The Sims 5 is a great game. Before installing a new game or application you should check the minimum and recommended system requirements, so you can be sure that your laptop or PC can run it without any issues.
The Sims 5 System Requirements
The Sims 5 minimum System Requirements:
- CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 or AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ (2.0 GHz Dual Core required if using integrated graphics)
- CPU SPEED: Info
- RAM: 2 GB
- OS: Windows XP
- VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce 6600 or ATI Radeon X1300 or Intel GMA X4500
- PIXEL SHADER: 3.0
- VERTEX SHADER: 3.0
- SOUND CARD: Yes
- FREE DISK SPACE: 10 GB
- DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 128 MB
The Sims 5 recommended Requirements:
- CPU: Intel Core i5-750 or AMD Athlon X4
- CPU SPEED: Info
- RAM: 4 GB
- OS: 64 Bit Windows 7,8, or 8.1
- VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 or better
- PIXEL SHADER: 5.0
- VERTEX SHADER: 5.0
- SOUND CARD: Yes
- FREE DISK SPACE: 10 GB
- DEDICATED VIDEO RAM: 1024 MB
Test Results: Best Laptops for The Sims 5
Ranking First: Alienware M17
- Very fast performance
- Great Full-HD-Display
- Great keyboard
- Sharp corners
When we think of a 17-inch laptop, we always think of the monstrous machines our colleagues used to drag along on LANs. We have never understood what the advantage is when the laptop is as heavy, unwieldy and portable as a CRT monitor.
But today everything is different and the Alienware m17 is the ultimate proof of that. It’s portable, yet incredibly powerful!
But first of all it’s time to unpack. The white box has a restrained and modern design. We find it a bit strange that the laptop just lies there in the padding. This feeling you get when you open a foil for the first time to receive your new favorite item is unfortunately absent, except for the foil on the edge of the display and those on the Alienware logo elements. Even the massive 250W power supply (1.8 lbs.) is only hidden behind a cardboard cover and there are no extras like Velcro cable ties for the power supply or stickers included. we think, everyone who buys such a device is happy about the one or other little goodie.
Keyboard & Mouse
Check your e-mail first. Here the keyboard is already positively noticeable. It is quiet and does not disturb others around you. With previous laptops with Butterfly Switches it looked completely different. The keytravel is also very pleasant. The keys behave like silent MxBrown switches. We also like the soft touch, because most people use their fingers like little hammers and have problems with the unpadded Butterfly Switches. Not so here. The lighting is bright enough and you can write like on a full keyboard. We only had to get used to the position of the DELETE key and the missing media control. We find it very cool that there are four programmable keys above the number field. In the Alienware Command Center, macro, keystroke, key combination and text block can be stored on it.
A good trackpad with weaknesses
Let’s get to the mouse. The trackpad is a thing of its own. We think it’s great that it supports MultiTouch and that it is sufficiently dimmed. But it generates incorrect input here and there, for example when we click on a tab in Chrome and want to move the pointer again immediately afterwards. Then we double-click – but unintentionally. So it often happens that you drag the tab around. Adjusting the double-click speed didn’t help either. But you get used to it and after a week of getting used to it we got along much better. By the way, the trackpad can be deactivated via FN+F11, which can be very advantageous when playing with the internal keyboard.
It’s also a pity that the laptop has neither Windows Hello nor a fingerprint reader. This would make spontaneous login much easier.
Performance without end
Laptop to and from the backpack. After ten minutes the Laptop is on the table and only three cables later it is ready: The m17 is equipped with a Thunderbolt 3 connector and therefore fully compatible with USB-C. In the office it’s enough to plug in the power supply, the display port and the USB-C dock and off you go. Everything you could wish for is also represented in the other ports: three USB3, HDMI, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3, 2.5Gbit network connection (RJ-45) and headphone port. We are perfectly happy with this.
Premiere Pro, Davinci Resolve, After Effects, Photoshop…One day later, we have nothing more to say but WOW. No matter what you do – the Alienware m17 is somehow bored. You can tell it’s dealing with the workloads, but everything is running so smooth and fast that we haven’t had a lag or any other jerk in video editing. But of course, performance always depends on the codec, the type of editing and the program. We have tested XAVC-S and Blackmagic BRAW Footage and we are thrilled. But we can definitely recommend the upgrade to 32Gb RAM, because with 16Gb it gets quite fast tight.
But what about the temperatures and noise levels? Basically, when we are connected to the power supply, the CPU always runs at full turbo, i.e. at about 4.5 Ghz. The temperatures on the package are thus between 60°C and 70°C. As soon as a video renders, the temps go up to 100°C. Unfortunately, it doesn’t help to manually set both fans to 100%, the CPU always goes into thermal throttling. But you have to ask yourself if this is really bad, because despite throttling, 12 threads run at 3.5 Ghz and thus above its 2.9 Ghz baseclock. That’s a lot of power and you can feel it. And the best thing about it is that the laptop stays relatively quiet. Of course you can hear it all over the room. But while you don’t want to talk anymore when the 2016 Razer Blade howls, the m17 pushes air through its cooling fins at a pleasant volume. It’s definitely not quiet, but a lot quieter than we would have expected, considering the built-in hardware. Even more performance can be achieved with a cooling pad.
The matt UHD display cuts a really good figure, especially when editing photos and videos. The high resolution offers a lot of space and allows to have everything at a glance and work efficiently even when on the move. The built-in IPS panel offers 8 bit color depth, covers the sRGB color space, but still needs calibration to be fully operational for professional applications. Also our model has partly massive backlight bleed, which we only noticed when starting games and never during the actual use. The monitor hinge is so stiff that opening the screen definitely requires two hands. When working on your lap, however, it has the advantage that the monitor doesn’t move by itself, which is great when you’re on the move.
The day in the office is over and it’s time to go home. Every once in a while up to an hour separates us from the next socket. So a laptop must be able to last that long in any case. The test device has a 60 Wh battery installed. Without optimizing the system, we can get by with it for about one to one and a half hours. So if you need more, you should definitely choose the 90 Wh version. But if you are familiar with the settings and know which screws to turn, you can get even more out of the 60 Wh battery.
Home at last! All games run smoothly on Ultra and it’s just fun. Currently we are looking for games that we want to play just for the graphics, because now we finally have a laptop that does it all, and we couldn’t find a game that would really upset the Alienware m17. Of course the processor is 100% loaded in Battlefield V, but everything runs so smoothly that you don’t have the feeling that the next or even the next but one AAA game will overtax this laptop. We are not a fan of 4K gaming on a 17 inch monitor. Therefore we always play in Full HD. Battlefield V with its hammer graphics and RTX support @ Ultra Settings runs at around 60FPS and looks just beautiful. The only thing we did without vertical sync and future frame rendering. Rainbow Six Siege runs with ULTRA Settings at 90FPS on average. Apex Legends also achieves 90FPS on average. Emergency 5 with the Mod does a respectable 50 to 60 frames, which we find very remarkable. Because EM 5 is basically not well optimized and the hardware is not used properly. CS:GO reaches 200 FPS on average and Wolfenstein even 240 FPS.
The display is of course also a feast for the eyes during gaming and lets you dive into beautiful scenarios. The streak-free 60hz are simply fun. From the colors to the response time – it’s really a fantastic monitor. You still need a 24-inch consumer monitor in the home office for productive work, but you no longer have to have kills stolen from you by a clouded monitor while playing.
Great laptop with great performance. As the equipment is absolutley top-notch it willbe future-proof for quite a while. The Sims 5 will not pose a problem for the near future. And also extension packs will not pose any problems.
The Alienware m17 convinced us. We are saddened by Mac OSX as an operating system, but the performance of the Alienware m17 is so outstanding that it is the ultimate winner for us. If you are looking for a laptop that combines uncompromising performance with mobility, you have found the perfect candidate here.
Ranking Second: MSI P65 Creator
- Sleek design
- Enough power for most creative work
- Great keyboard
- Relatively quiet and cool even under full load
- Solid battery life
- Somewhat inconvenient touchpad
- Display brightness not optimal in strong outdoor light
A few days ago, we already had the big MSI Prestige P100 desktop in our hands and were very enthusiastic. Now we could also take a closer look at one of the mobile offshoots of the Prestige series. The MSI Creator P65 is especially aimed at creative people who need a lot of power for their projects on the go and don’t want to use typical, clunky gaming notebooks.
Accordingly, we don’t want to go into the typical gaming performance of the P65 so extensively. Thanks to the Intel Core i7-8750H and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 (respectively i9-9880H and RTX 2070 in the expensive model), you can pleasantly play most current games in at least somewhat slimmed-down quality. This is quite nice for the couch or on the road, but if you’re really looking for a device optimized for gaming, you’ll be better off elsewhere.
Much more important is of course how the P65 handles creative software, i.e. Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premiere or Blender. In our particular case, we wanted to check how well the notebook performs in a typical game development workflow, i.e.: drawing textures in Photoshop, creating 3D models in Blender and finally tinkering everything together in the latest Unity version.
There’s little to complain about in terms of performance anyway, thanks to the built-in components. All the software that we threw at the P65 has done a competent job of lifting the device. As expected, you can prepare for longer render times, especially in Adobe Premiere and Blender, but the actual editing works smoothly thanks to the built-in 512 GB SSD and 16 GB DDR4 memory. Especially the merging of typical game assets in Blender, especially in the latest version, worked almost as well as on our thick desktop computers.
The display delivers almost 100% color fidelity sRGB coverage, which is of course extremely important when working with textures or pixel art. The display brightness is less impressive: the screen is bright and evenly enough illuminated in most environments, but it’s difficult to withstand strong outdoor light when working in the fresh air or on the train.
We then tested the performance during game development itself in a shady place. As we expected, the P65 handles work in Unity 2019.2 without any problems, even during more complex scenes, like the “Book of the Dead” demo, which has an especially strong focus on high-resolution, photorealistic assets. Compiling our own test projects also worked pleasantly fast thanks to the built-in Intel i7.
The P65 Creator’s touchpad can’t quite inspire as much. The pad surface itself is comparatively large, but the fingerprint sensor integrated into the pad makes the upper left corner useless. The pressure points for mouse clicks are also a bit stiff if you don’t have your thumb exactly at the bottom edge of the touchpad. In return, the keyboard feels consistently pleasant even during longer coding sessions, even if, as expected, it doesn’t come close to typical mechanical keyboards.
The whole hardware has been pressed into an extraordinarily elegant case, which, in contrast to most other typical gaming notebooks, can be unpacked during presentations or meetings without having to be ashamed of it or start a whole light show when turning it on.
Due to the very thin display bezel and the generally thin construction, the P65 easily finds room in most cases. The notebook weighs a mere 3.96 lbs thanks to its aluminum case. This is not only comfortable for transport, but also while you lay the device on your lap on your home couch.
Unfortunately, this elegant and light construction is somewhat at the expense of stability. Parts of the chassis yield noticeably under pressure and we also don’t completely trust the plastic hinges on the screen. On the other hand, the case stays nice and cool, even during more elaborate work, and it runs relatively quietly, especially in comparison to similarly powerful notebooks, even when the CPU is fully loaded with an elaborate rendering process.
In the end, the price still remains. The P65 8RE we tested currently costs around 1,800 Dollar. For the more powerful models with i9 processors and RTX graphics cards, you’ll have to pay around 3,700 Dollar and more, depending on the dealer. That’s a steep price, but it’s absolutely appropriate in the creative segment, considering that you can add another thousand for Apple devices with comparable performance.
In return, MSI delivers an absolutely rounded package of performance and design that convinced us all along the line despite some weaknesses in the construction method. If you’re looking for a very good alternative to Apple products, with which you can also give free rein to your creativity on the road, the P65 Creator is an excellent choice. As you get a lot for the 1800 Dollar, the MSI P65 Creator wins our best price-performnace-ratio award.
Ranking Third: Acer Predator Helios 300
- Good craftsmanship
- Enough power for WQHD gaming
- Fast IPS display with good colour fidelity
- Remains relatively quiet under load
- A lot of useless software
- Battery life
Acer has relaunched the Helios 300 series and adapted it to the current design. The Helios 300 is a powerful gaming notebook and is suitable for framerich FHD gaming on the internal 144 Hz display, and depending on the game and detail level also for WQHD gaming. Apart from the good workmanship, Acer has made a lot of improvements to the cooling concept. The notebook doesn’t become critically warm or loud under load. Only the loudspeakers’ performance and the battery life turn out lean.
Acer has revised the Predator Helios 300. Whilst we particularly praised the predecessor’s good equipment, hardware accessibility and long battery life, there was a need for improvement in the cooling concept and workmanship. Therefore, it was exciting to see to what extent Acer has addressed these issues in the successor.
The current Helios 300 is available with a 15.6″ display and various features. Compared to the 2019 version, the biggest differences are between the new ninth-generation Core i7 CPUs and the RTX graphics cards from NVIDIA. The configurations range from 1385 Dollar for Core i7-9750H, 8 GB RAM and GTX 1660 Ti to just under 2000 Dollar for Core i7-9750H, 32 GB RAM and RTX 2060. The tested notebook is thus in the upper midfield with Core i7-9750H, 16 GB RAM and RTX 1660Ti for 1658 Dollar.
Delivery with HDD Upgrade Kit
With one exception, the Helios 300 is unspectacular in terms of its scope of delivery. The notebook is located in a narrow cardboard box and is wrapped with a foil. Except for a small package insert, the setup instructions and quick reference guide are packed in a separate cardboard box. The short instructions are – for whatever reason – shrink-wrapped separately.
Cool: The package also contains an HDD Upgrade Kit. Unlike the kit for the Medion Erazer X15803, it’s not made of metal, but of rubber. But you can use it to upgrade an HDD at the Acer Service Center – or just do it yourself if you feel up to it.
Angular design with wider display frame
At first glance, it becomes clear that Acer has made slight changes in the design in comparison to the predecessor. Instead of a red, the typical Predator turquoise is now used. The somewhat playful and angular design can of course still be assigned to the gaming track with the chrome-plated borders, the color accents and the striking lettering.
The illuminated Predator logo and lettering are located on the top side. Two turquoise-blue stripes, one on each side, join this. The width of the display frame is okay, but not as slim as for example on the similarly expensive Medion Erazer X15803. At the top, the frame is also a bit wider than on the Dell G5. The corners on the upper side are slightly angled and the webcam sits above the display. Acer has placed the matt silver Predator logo under the display.
The keyboard has a full-fledged numpad, proper arrow keys and a normal enter key. The white border of the keys is especially noticeable. The WASD, arrow and Predator keys are exceptions to this. The latter starts the in-house PredatorSense software. More about this in the chapter Software. With the dedicated turbo you can find out what the cooling system can do when it’s stopped – and how loud it can get. But more about that later.
The touchpad is slightly offset to the left. That’s not quite understandable, because if you really want to fiddle with the WASD keys on the Helios 300 without a mouse connected, you’ll inevitably land on the touchpad with the ball of your left hand. But it is nice and big. The blue cooling fins are visible through the ventilation vents on the back and both sides. This is understandably not the case with the asymmetrical air vents on the bottom. The speakers are also located on the underside.
Good workmanship with faultless keyboard
The top side and the inner surface are made of aluminium. However, Acer relies on plastic for the display frame, the bottom and front. The notebook makes a very robust impression. The inside can’t be dented without much effort. Sure, with a thickness of 0.9 inches it is considerably more massive than for example the Razer Blade 15, but the Helios 300 doesn’t want to win any slimming competition either. More space also often means more potential in cooling performance.
The keyboard is surprisingly good for a gaming notebook. The stroke is precise and generally, even long texts can be written neatly and quickly. However, it’s questionable whether a dedicated Predator key is really necessary. Although not every single key can be controlled in the backlight, there are four large areas that can be individually adjusted. The illumination could be a bit brighter at the highest level.
Acer doesn’t afford any blunders in the gap dimensions. However, the display hinge isn’t quite flush on the left side when the notebook is closed. The two front aluminum corners could also be a bit more generously sanded.
Verdict: Acer Predator Helios 300
Acer delivers a pretty good overall package among the gaming notebooks of the upper middle class with the current new edition of the Predator Helios 300. For 1658$, there is a brand new Core i7-9750H, 16 GB RAM, an GTX 1660Ti and a fast M.2 NVMe SSD with 512 GB memory.
The design was adapted to the current Predator lineup. It is edgy, a bit playful and as always a matter of taste. Acer doesn’t afford any big blunders in the workmanship, except for small details. A full aluminum body isn’t yet in it for the price called, though.
The Helios 300 offers enough power for Full-HD gaming in very high details. External WQHD monitors can also be connected and used, depending on the title and with cutbacks in detail level. However, the hardware is not necessarily recommended for UHD. Acer has also improved the cooling system: The temperatures didn’t move at a critical level either during gaming or in the stress test. The same applies to the noise level, which always remains acceptable.
Those who can’t manage with 512 GB memory can easily and quickly upgrade the notebook. Next to a free M.2 slot, there is also room for a 2.5″ SSD or HDD inside. The matching upgrade kit including cable is included in the box. The battery has turned out a bit smaller for this. It only lasts for 2.5 hours in the benchmark.
Everything is included except Thunderbolt 3 and an SD card reader – the important RJ45 port (LAN) included. The IPS display offers a fast refresh rate of 144 Hz in addition to the good color coverage and stable viewing angles. This means there are no problems with tearing or ghosting. It is also matt and bright. The bezels could be a bit narrower in 2020, though.
If you’re looking for a properly equipped and upgrade-friendly notebook for Full-HD gaming with high or WQHD gaming with medium detail settings, you’ll get a highly recommendable device with the Predator Helios 300. The Helios 300 is perfectly suited for Sims 5 and all future upgrade packages.
The Sims 5: Review
In some countries Electronic Arts fibs more, in others less. In the US, for example, the publisher of The Sims 5 advertises with the motto “Real emotions. Crazy stories.” There’s nothing wrong with that, feelings and stories are again among the strengths of the life simulation. With the English slogan “You’re so smart, it’s funny.” the beams are starting to bend a bit more, but the Sims aren’t overly bright this time.
But worst of all it hits the Japanese, EA promises them besides “unexpected stories” – so far, so good – the “Sim evolution”. Wait a minute, just have a look at the dictionary: Evolution, it says there, is a “slow, uninterrupted development”. Okay, behind “slow” we put a checkmark, after all over five years have passed since The Sims 4. But you can’t really call the development of the series “seamless”.
The Sims 5 in Techtestreport test
Whoever launches the latest Sims version for the first time will be amazed: At first glance, little has changed compared to the direct predecessor. The astonishment may be positive, because Sims connoisseurs find their way from the first minute. The menu is accessible, reduced to the minimum and also left behind as fast as an arrow. The developers hardly build up any hurdles or barriers, which is why those in a hurry can plunge into virtual life within seconds. They could, however, also be disappointed. The visuals have changed comparatively little and the basic gameplay doesn’t let you see anything innovative during the first minutes of the game. So what is the Sims 5? Simply only a “Legacy Edition”? Or nevertheless a completely new game? For the answer you should give the game a fair chance and have played it for some time.
Note: Large parts of this test are based on the release version of the year 2020; updates for the expansions are marked accordingly.
Many new things hidden inside
Once you’re really in the game, have established the first tender bonds with other Sims and have developed an everyday life, many new comfort features become apparent. So the Sims finally learn multitasking. That means: While our Sim is busy at the treadmill, he can talk to the person next to him or her. At Sims-4 times such combinations would have been unthinkable. This makes the characters much more realistic, especially since countless other combinations are possible. Also emotions are new – besides the needs they belong to the most important gameplay elements when it comes to your Sim. They make the game a bit more unpredictable and thus provide more credibility. On the other hand, the fact that the Sims have also become a bit smarter and can do many basic things on their own should be taken for granted.
All in all, however, many elements are well known and only enriched by some options. So the important conversations with other Sims can now be divided more finely. You’ll have more options, you’ll be able to talk your opponent into believing you, and you won’t have to jump right in if you want to be more than just friends. Satisfying basic needs is also basically the same as in Sims 4, but Maxis has reduced the number of neighbors. Even directly adjacent houses are defined as a new area, whose visit is preceded by a loading screen. Compared to Sims 4, the aspect of an open world has clearly decreased. On the contrary: From this perspective, The Sims 5 almost feels a bit like its predecessor from 2004.
Have fun with the Sims Editor
The Sims Editor, the tool you can use to create your virtual alter ego, offers some very obvious innovations. While there were many slider options in Sims 4, you can now rotate, drag and push as you like. With the mouse, you simply adjust the prominent body parts like belly, legs and head and regulate their shape (within the appropriate range) virtually steplessly. This much more direct way of manipulating body parts allows you to create a Sim that actually corresponds exactly to what you want. But you should allow time for this, the editor takes up a lot of time and is a lot of fun.
The house building editor is also great. On the one hand you have much more possibilities, objects and set pieces with which you can equip and build your Sims house. On the other hand, building seems to be much quicker and more comfortable. Even Sims beginners get along with the offered tools very fast and build the house of their dreams. Also cool: If you don’t feel like furnishing, just buy a fully furnished house that you can expand or change as you wish during your Sims existence. Alternatively, you can use an integrated community tool, where you can download and use building creations of other players. Of course, if you feel like it, you can also share your own works of art – from single rooms to multi-storey houses and Sims.
Technically not outdated
Maxis has turned the graphics screw astonishingly little. We have already seen the comic-like look in the third part, only smaller details are nicer now. Probably there’s a method to it, though. If you can play Sims 4 on your computer, you should also be able to play Sims 5. For EA, the Sims series is meant for the masses, for families without high-end computers, for notebook and ultrabook owners or for students who have an all-in-one or mini PC in the children’s room. Sims 5 must be playable on these computers as smooth as possible to remain the mass phenomenon it became with the previous parts. So the system requirements, which call a “1.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo” and “128 MB of video RAM”, are not surprising. In short: If you want to buy Sims 5 just because of a possible better technology, you can calmly stay with the third part.
As with Die Sims 4, Electronic Arts once again relies on countless smaller and larger add-ons and updates to enhance the gaming experience. Until the test update in 2020 a total of three major add-ons – Get to work!, Time for friends and city life – have been released. In addition, there are three gameplay packs: Outdoor Life, Wellness Day and Delights. Nine so-called accessory packs, which contain furnishings, clothing and gimmicks, round off the add-on package. In the following, we will go into the three major add-ons.
Get to work! and time for friends in check
Three major expansions that significantly change or expand the gameplay have been released by Electronic Arts so far. We take a look at each add-on and assess for you whether it is worth the purchase.
The Sims 5: Get to work!
Sims fans know it: When our budget goes to work, the game speeds up and the Sims take care of themselves. If you’ve ever wondered what’s going on during these hours, the “Get to work!” expansion should satisfy you. Whether as a doctor, scientist, policeman or self-employed person with his own business: Here we may accompany our Sims everywhere. Funny: Almost incidentally, the developers also bring aliens into the game.
In one sentence: “Get to work!” is a comprehensive and successful add-on, which charmingly takes care of the biggest content gap so far – the time your Sim goes to work.
The Sims 5: Time for friends
Social aspects, after all the core of the Sims series, are taken care of by “Time for Friends”. So-called social groups are the focus of attention. You can start a group or join existing ones. These groups of friends meet, do something together or organize parties. You also have the opportunity to decide for yourself who should be invited into this circle – age, career or wealth can play a role. The new neighbourhood Windenburg rounds off the most important features of “Time for Friends”.
In one sentence: In contrast to “Get to work!” this expansion seems less essential to us, but still remains a funny addition to the already omnipresent social aspects of Die Sims 5.
Big city life and gameplay packs in check
The latest expansion to date brings an aspect to the game that has never been seen before – big cities. We also take a look at the gameplay packs.
The Sims 5: Big city life
San Myshuno is the central element of the latest expansion, which was launched in November 2016. Your Sims are drawn here to the big city – with everything that goes with it. Unlike the villages and small towns that are standard for Sims games, the city is completely different. Different districts, narrow apartments, penthouses and festivals are part of the hustle and bustle. In addition, the population density is noticeably higher, which can increase the possibility of friendship and love affairs.
In one sentence: “Big city life” is an overall good extension, which makes the otherwise quite entrenched construction principle more interesting due to lack of space and also offers new entertainment possibilities with nicely prepared festivals.
The Sims 5: Four gameplay packs at a glance
In contrast to the major expansions, gameplay packs offer a smaller scope and are mainly distributed digitally. So far EA has released three of these packages. For outdoor life the name says it all: The new destination Granite Falls offers everything camping and survival fans need. Campfire, tents and a sim dressed as a bear are nice additions. Those looking for relaxation after a camping trip are in good hands at Wellness Day. The wellness centre offers massages of all kinds, yoga classes, sauna sessions and many items related to wellness. The least extensive gameplay pack has been available since mid-2016: treats make your Sim a restaurant manager. You can put together the menu, hire chefs and service staff or customize the interior to your own taste. You can also become a guest with your Sims and go out to eat in a restaurant. The gameplay expansion Vampire has just been released. The name says it all – that’s why all kinds of bloodsuckers will populate your town in the future. So you can create a vampire sim yourself and live with all the pros and cons. For example, you have the possibility to turn into a bat, but you have to protect yourself from sunlight. In addition, there is a new scary world: Forgotten Hollow.
Conclusion: If you just want to get a gameplay pack, we think you should go for “outdoor life”, because it offers the most content and adds an interesting destination to the Sims universe. Fans of Dracula, Twilight and Co. will also be happy with “Vampires”, however; the expansion has been successful. “Wellness Day” is altogether ok, but already offers noticeably less content. We are disappointed with “Gaumenfreuden”. As interesting as restaurant management sounds, it was implemented by the developers without inspiration.
Dogs & Cats – the classic now also for Sims 5
Pets are among the most popular additions to the Sims series ever. Maxis took quite some time with the add-on “Dogs & Cats”, but since 2020 the new content is finally available. As the name of the extension already confirms, dogs and cats find their way to our Sims and turn their household upside down as new roommates. The Create-a-Sim mode has been extended accordingly to include four-legged friends, allowing us to configure our pet as we please. The developers integrate a variety of premade animals, which we can select with a click. Alternatively, we can take our time and create our favourite from 125 dog or 49 cat breeds, change the head, ears, eyes and nose, or bring a puppy or kitten directly into the house for our Sims to raise. In addition, the developers also integrate the new profession of the veterinarian. The crowning glory is the own veterinary clinic including staff, where our Sims can work and take care of the health of all kinds of quadrupeds.
In one sentence: “Dogs & Cats” is a must-have add-on for Sims 5 fans and should quickly become the most popular new content; Maxis does a good job, but also charges a whopping 40 Dollar for the add-on.
The Sims 5 and the three big extensions cut a good figure in the test. Since the release in 2014 there has been a lot of downtime from a technical perspective. Likewise, we search in vain for real innovations. Playfully, the life simulation is still unique and is still a lot of fun even after weeks thanks to its high complexity.
Already three weeks before the sales launch, a user of techtestreport.com published a list of 89 features known from previous Sims parts (without addons!), which the developer Maxis has deleted this time, including popular elements such as pools, toddlers, uneven terrain, a continuous game world, diseases, cars, dishwashers, basements and individual fears, such as ghosts. By the way, ghosts are also missing.
89 features, that sounds like a blatant cut, especially since additional originally announced innovations such as the Woohoo talent for loveable Sims have been dropped. A correspondingly big outcry is heard from the community, and Maxis and EA are accordingly angry after the release, the users of the rating melting pot Metacritic.com wipe The Sims 5 with 3.7 of 10 average points.
As you know, user ratings should be treated with caution, the 0 points that some angry players give away are certainly not deserved by Die Sims 5. Nevertheless the disappointment about the second half-fermented Maxis game after SimCity can be clearly seen in the ratings. However, this time no online compulsion is heating up the minds – after the first online activation via Origin you may also play offline – and also playfully seen the fourth Sims is by far not as broken as the “simulation” of SimCity.
On the contrary, seen on its own, The Sims 5 is a quite good game, it has charm and humor, it works and sometimes develops an enchanting game flow. During the first 20 hours we have a lot of fun with the family simulator, experience a lot of bizarre stories (Ever made friends with death?) and are especially happy about two useful innovations, the sim moods and the multitasking. But the longer we play, the more often the one, big problem of The Sims 5 becomes apparent. And this problem is called – The Sims 4.
No more open world
The predecessor actually took the 2014 series to a new evolutionary level by opening up the game world: instead of a narrow neighbourhood cage, you suddenly inhabited a complete, freely explorable and lively little town that offered countless possibilities. For example, if your grandfather died and haunted the house as a ghost, you could bury him in the cemetery or drive to the research lab so that the white coats could revive him there – if you got the “opportunity”, a side quest so to speak.
The enormous variety of the world awakened the urge to discover and encouraged even more experiments than the family administration already allowed anyway; in the test we praised The Sims 4 logically as “fireworks of wit and creativity”. Okay, The Sims 5 also has wit and creativity, only the fireworks didn’t ignite this time. And that starts already with the game world.
There are only two villages available, each of them consists of four residential and one shop district and a park. The sections are not connected to each other, but with the possible trips to other locations – for example to dance in a nightclub – we can expect 10 to 30 seconds of loading breaks. And if only that was it! Even if we only want to visit the neighbouring house, we stare at the loading screen for a while. Only the sidewalks around our property we are allowed to walk on without reloading to chat with passers-by – weakly.
Diverse sim tinkering
But let us start at the beginning. As always, Sims 5 begins with the creation of your own Sims or family, for which we can even generate visually matching members using a genetic function. The editor is again powerful, from the clothes for all kinds of occasions (sports, everyday life, etc.) to the curvature of the eyebrows and the width of the thighs, everything can be adjusted in detail. Except for one thing, namely the colours.
Instead of using a palette to completely re-colour clothes and later also furniture as in The Sims 4, we can now only choose from predefined colour combinations for each item. That’s not the end of the world, but a limitation for dyed-in-the-wool Sims tinkerers, especially since the free choice of colors can never be added by patch according to Maxis, because the engine can’t handle it.
The possibilities of the editor are still as versatile as they are, in the test we quickly create lots of fundamentally different characters, for example a white-haired gentleman and a green-skinned Iroquois hippie lady, whose relationship we are allowed to determine in advance – of course, they are married. Finished Sims we also miss individual life wishes (big house, big family, popularity etc.) as well as character traits from “nature lover” to “hothead”, which will also have a noticeable effect later, more about that in a moment.
House and town planning
But before family life Maxis has put the building of houses first. Well, we could also buy a furnished or empty house, but we prefer to build our own house, a matter of honour. In the building editor, you can now plant fully equipped prefabricated rooms (with selectable color schemes) – good thing, so we don’t have to think long about what fits together. But we are not really bored; because the Instant-Stuben are very expensive, we prefer to furnish and wallpaper by hand at the beginning.
And that’s fun, the manifold furnishings allow a lot of handicraft and combination fun: Should we take the expensive shower and the crappy stove? Or both cheap and a comfortable bed instead? In addition, we are now allowed to screw more on the shape of the roof and also to place sloping walls and rounded balcony edges, but as mentioned, cellars and pools are omitted, what a pity.
By the way, not only the home can be rebuilt, but also the rest of the world; we are allowed to work on all districts of the city. If we think that the local nightclub needs an extra toilet and the park needs a bedroom, we can do it – at no cost! – simply build it. Thanks to the now even closer community integration, the F4 key can also be used to open a gallery of houses and sims uploaded by other players at any time, which we can then add to our city.
In this way we can spice up our neighbourhood with a giant hedge maze. This awakens the joy of handicrafting, but beware: overwritten houses are irrevocably lost. In addition, the building site is very scarce, at the beginning of the game there are only four empty plots available per town. In addition, they are 50 times 50 squares at most, in The Sims 4 it was 64 times 64.
Please this time with feeling
But enough tinkering and building, what about the ledges themselves? It’s fine, they benefit from the most important innovation of all. Beside their needs (which we have to “unfold” by clicking on the icon) the individual mood now also plays a role. If you are frustrated at work, you may come home “tense”, while flirting the Sims become “coquettish”. So we can influence the mood of our protégés through interaction.
Grumpy nature lovers, for example, are happy to go jogging again, active Sims return from their early morning exercise “full of energy”, and anyone who, thanks to painstakingly trained cooking talent, makes a really good grilled cheese sandwich is brimming with self-confidence. The Sims’ feelings, character traits and actions are all intertwined; if you get to do what you love, you live better – cool, especially since Die Sims 5 expresses the Sims’ feelings perfectly through facial expressions and gestures.
The expressive faces and butter-soft animations are the great strength of the otherwise somewhat reduced and muddy textured comic graphics. Depending on how a Sim is on it, other conversation and other options are also open to him, by the way: angry Sims can calm down with a soliloquy in front of the mirror, coquettishly hand their counterpart a rose, happy ones throw compliments around, angry ones with insults. The latter applies especially to hot-headed boys and girls who can suddenly go into a rage and then wipe everything down that doesn’t take the legs in their hands.
So if mum is in a bad mood, we’d better keep her away from dad, otherwise her love life will be over for the foreseeable future. Dark Sims, on the other hand, quickly become sad and are allowed to blog about their feelings on the computer, which not only cheers them up, but also trains their writing talent, which is needed for the writing profession. So we can even capitalize on negative emotions.
The reward for good spirits
From positive but of course much more. The little daughter, for example, should sit on the PC for a while before she goes to school to study the “Simpedia”. This makes the little one “concentrated” and ensures better grades. If you stay at home, you should tackle the housework “energetically”, because then it will clean itself faster. And when adults drive to work in a self-confident mood, this has the pleasant side-effect that they can suck up to the boss. But what can also go wrong, then they come home “ashamed”.
Depending on their mood, the Sims have special requests for action, for example, embarrassed residents sometimes feel the need to confess their insecurity to a familiar person, coquettes want to snog, cuddle, pose provocatively. In addition, there are wishes that are related to character traits, materialists regularly want to buy expensive things, music lovers want to play the violin, creative people want to paint pictures.
If we fulfill such wishes, we collect reward points with which we can give our Sims in the (unfortunately hidden in the Life Dream menu) Reward Store need fulfillment potions or additional character traits. For example, we turn them into lightning cleaners so that they can quickly clear the encrusted bathtub, or we use “Insta-Slim” to bring them back to normal weight when they push a paunch in front of them after too little exercise. However, powerful qualities such as “fertile” (increases our chances of giving birth to twins or triplets) are so expensive that we almost have to save for several generations.
Always everything at once
The emotions thus complement The Sims 5 with a completely new, meaningful and cleverly integrated game level. Another innovation that we like is the multitasking, we can now perform several actions at the same time. Our first date, for example, becomes a complete success because he is watching TV on the sofa while she is playing computer games on the desk next door – so both of them have fun, are happy, and can also talk over each other’s shoulders and exchange compliments. This may seem a bit weird when he poses provocatively behind her back, but she is thrilled – but the field of vision has never really been important in The Sims.
Or we sit down in the bubble bath with a drink after grandpa’s death. Or we let the family eat together and have a chat at the same time to satisfy their hunger and social needs. So if you’re smart enough to micromanage, you can save a lot of time thanks to multitasking. On the other hand, the Sims are also easily distracted, for example, our little daughter should do her homework but prefers to let her mother do it. But that’s not a problem for us, we have to pay more attention to the Sims doing their jobs, which also prevents idling.
By the way, you can also take your hat off to how many different and yet meaningful (inter-)action possibilities Maxi has cooked up. Well, that was already the case in the predecessors, but it’s nice to see that blasphemy in internet forums, for example, not only satisfies a Sim’s social needs, but also increases his mischievousness, which he in turn needs for promotions in the criminal profession.
With promotions the Sims also unlock special items, secret service careerists, for example, get a particularly stylish computer. But there are also other ways to unusual equipment. Building a rocket in your front yard, for example, trains your space technology talent and can take off into space to collect special decorative items. However, the latter does not happen in game graphics, but only via text windows.
The same applies to work decisions à la: “Should I whistle at my incompetent colleagues or should I keep quiet?” This can increase work efficiency and thus speed up promotions, but it can also make things go to hell. You can’t watch the Sims at work, they just leave the house and vanish into thin air – after all, the cars from The Sims 4 are no longer around.
The right to party
Another way to get reward items is to party, like in Sims 4 we are allowed to throw a party at home or in a public building (museum, bar, etc.) at any time! For this we choose a motto, guests, location and staff like the bartender, every party has several goals. At a costume party, for example, we are supposed to talk ten times with guests about their costumes. The more tasks we perform, the more successful the party will be and the better items we will dust off. For example, successful house parties bring new electrical appliances, such as a stereo system.
However, the joy about such successes clouds The Sims 5 again and again with regressions compared to its predecessor. In The Sims 4 we were allowed to define our own dress code for the party and plan it in advance, but both are now flat. The party simply starts immediately, as soon as all participants are invited, we are beamed to the venue – no matter if our protégés have to go to work or almost fall over from tiredness.
So be careful when planning the party! We can only speculate why Maxis changed that, probably the developers were too overloaded with the menus of Sims 4 (which is true), so they wanted to concentrate on the essentials. Or on what they think is the essential.
Something is always missing
And this motto runs through the whole game. The Sims 5 really does look as if trimmed with a hedge trimmer, after every high flyer and every great experience, after every bizarre story and every successful party, the annoyingly playful regression brings us back to the ground. For example, we are happy about having children, but then babies cannot be separated from their cradle, we interact with them like with a piece of furniture.
This is a pity, but it would not be an epoch-making problem in itself – if the next age group were not also to disappear: Instead of becoming preschoolers, as in The Sims 4, the babies become schoolchildren directly, so that a complete play level is no longer necessary. Another time we find it funny that we are allowed to chat with the Grim Reaper after Grandpa’s death, but then all we are left with from Grandpa is a boring urn – no ghost, no cemetery, no research lab resurrection à la Sims 4. Well, bestselling authors can write an epic that brings deceased relatives back to life, but at least we would have wished for ghosts.
Or craftsmen who repair broken electrical appliances in case our Sims don’t have the time or talent. Or pools and basements, which would have made house building even more versatile and-probably the first add-ons and DLCs are already in planning. In its original version and in comparison to the predecessors (without addons of course) The Sims 5 feels simply incomplete with all the new emotional and mutitasking glory.
Strange, these bugs
And then there are the bugs. We experienced crashes in the test, but only very rarely when we wanted to switch to the desktop with Alt+Tab. More often, logic errors are like a bubbling shower, whose water jet continues to bubble in the same place even after we have already removed it. The AI is also plagued by dropouts from time to time, at the dining table, for example, the Sims like to swap places back and forth, sometimes they run off, only to turn back after a few steps, and conversation partners like to run off in the middle of the conversation without warning or goodbye.
And sometimes Sims simply refuse to perform an action without any apparent reason, for example, they simply stand motionless instead of carrying dirty plates into the kitchen. This may have a playful reason, but it remains hidden. Apart from that, The Sims 5 runs smoothly and smoothly, it seems to be cleanly programmed, stutterers and reload errors didn’t come to our attention. Whereby Maxis has of course bought the good performance with the reduced graphic style, the – positively expressed – compact worlds and the deleted or simplified features.
Techtestreport.com: Rating the Sims 5 puts us in a quandary. On the one hand, we really had fun with it, especially in the first 20 hours we experienced many absurd stories, which only a Sims can write. Like our friendship with death. Or the daughter that we witnessed with our fiancée, but whom we did not take over the household after the later marriage, heartless as we are.
On top of that, the feelings and the multitasking are such meaningful innovations that we ask ourselves why both of them are only now available after 14 years of series history. And hey, the game supports mods, that alone is commendable! So the obligatory nude patch should only be a matter of time. On the other hand, as the game progresses, we notice more and more nooks and crannies, more and more things that should be in it but aren’t – even if it’s only about supposed little things like the painted dishwashers, burglars and repairmen.
Yes, in itself The Sims 5 is a fun game, but it must also stand up to comparison with its predecessors. And it doesn’t, compared to The Sims 4 it is a step backwards, less varied, less original, in short: the worse game. So how do you rate such a game? If you haven’t played any Sims before, you can have fun with The Sims 5 despite all its weaknesses. It does not fail as a game, only as part of a series. However, and this is the crucial point for us, not just any series, we are talking about The Sims, one of the most successful PC game series of all time with over 175 million games and addons sold!
Maxis just can’t handle this legend like that, especially from such a prestigious brand we and many other gamers expect more than just a good but incomplete sequel, whose buyers can now wait for the expansion pack “Swimming Preschoolers” for the first time. We can definitely recommend The Sims 5.