The Sims 4 For Consoles Isn’t Perfect, But Has Potential

  • Simulator
The Sims 4
The Sims 4 is out for the Xbox One and PS4 on Nov. 17. EA/Maxis

Maxis and EA took on the hefty task of porting a big PC game like The Sims 4 to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. It is no easy feat, as we’ve seen the studio make console versions of Sims games in the past that simply did not hold a candle to its PC counterpart. Is The Sims 4 truly the port we’ve been waiting for? Well, it’s a yes and no.

The graphics of The Sims 4 on PS4 (my preferred console) are far superior, dare I say, than PC. The Sims characters are stunning in high definition. Everything looked so...alive. I’ve played The Sims 4 and its expansions on my Macbook Pro before playing on PS4. While The Sims 4 on my laptop looks and runs incredibly smoothly, I didn’t have the same expectations for my PS4 and was pleasantly surprised at the attention to detail, especially in Create-A-Sim.

Maxis didn’t skimp on customization in the PS4 game. In fact, a lack of customization options is inexcusable for all games from here on out. Maxis included face and body sliders that WORK on console. From the tip of your character’s nose to the size of his feet, there’s nothing you can’t customize on your Sims. The animations and expressions are all there. This is incredibly well done for a console game.

Unfortunately, the game failed to provide the same attention to detail for skin tones and ethnic hairstyles, but there's hope for these in future updates. It would be great to see a range in undertones for skins and something other than braids for ethnic hairstyles. At least the males have a decent hairline, but I digress.

Speaking of customization, all of the color customization options for items found in The Sims 4 PC version are also in PS4’s build mode. The Sims 4 for consoles is very much a port of the full PC game.

However, there are still parts where The Sims 4 for consoles falls short. Firstly, the PS4 features an odd framing setup. The frame appeared in the middle of my screen like so:

The Sims 4
Weird frame issues, but it's an easy fix. Photo: Zulai Serrano
The Sims 4
Weird frame issues, but it's an easy fix. Photo: Zulai Serrano

This was odd and I have never encountered this in any games on my PS4. After I reached out to EA for comment, a representative informed me this was due to a default setting in my PS4. According to the rep, “the border in the frame is related to safe zone settings on the TV. It can be updated on the PlayStation 4 console at - Settings > Sound and Screen > Display Area Settings.”

I toggled the display area to fit my TV screen. This is not a setting I’ve needed to adjust for other games, but nonetheless it corrected the issue. However this leads to another painful issue regarding the game’s control. At its current state, without any patches to the game, the controls suck. When they work, they work phenomenally. I can toggle between my Sims and build with ease. Building in The Sims 4 is pretty intuitive if you’re used to console controls. There’s a cursor that allows you to easily place items on the walls and floors. Toggling between floors is also smooth, which is particularly handy when you want to build a basement.

But the problem is they don’t work 50 percent of the time. You press the D-pad to toggle between the cursor and the automatic highlight option (this will make sense once you play the game), but the game kept switching between the two settings. This issue could be resolved if there was an option to just keep the cursor as my default and not have to worry about it. Right now, you will find yourself furiously pressing the D-pad and it’s just annoying. The controls are downright buggy.

What made the controls worse was the issue I encountered to save my game. There’s no autosave in both The Sims 4 for PC and console. I do not mind manual saves—it’s not something that ruined my game experience—but I raged when the game glitched out when I tried to save it. When I entered the options menu and pressed save, The Sims 4 took me to my save files and I would press save again. However, in the process of doing so, somehow the game timed-out and stalled. Instead of a save, The Sims 4 returned to the options menu and wouldn’t let me click out of my screen. My screen was stuck on the menu.

Now the game wasn’t frozen, but it just refreshed the menu screen when I tried to hit the options menu. I lost a lot of progress in my Sims household because the game refused to save. I reached out to EA for comment regarding the odd save glitch I encountered and I have yet to receive a response.

The Sims 4 is not worth an immediate buy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the game if you’re interested. When the game ran smoothly, I enjoyed playing the game even more than I do on PC because I like the experience of playing with a controller. Playing The Sims 4 on a HD TV screen was even more enjoyable than on my laptop. But I would hold off a bit until some of the bugs are patched out. If you’re a huge fan of the PC version, don’t let launch woes disappoint your first experience with The Sims 4 for console.

The Sims 4- Consoles
The Sims 4 Console Review
The Sims 4 for consoles is a PC port with potential. It has amazing customization and great graphics, but the buggy controls are a major disappointment.
  • Amazing Graphics
  • Stellar Customization
  • Inconsistent Controls
  • Save Glitches
  • Frame Issues
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