It’s taken three years, but The Sims 4 has finally landed on consoles. What’s interesting about this console port is that it’s just like the PC version in almost every way. Unlike previous iterations of Sims games for consoles, which have generally been quite different from their PC counterparts, The Sims 4 for console is actually the same game. The gameplay, worlds, graphics, Sim creation, the free updates like pools, ghosts and toddlers – it’s all the same as the PC version. Even the user interface is exactly the same as the PC version. So I won’t review those aspects of the game here since I’ve already done that. (You can read my review of The Sims 4 base game here.)
Instead, let’s look at the differences in the console version. I played on PS4, and while I had a few slowdowns when loading new areas or swapping from live mode to build mode, the game’s performance was pretty much the same as on my PC. The game looks and sounds the same as on PC, which is a good thing: I love the visual style of The Sims 4, and it still looks good three years down the line.
As I mentioned earlier, the interface is the same as on PC, which is the first stumbling block of this port. The PC interface is, naturally, designed for use with a mouse and keyboard. Unfortunately, the controls and interface haven’t really been revamped for use with a controller (and at the time I’m writing this, there’s no mouse or keyboard support on console – except for typing in text…) Instead, you have two control modes that are kind of at odds with each other. The one snaps to buttons such as outfit choices or conversation options and is fairly easy to work with once you get the hang of it. The other is a mouse cursor that you can move around using an analogue stick. This works fairly well, but I found some of the smaller UI elements tricky to click on. The problem comes in when the mouse cursor suddenly jumps to a button when you were meaning to do something else. Needless to say, the control scheme is awkward and rather off-putting. Coming from PC, I found it pretty hard to adjust to, and while I did start to get the hang of it eventually, it’s a pretty poor replacement for a mouse and keyboard. Speedy tasks on PC now take much longer, whether it’s quickly creating a Sim, or building or furnishing their home, or even getting a Sim’s needs to display and stay displayed.
The other significant difference from the PC version is the lack of a gallery. On PC, you can open up the online gallery at any time, and download new Sims or buildings for your game. It is one of my absolute favourite features of The Sims 4, and I was very disappointed to see it missing from the console version. Whether I’m just looking to populate my town with random Sims, or find a partner for my Sim, or add a new building to the town, the gallery is how I access content created by Simmers much more talented than me. Without the gallery, I’m limited to whatever comes with the game, or my own building skills, which are now even worse with the awkward control scheme.
Without the gallery, I’m limited to whatever comes with the game, or my own building skills, which are now even worse with the awkward control scheme.
Also missing from the console versions is support for mods and custom content, which will disappoint some Sims fans. Something I did like is that the achievements are account-based rather than family-based (this really irritates me in the PC version!)
The Sims 4 on PC has a rather intimidating collection of DLC, as you’d expect for a three-year-old Sims game. Currently, you can pick up the City Living expansion (my review of the PC version), the Vampires game pack (PC version review), as well as the Vintage Glamour and Perfect Patio stuff packs. The Luxury Party and Cool Kitchen stuff packs are also on their way to console. Some of these packs are available in a discounted combo pack, but there’s no getting around the fact that you’ll be shelling out a significant amount of cash if you want to get all the DLC.