The Sims has always been eaten up by hordes of long-time fans, so it makes sense that it should be accompanied by some dedicated peripherals. So are the Sims 4 branded peripherals up to task, or are they just a quick cash in?
I don’t usually like white peripherals in any circumstance. My entire set-up is black and red, for one, and it’s ridiculously easy for even the tiniest bit of dirt and grime to show up, leaving you questioning your lifestyle choices or obsessively sanitising your mouse. Damage is also much more apparent – my Logitech G500 mouse has been a trusty companion for about four years now and it still looks just as rugged as ever. But the Steelseries Sims 4 peripherals are irresistible, with a muted, glossy look that brings to mind Apple products (in the best possible sense) with a touch of irreverent trademark Sims whimsy.
The Plumbob – really the only sign that this is a Sims branded product at all – illuminates with a soft green glow that also accents the underside of the mouse wheel. The LEDs are set by default to change between three colours, and these are intended to reflect your Sim’s mood ingame. It’s a nice aesthetic touch, but when you get into the software behind the mouse, you can do a hell of a lot more with the LEDs, making the mood lighting a little bit redundant.
When set to pulse, the LEDs blink slowly from colour to colour, but it’s not an organic, smooth looking shift, rather a staggered dim that looks like it’s happening frame by frame. This is a really small, niggling complaint, but it just doesn’t seem to do the quality of the illumination itself justice.
Aside from the Plumbob this is a heavily standard, basic gaming mouse – light, snappy, and easy in the hand. The two programmable buttons sit neatly in a curve right about where your thumb rests and the Plumbob is a button itself, large enough to be easily accessible but not sensitive enough to accidentally trigger all the time. It’s a nice touch.
In all honesty you could play The Sims with a £2 budget mouse and it wouldn’t be a hinderance, this is something of a luxury purchase for hardcore Maxis nuts who want peripherals that reflect exactly how their Sims feel as they trap them in rooms without windows or doors and wait for them to die in a congealed puddle of their own excrement. The potential uses in The Sims 4 are great – you can set the two custom buttons on the side to change between house floors or rotate objects, making build mode a hell of a lot easier to deal with.
It works just as well as a general gaming mouse – the adjustable DPI and customisable individual profiles for different games ensures it’ll be up to task for whatever you play, be it MMO, RTS, or FPS. Not being able to change the DPI onboard the mouse itself is something of a sticking point in shooters – I’ve gotten used to flipping between faster speeds for auto rifles and handguns and slow crawls for precision weapons – but it’s still a product that ticks the boxes of quality we’ve come to expect from Steelseries.
You don’t need to install anything to use the mouse. Just plug in and play – it comes preloaded with quick shortcuts on the buttons specifically tailored for The Sims 4. But it’s highly unlikely anyone is buying a mouse just to play The Sims. So to really get the most out of it, you’re going to want to download the SteelSeries Engine, a ridiculously simple to use piece of software that lets you map custom commands to each button and design different profiles for individual games. It’s all gloriously simple, a clean cut design choice backed up by effortless software. Changing the DPI is simple as clicking a gauge. The only thing it really lacks is on-the-fly DPI adjustment – something my old G500 handles with a simple pair of buttons on the left side.
And that’s before we even get onto changing the colour of the LEDs. Oh, yes. It’s time.
With the Engine you’ll be able to choose a colour from the RGB spectrum or use the ColorShift function to set it to pulse between some pre-selected colour ranges. In my opinion, it’s a much more effective use of the Plumbob LED than the factory standard.
Come on. If you’re already buying a Sims-branded mouse, you may as well grab the mat too. It’s all the usual quality you’d expect from SteelSeries’ QcK pads, a generous size, faced with some officially licensed Sims artwork featuring a bunch of characters who look like they’ve been rejected from the cast of every buddy sitcom ever made. It’s the perfect companion to the mouse itself and adds some vital extra personality to the set. The backing grips to most surfaces and it’s durable.
It looks great, altogether. Not quite in line with the solid black monolith that is my usual setup, but for those who like their desktop to look a bit more lively, it really couldn’t be any better. A quality, affordable product paired with a gaming franchise beloved far and wide. Steelseries have stepped up to the mat (har har) and delivered.
This is by no means a complete gaming mouse package, but it’s not meant to be. It’s an essential purchase for hardcore Sims fans and a solid starter gaming mouse. It’s not enough to tempt me permanently away from my old faithful G500 with its unlockable scroll wheel, on-the-fly DPI adjustments, and customisable weights, but it’s more than adequate for someone just looking for more Sims goodness from a company that has always delivered quality peripherals.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.