The Sims 4 Review (PS4)
The other week, while my daughter was sitting playing The Sims 4, I said to my wife, “I hardly ever play The Sims anymore.” It’s down to two reasons. First, I don’t often have time for my own life, far less to play that of other, fictional, people. Second, if I was to try and play, my daughter would ask if she could play instead. And I would likely concede and go off to fire up something on the PS4 instead. But two things happened recently to change this.
The first was the release of The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs expansion. It gave me a genuine excuse to start playing the Sims again, as I had to review the expansion for the site.
The second was the release of the PlayStation 4 (and Xbox One) version of The Sims 4. Now I could either sulk off to play the PS4 version when my daughter was on the PC, or tell her to go and play the PS4 version. It should come as no surprise though, that we would both rather be playing it on the PC.
The Sims 4 is a great game. If you have played any Sims games of the past, and haven’t played The Sims 4 yet, what have you been missing out on? Well, only the best Sims creation tools ever made. Creativity is at a premium in The Sims 4 as you can fine tune almost every detail of the sims you create. If you are building a whole family then you can use the genetics tool to generate kids based on the parent sims.
The build tools also took a nice upgrade over the Sims 3. One feature you will be thankful for on the PS4 version of the Sim 4 is the pre-built rooms. Each category of room has a selection of prefabricated builds to suit a range of budgets. This allows you to build a house in a matter of minutes and get playing with your new family without hassle.
And that’s the approach you are going to want to take on the console version of The Sims 4. In the PC version of the game, everything runs like a charm. Sims can wonder with ease in-between lots and around the neighbourhood. Switching between Play mode and Build mode happens in an instant. Even travelling to a community lot takes a matter of moments to load.
But on the PlayStation 4, this is not the case. This is one of the only games I have seen that under performs on the Sony platform. Switching between Play and Build mode causes the whole thing to freeze up for a few seconds. Travelling to a community lot requires a long load. And you can forget about popping to the neighbours for a cup of sugar. Unless you want that same long load time.
And all that is only after you have managed to work out how to do the above transitions. The control scheme used for the PS4 is, at best, awkward. You use the touchbar of the controller to switch between a menu mode and a world mode. In menu mode you can navigate between all the panels of the UI using the d-pad. And the world mode allows you to move the camera around and select items with the joysticks. The principle might sound ok, but it does not work well. And the Xbox control scheme must be different again, as there is no touchbar to change system with.
And it’s not only the switching between modes that’s an issue. A lot of the functions in the PC version of the Sims are on hotkeys. Or at worst, selected with a mouse click. An interaction that is much faster (and more accurate) than using the joystick to move a curser. Or navigating panels with a d-pad. Specifically here I am talking about the switch between Play and Build mode. On PC, F1 and F2 give you quick access to these modes. On PS4 you click the touchbar, navigate up to the menu icon for the appropriate mode and select it. Then wait for a few seconds while the game thinks about it…
It’s a real shame. I cannot recommend the Sims 4 enough to people who enjoy that style of gaming. However, I cannot recommend the Sims 4 on PS4 at all.
4 Sims waiting on their taxi to PC-ville out of 10