparently still there but one can now override them to mix clothing. This is something we have always been able to do in SL.
There is a genetics thing that allows people to create families that have similar appearance, the kids will have appearance that is a blend of mom and dad. SIMS-4 improves on this feature over previous versions.
There is a thing in SIMS called traits. Whatever, it is changed and less.
SIMS-4 looses the ‘Create-A-Style’ feature. Iris says picking shades of color for make her avatar was frustrating.
Voices are gender locked. Tattoos are gender locked.
The demo she tried was limited. So, there will hopefully be more in the actual SIMS-4 release.
It will be interesting to see how Linden Lab develops their new world and compare it to how Electronic Arts is building SIMS4. I expect the Lab will tend more toward the photo-realistic and complete freedom for designers.