When Maxis revealed The Sims 5 (opens in new tab) in October (currently nicknamed Project Rene) it said it would continue sharing sneak peeks throughout development “as well as start to open up early access to Project Rene software to small groups over time.” That’s clearly already begun, because at least one of those small group members appears to have shared some photos of it.
A since-deleted account posted 11 photos over on Reddit (opens in new tab) from what they claim is a Sims 5 playtest. You can click through to see the spoilered images, which do match up with the early footage that Maxis showed off during the reveal livestream. The interface and objects all look like the official reveal, so yup, these are pretty likely genuine.
off_screen_pictures_of_a_play_test_for_the_sims_5 from r/thesims
LEAK🚨Some images have been leaked of Project Rene (The Sims 5) Playtesting. Let’s remember that possibly EA test server was violated by hackers (It’s not confirmed yet). What do you think? pic.twitter.com/6L10LqHDu6November 11, 2022
What we hadn’t seen yet was a look at the neighborhood view, which these screenshots appear to give just a slice of. There’s a city block with multi-story apartments and cars on the street—though whether those cars are planned to be functional or for show we don’t know.
One of the interface tutorials says “Customize your apartment with walls and furniture. Find player-created furniture through the Discovering button, and Maxis-created furniture through the Buy button.” That does seem to imply that apartments are intended to be a part of the Sims 5 base game, a feature that was added in the Sims 4 expansion (opens in new tab) City Living.
The integrated “player-created furniture” is interesting too. Based on the modular, customizable furniture tool that Maxis already gave us a sneak peek of during the reveal, I’d guess that the “Discover” feature refers to that style of sharing presets. The “Discovering” menu also has a section that appears to be called “Trending,” presumably to find popular furniture presets by other players.
“This play test mostly was focusing on the new building and furniture features,” the original poster says (opens in new tab) down in the comments section. “It had 4 preset studio apartments for you to mess around in or an empty one for you to build in. There were no sims in this at all.”
It’s not surprising that Maxis would be testing only portions of the next Sims game initially, given how early in development it is.
Whether official reveals or leaks, everything we’ve seen of the next Sims game so far is still years away from completion. I’d expect everything from interface to visual style to features to all still be in flux. But they’re totally bringing back the Create-A-Style tool (opens in new tab) from Sims 3, so I’m happy.