The Sims 4 review

8

Great

The latest in the long line of one of the most popular simulation games has finally made its way to console. But will The Sims 4 on console make say “DagDag” (hello), or leave you feeling “Awasa poa” (bored)?

Personally, I’ve been playing The Sims since its original incarnation all the way back in 2000 (now I feel old), and have had first-experience at how the series has developed. From its first “Nooboo” (baby) steps, through various experiences, good and bad, on PC, console, and mobile. Will The Sims 4 live up to the reputation the series has developed over the years?

The Sims 4 originally came out in 2014, to very mixed reviews. After the massive success of the excellent The Sims 3, The Sims 4 had a lot to live up to. Initially, it was met by disappointment by fans, eager to have the freedom and options available from The Sims 3, but with the new cartoony style of The Sims 4. Fast forward three years, and The Sims 4 is now at a point in its life where it is starting to overtake The Sims 3 in its place as the best Sims experience. Now, this is all well and good on PC, but does this transfer over well to console? You’ll have to wait and see…

If you’ve been living under a rock for the last 17 years, and are not aware of The Sims, or what the game is about, I’m here to enlighten you. In The Sims you take control of a family of Sims, whether they are a stock family put together by those at Maxis, or one you create yourself with the extensive Create-a-Sim mode. It is up to you to ensure the lives of this new Sim family are filled with joy and happiness, helping them achieve their lifelong aspirations, and go through life without a care in the world. Or, you don’t… If you’d rather do everything to make your Sim’s life a living hell, you can do that too!

If that doesn’t appeal to you, however, many “Simmers”, like me, spend a lot of their time in Build Mode, plugging away at building the most elaborate, or not, houses and recreational buildings. Everything from rearranging apartments (if you have the City Living DLC), building classic Georgian homes, or conjuring up some squalid pit of despair…

That is where The Sims is almost unique… It caters to many tastes, and to those who want to try something new… Thankfully, all of the charms of The Sims 4 carry over to console very easily… You can do anything you can do on PC, but from the comfort of your sofa. However, there is one thing which didn’t transfer over so easily, and for many could make or break the game for them…

The controls can be so frustrating at times… There are two modes of control, sweeping the cursor around, selecting everything at ease, or more structured control, switching through menu options and a Sim’s actions. The cursor control can take some getting used to, as it has a very heavy push and pull to it… You feel you’re dragging it across the screen, then suddenly having to regain control as it overshoots the item you want to select, or the body part you want to edit. With time, however, you get to learn its movement, and it does become easier. But, for some unknown reason, it’ll switch back to the structured control method with out warning… However, it’s nothing a quick tap of the options button won’t fix… It’s not a deal breaker, but it can be frustrating when it’s 1am, you should be asleep, and the game decides to change your control method…

If you’re not happy with the base game, and want to expand on your Simming options, there is one expansion, one game pack, and five stuff packs available to purchase straight away… “But what do these mean Cat? What’s the difference?” I hear you cry… Well I’m glad you asked!

Expansions introduce large amounts of new gameplay content set around a central theme. Provide new game systems additional to the existing selections. For example, City Living introduced Lot Traits, Apartment renting, and Festivals. Game Packs are smaller, cheaper bundles set around a theme, the first of which is available is the Vampires pack. These tend to feature new clothing, appearance, and miscellaneous household objects. They don’t change anything about the mechanics of the game, but provide new aesthetic additions. Stuff packs are the smallest of the DLC offered, and for a few pounds will give players new household or clothing items set around a theme. The Perfect Patio Stuff Pack introduced hot tubs, new chairs, tables, etc. Whether you have the base game, or treated yourself to a new pack, everyone gets the Holiday Celebration pack for free, which includes lots of festive goodies, such as jumpers, trees, and more. You will also notice a Deluxe upgrade is available to purchase, which for a few bob will give you a few new household items, and some new party outfits for your Sims…

Overall, The Sims 4 experience on console is almost exactly the same as the PC version. Save for the controls, everything else has converted over nicely. The general gameplay feels just how it should, and any Simmer, new or experienced, should feel right at home playing this on Xbox One or PS4. Just be prepared to lose many hours to managing your Sim’s bladder, or making sure they’re not setting themselves on fire.

The Sims 4 is out now on Xbox One, PS4, PC and Mac.

Good

  • Same Sims experience as found on PC
  • Easy to pick up for complete Sims novices
  • You will lose hours to this

Bad

  • Controls can be frustrating at times
  • You will lose hours to this

Summary

If you are unable to enjoy The Sims 4 on PC or Mac, then this is a well thought out, and well produced port to console. With time, and learning the game’s idiosyncrasies with regards to the controls, any Simmer, new or experienced, will feel right at home.
8

Great

Web Developer by day, massive geeky gamer by night. I’ve been playing games for as long as I can remember… You can see me stream most weekday evenings on Twitch as KooKatchu!