Sims Medieval, a game about the Sims in the Medieval age. Thank you Mister Obvious, for the obvious. Fine, here is something you didn’t know you damn self-deprecating inner voice! It is actually pretty good for a good day or two or three or four… It really depends on your attention span and your need to experiment. I lasted about 2 days, 3 tops.
I’ll start things off with a run through of what you can expect from this new series to the popular Sims franchise by our dear friends at The Sims and EA. So what is new in Sims Medieval? Well for starters you no longer get to control a family of Sims, you only have a preset kingdom to play around with and you have quests to do.
The Sims you control are essentially Heroes, they are just Sims with special interaction options. The game starts off with only the Monarch, your job as a Monarch is to build a kingdom. How do you do that you ask, simple, complete quests. Every quest you complete rewards you with Resource Points, Renown and an improvement to the 4 key aspects of a Kingdom, chiefly Security, Knowledge, Culture and Well Being. Resource Points are basically you Kingdom building currency, you use it to erect new structures and this new structures will increase the maximum capacity of your Kingdom’s Key Aspect. Building structures will also unlock new heroes and new heroes will unlock new quests etc etc.
Every Kingdom has a limited pool of Quest Points, every time you take on a quest you reduce the amount of QPs until you run out. The Kingdom then enters a “Evaluation phase” and unlocks exactly the same Kingdoms except it has more QPs and you have to start from scratch if you choose to play the “New Chapters”. Doesn’t sound all that appealing, but what the game does is it introduces Achievements, when you unlock new “Kingdoms” you get achievements, when gather 500 herbs you get achievements and when you erect 50 buildings you also get an achievement. Hell you get an achievement for getting lots of other achievements and then the game rewards you by unlocking items, hairdos and clothing.
Let’s talk about the actual quests, oh I forgot to mention, you can only play as a Sims if you are doing a quest. Quests are essentially just special interaction options layered over your own special interaction options from your career. After my first Kingdom, I realized that the quest for a new Kingdom were exactly the same as your previous attempts. The only variety comes from the fact that different Hero Sims has a different way of approaching the same quests. The quests are actually well-written and honestly quite amusing as it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Certain quests actually allows you to control 2 heroes instead of 1, I’m guessing that quests in the later part of the game will involve more Sims but that would require you to have established a kingdom of more than 50 QPs. Some quest also involves murdering other Hero Sims, one example “Royal Assassination”, this quest involves a Spy assassinating the Monarch, yes your Monarch the one you played with.
Every Hero Sim, has a unique special interaction with people, objects or even places. Here is an example, if you are the Monarch or Tyrant as I like to play it, you have a special social interaction option called Monarch *Geez who would have guessed*. The cool thing about Monarch is you can send people to the stocks or throw them into the Pit to be devoured by some hentai tentacle monster living in it. If you are a Blacksmith, only you can use a forge and mine ores, there is unfortunately no Auction Houses for you to sell of the gems you find, there is however a marketplace so I guess that works out.
Instead of the old Aspiration bars, now we have Focus bars, this is basically the indication on how happy or fulfilled your Sims is feeling at the moment. This is important because most actions are dependent on your Focus level. Need to enter a forest to kill some beasts, your Focus bar better be in the green or chances are you are going to fail and then run out of the forest flailing. This also applies for crafting, the higher your focus, the less likely your spell or concoction of salves will fizzle. One last thing, every quest has a rating, bronze, silver, gold and plat. The higher you Focus the faster the Quest Performance bar fills up and vice versa. You do get more rewards for finishing the quest in platinum so you know where this will lead.
Oh! Remember the good ol’neediness bars? They just got tossed out the window! Well most of them anyway, Need Bars like Hunger and Energy are still around but everything else *including hygiene and bladder* has all been removed in favor of less statistic a player has to constantly monitor. This is after all the Medieval age, who cares about hygiene, they had the Plague for a reason. Which is interesting, because you can actually play as a Physician and one quest involves you and a Merchant uncovering and preventing a potential plague.
In summary, Sims Medieval is a definitely something different from the Sims franchise and it is very refreshing. Graphically, I don’t really see much difference between Sims 3 and Sims Medieval. In terms of gameplay, it definitely adds a new dimension and direction to the game. Story, well it is still a Sims game, need I say more? My only real gripe is the fact that once you have found the playstyle that suits you the most, almost all of your Sims would end up having the same traits and after a few kingdoms, you will realize that how and who you use to tackle the quests is the same. Of course that is just me Min Maxing Resource Points and Key Kingdom Aspects.
So here are my scores.
Throwing Sims into the Pit
Refreshing gameplay with rich variety
Not Sims 3
Sorely lacking when it comes to Kingdom building
Getting debuffs can lead to a downward spiral of failure compounding your debuffs.
Certain traits will just get your Sims murdered in their profession.
Invasion is not an option