The Sims may have been usurped by Minecraft and Fortnite in recent years, but I grew up as part of the generation that was obsessed with The Sims 2. I’m not afraid to admit that it’s been a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine over the years: I sunk countless hours into the PC version growing up, but also owned copious spin-offs on the PlayStation 2, including The Sims 2: Pets and The Sims 2: Castaway.
When The Sims 4 launched as part of PlayStation Plus recently, then, I hurriedly downloaded it – before promptly getting distracted by more pressing matters. But with the coronavirus stopping any small semblance of a social life I happen to have, I figured that I may as well live vicariously through an infinitely more attractive virtual character for the time being.
I know EA’s name is effectively mud in the hardcore gaming community, and I understand all the reasons why, but my opinion has generally been that you can rely on the publisher to produce a relatively polished, good-looking game. I assumed when I played The Sims 4 on the PlayStation 4 that it’d at least be optimised for Sony’s console – but I was wrong.
This is a travesty of a title in so many ways, and it’s made all the more frustrating by the fact that at its core it’s so cool. Being a contemporary console release means that Maxis has done away with standalone spin-offs, making add-on packs such as an island getaway and a Harry Potter-inspired wizarding village available as expansions.
There’s a lot of money you can spend here, but the content is genuinely incredible: you can go to college to help develop your career or live a celebrity lifestyle – heck, there’s even a full add-on designated to raising and playing with your very own pets. Like so many games on the PS4 these days, there’s enough content to keep you occupied for 1,000s of hours – and more on the way.
The problem is that it’s all borderline unplayable. For a game targeting the most casual audience imaginable, I’ve been flabbergasted by how badly The Sims 4 runs on Sony’s console: loading times are outrageously long, there are micro-stutters whenever you click on anything, but the biggest cardinal sin of all is that the user interface hasn’t been adapted for couch play in the slightest.
For starters, fonts are microscopic. This is an issue that plagues practically all games at the moment, but I’ve never seen anything like The Sims 4 – unless you plant your face against your television screen, you won’t be able to read anything. This kind of interface is fine for a PC, where you’re generally going to be closer to the display, but I can’t believe there isn’t even an option to increase the fonts here.
Nothing has been optimised at all. You navigate with a cursor clumsily mapped to the analogue stick, while the camera pivots around imprecisely. Interacting with objects in the world is fiddly, and almost everything comes with framerate hiccups. There are no real controller shortcuts, so tasks take twice as long as they should, and build mode is practically impenetrable on a DualShock 4.
It’s such a shame because when you’re training astronauts and getting married to ghosts this is a wonderful experience that’s unlikely anything else available on the PS4 at all. But for a game designed with everybody in mind, it’s an insult for it to be available in this state. Maxis continues to release expansions, but clearly it doesn’t care about the issues at the core of the package itself.
You know, I can forgive the loading times and framerate issues – this is a complex simulation, and the PS4 is getting long in the tooth. But the failure to adapt the user interface; the complete lack of accessibility options for a game targeting an enormous audience – it is, quite frankly, an abomination. I started playing The Sims 4 to escape real-life, but I think I prefer a pandemic to this sloppy port.
Have you attempted to play The Sims 4 on console at all? Have you been equally flabbergasted by how poorly optimised the experience is? Complain in Simlish in the comments section below.
Yeah the UI really is a disaster on console. I dare say you could eventually get used to it but bloody hell, it's a mess.
It sure has a sh1tload of DLC on the Playstation store too.
The problem with the Sims 4 is that it only becomes a great game with most of the expansions and several mods. The base games are always bad as they just come off a prequel with tons of expansions already and loads of content. Console ports are dodgy too, just stick to the PC version and download mods.
It was a pain to begin with but you eventually get used to it. And, as @Carck said, use a keyboard and mouse and you'll get the same control features as the PC version. As for the long load times, I don't think that's exclusive to PS4. I think PCs have the same issue. Though also to @Carck I play it on both Pro and 1st Gen and there's no difference. Any possible improvements on the pro were lost by incorporating the upgraded textures. I really wish they'd given the option for lower res and better framerate.
For starters, fonts are microscopic great quote which is my biggest ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff anoying thing in gaming. on laptop pc etc fine but late night vegging on sofa having put my glasses on play a ffffff game really pisses me off
I got Sims 4 on pc when it launched but I managed to get it for like £15 due to a website pricing error. Anyway back then it was rubbish the base game stripped of even more features than 3 which that game was also seriously stripped prior from 2.
EA have always seen this as a cash cow for expansions and add-ons, just look how many there is even Toddlers was stripped out and you couldn't even build a swimming pool at launch they added that via patches.
Sims 3 was a broken mess if you had more than 3 expansions then if you installed Paradise Island it actually broke the game where it would crash, you had to remove that and if you paid good money you couldn't play it with other expansions.
I've got one expansion on pc cats and dogs and that was because it was like £10 when a local game shop was shutting down. I've played the PS4 myself and I removed it after 2 hours because it was awful
My biggest gripes with Sims 4 is the overly priced Expansions and lack of 2 player mode.
My girlfriend played this on PS4 for a few months, she seemed good at it.
Poor mans Animal Crossing though.
I had fond memories of the original Sims on PC. I thought I try out Sims 4 from the game that I bought for my grand daughter when it came out. I have to say I quit in about 30 minutes because of the menu and controls. Many times feeling I had no control over the game.
@Carck I didn't know you could use a mouse and keyboard, so that's interesting. Thank you!
I personally don't think it's good enough to take a game like this and put it on console without adapting it.
@nessisonett There's no doubt that the expansions add a lot, but I think the core game here has more than enough entertainment. IF it was playable.
@Anguspuss Sony should make some officially licensed binoculars for PS5. This issue is so prevalent across so many games and genres now.
Thats why my 11 years old daughter has taken over the PS4 for hours everyday and made me spend a fortune on dlc.
OR maybe she's a genius.
Always been the same in fairness.. Had an earlier version of the Sims on x360 and it was poorly optimised then..
By the upcoming hen, I'd expect better ports but won't hold my breath
@JJ2 She must have incredible patience.
She does. She had to wait for an awful amount of time while I went shopping just to buy another PlayStation card.
Very disappointing to hear. I downloaded this but haven't played it yet. Oh well, back to Animal Crossing and Assassin's Creed Odyssey, two games that couldn't be more diametrically opposed.
@get2sammyb Not sure how practical, but the PS4 has a built-in magnifier feature. Then as you swish your head around to scan the screen, you can pretend it's a VR game. Else you can just sit a few feet from the TV but that only works if you don't live with your parents.
So I've never played The Sims previously, but I was thinking my wife and I might play it together. For some context, my wife doesn't game at all and really struggles as most novice gamers do using both sticks simultaneously, and she could not work the camera at all. I asked to take a spin, partly to get a feel myself but also to see if there were some pre-set camera options, that either tracked your character or picked optimal view points... And no. I too struggled with getting the camera to do what I wanted to do. It's a real travesty, and I cannot fathom how they expect people who aren't used to controllers to enjoy the game when even seasoned players can struggle.
It's truly awful.
@JJ2 Kids are used to garbage running games i think she is to young to have games running great straight out of the box anyway. 😋
Maybe it's just me but I don't think the port is all that bad, at least on PS4 Pro, if you want to talk about a bad Sims port look no further than the Sims 2 on PS2, that game had some real stutter. I find the Sims 4 more than playable, the interface is easy enough to navigate once you get used to it but again, I am used to playing the console Sims games.
@Carck I did not realize you could use a keyboard and mouse, I am going to have to try that! Thanks!
"a complex simulation"... Hahaha.... No, Sims 3 was complex in its simulation, but if it comes to Sims 4, the simulation aspect is heavily dumbed down if we looking at the neighborhood itself. No more large open simulated town, only a small area around the house. The Sims 4 on PC runs better than the third installment, so it should definitely run fine on PS4, but thats clearly not the case.
Yeah, the amount needed to load is much less than the Sims 3 so I’m not cutting slack there. The base game also nothing in it and sucks. I play it with my sisters copy so I have expansions without paying for them all. The expansions here overpriced and split up. Vampires, city living, and Get Famous was all just Late Night with Sims 3. The number of expansions needed to make it a decent game is insane. This is exactly why EA should be hated. I hate the Sims 4 business practices. And I’ll note I’ve played a decent bit of it too. Too much really so it’s sad to see this gameplay loop treated as such.
@Carck This changes everything. Might actually check it out at some point.
Is this why it's always on permasale? Haven't dug a console Sims since the Gamecube days
Regardless of any opinions here, i still LOVE The Sims 4 PS4. 😍
I gave the score 95 / 100.
I played it for the first time a few weeks back. My sim guy refused to respond, He wouldn't move, cook go to work/bed/wash - nothing. he'd just collapse unconscious in his own excrement.
As this was all new to me I thought he'd got some kind of early onset dementia.
They didn't use the DS4's touchpad? That thing is the only reason FFXIV is manageable on the PS4. I played the FFXIV demo on the PS3 and nearly passed it up on the PS4 due to the controller interface. Thank God for the touchpad!
EDIT: I haven't played this yet, but it sounds like it could use a Joe Exotic (Tiger King) expansion!
I loved the original game and had all expansions. I even used to play it at work. I’m gonna go see if I can download it on my laptop.
I love The Sims series, played it from The Sims 2, so I could call myself a Sims veteran. I must say that I wouldn't buy this kind of game for my PS4, but they gave us base game via PS+ freebies. I have tried right away and ending up ps button--->close game very fast. Then I have tried for a second time few days later and give it a go for a hour or two. Everything you wrote is right on spot. Terrible conversion, unplayable, IMO.
@lacerz I'll bet they have expansions where your sim can join a cult. Look under the couch cushions you'll find a few Sims 4 expansions.
Oh my goodness you do not believe how fed up I am with how much of a mess this game is and how glad I am that it isn't just me who has experienced these problems. I love The Sims more than any game ever created and this just breaks my heart knowing that the game is like it is now. Sure the expansions and game packs make this Sims game the best out of all of them but it's just a mess. I mean The Sims 3 runs better and it's for Xbox 360. That console is almost dead I should add. If the developers really cared about who plays their games they would have fixed this by now. I'm now playing on a PS5 and it still has the same problems. The loading times and the mini freezes swapping between build mode and live mode may be better but are still a bother. I thought I just needed glasses so I could see the text bit nope still pretty bad. I agree that there should be an option to enhance the text when playing. The main thing that really bothers me is that every now and then (I can't quite explain it but I'll try) not the arrow cruser but when you're trying to choose an option it starts going very fast and you can't choose what you want without it zooming through every option. This is one of the worst bugs about the game. Sometimes it goes away and other times it doesn't, meaning you will have to restart the game just to get it to stop so you can choose what you want with ease. 2 years I've been playing this game and not a single fix. In fact, it's gotten a little worse over those 2 years I've played. I'm not gonna stop playing because I love the game with all my heart but I will be disappointed the whole time I play. Just a shame I brought most of the expansions already on PS4, this game runs loads better on Xbox One. Oh well not going back now.
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