The Sims 4 has arrived on consoles after a three-year window in which the title was exclusive to PC. Bringing with it some additional content and adjusted controls, Sims is finally returning to consoles, but like some of its predecessors, does the life simulation game not take to a controller quite as well as keyboard and mouse?
It’s all about customisation and from the get go there are a lot of options to choose from for you to create the sim or sim family that you want. The sim builder features incredible depth, being able to adjust everything from voice to gender, and age to walking style. Gender even has more options, not only do you choose male or female but you can set the physical frame and clothing preference to either masculine or feminine, choose if the sim can become pregnant, get others pregnant or neither. Finally, you choose if the sim can use the toilet standing. These choices allow for more inclusion to players of varying backgrounds and is nice to see.
Physical morphing is present and allows body parts to be manipulated to whichever size needed but within limits of course. From head to toe, everything except for hands can be altered and can lead to some funny outcomes if that’s what you choose.
Aspirations are set by the player and give the sim a purpose, something to work towards or constantly be aware of. It’s effectively like setting the main quest for them in which they journey through on their road to happiness and fulfilment. The nerd brain will make the sim want to be both book smart and handy, best-selling author will give them the underlying ambition of becoming a famous author. Incredibly smart system that not only chooses the story but then allows you to write the journey. Each aspiration type will grant a bonus trait or buff which make them even more important as these impact gameplay. Once those are set there are three more slots available for traits and with 37 to choose from there are a ton of combinations available. I love that there is a prominent theme of choice to the player which ultimately delivers endless replayability.
There are only three worlds in which to locate your sims after creation which offers minimal variety. Newcrest is completely empty, meaning there are no buildings available to move into, instead to live there you need to build your lot from scratch. Don’t expect to have much money to work with unless you use cheats. I built a two-story house with basement, applied outside wallpaper, doors and windows and had little left for anything else. The objective is to start small and work your way up.
The controls are where this game is at its worst, doing almost anything is such a chore. Building a house is tiresome, navigating the UI is aggravating, and the cursor moves erratically. Sims doesn’t transfer well to a control pad, there are so many intricacies that you need the mouse and keyboard for, mainly for ease of use. If you could change stick sensitivity or some controls it could be made a little better person by person but without any inclusion of that, it’s a chore to play which sucks because the rest of the product is enticing.
Life in-game is enjoyable, there are tons of things to do. Get a job, invite friends over, watch TV, play games, work out, and everything in-between. Managing multiple sims with differing needs, skills and relationships leads to some interesting and funny moments that scream, this is what the franchise is about. After playing every iteration of the series, this features the most content in terms of things to do, which then of course is added to with each expansion.
The clean aesthetic lends itself to the type of game it is. It is a good-looking game but for different reasons than say Horizon is a good-looking game. Colours are bright and even though the majority of world textures are flat, they are shaded and detailed in such a way that make them look, not so flat.
Fans of the series that don’t have a PC available to play will be happy to see this come to consoles if they can forgive the controls. If you can, I would highly recommend playing this on a computer as it still remains to be the definitive way to play. Some games just doesn’t translate well to different platforms, it looks good and could be a joy with updated controls or even mouse and keyboard support, but in its current state it’s a chore.
OVERALL: 6.5/10 – AVERAGE
Reviewed by Rhys Baldwin.
(Disclaimer: CONQUEST received a review copy of The Sims 4, however this does not in any way affect the scoring of a game or our thoughts on the game itself. We believe in total honesty and being transparent with you.)