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The Sims Medieval PC Review - -

Gameplay 8.5
Graphics 8.7
Sound 8.2
Value 8.3
Developer: EA
Review Date:
April 2011
Peter Bourke
Classification: M15+


The Sims Medieval

One of the world's most popular games goes back to basics but not in the literal sense. The latest incarnation of The Sims takes the player back to a simpler time of knights, princesses and dragons for some entertaining medieval frolicking in The Sims Medieval. You might be thinking that we've seen this all before and this is just another Sims expansion but thankfully it's much more as EA have revamped this franchise and included elements of the popular RPG genre.

However for purists, even at its medieval heart, The Sims Medieval features the traditional Sims gaming mechanics that requires you to create your own virtual avatar and ensure that all facets of their lives are catered for, from eating to making friends, purchasing items for their home and engaging in outlandishly extravagant quests. Did I mention breast feeding? That's right, this is not your average Sims game but something far more engaging that really thinks outside the gaming box!

As opposed to you playing the Sim, in this game you are the "Watcher", a type of God. Not like Populous God but more of an overseer and director for your heroes. In terms of story, although the player makes the story for their Sims that is dictated by their actions and interactions, quests play a key role in defining your Sims. Whether you want to be friendly or nasty, the choice is yours but along the way, you'll have a healthy dose of adventure and humour which has made the series so popular. However, before jumping into the game, you first need to create your character and as opposed to previous games where you can be just about anything, The Sims Medieval requires you to take the role of "hero" such as heroic Knight, a Wizard or even a Queen... and even a breast feeding Queen! Also, before you start, you must pick your ambitions for your heroes that is your primary goal in their lives but we'll get to that a little later.

As a "hero", you need to engage in certain quests to progress your character but before you jump into the game, you need to fine tune your avatar via the character generator. However the highlight of the "hero" character in The Sims Medieval is that heroes have two positive traits and one flaw which gravely influence your character and how they interact with others. A positive trait might be chivalry for your character but flaws are something totally unexpected like an evil King laughing at inappropriate times, a knight who has an unexpected fart problem or a physician who becomes depressed when he reminisces about his parents getting eaten by a whale. My favourite combination was my good Wizard who could not save no to a drink. Totally weird and totally unexpected by it's what the Sims is all about, just like controlling a group of Sims as opposed to one which is another aspect of this game.

The only negative thing about this game are some of the quests which are generally located off the beaten path and they take so long to walk too. Thankfully you can speed things up but I still wish there was a skip feature to speed things up. There are also some fun punishments in the game and when my Spy was naughty, he ended up in the stocks, only to be pummelled by tomatoes and other rotten foods. Of course along the way, you can seduce nobility, start and a family, raise kids while doing traditional Sims type activities. Another new aspect of the game is the mood bar of your Sim that has been replaced with a focus bar and requires your heroes to perform particular activities to keep them appeased such as listening to music or praying to god.

Apart from quests, your main goals for your characters are Kingdom Ambitions. These ambitions are quite diverse, although do repeat for some of your characters. They may be simple ambitions from creating more buildings in your town or hostile takeovers of neighbouring lands. Your kingdoms must also be monitored such as their wellbeing or culture which introduces a kind of micromanagement to the game. Fortunately these are quite easy to do and once again in your down time, you might be involved in a little bit of interior decorating as you move and change your house, purchase new items and making your castle home. It's great that the developers have added a plethora of interesting items to your house that thankfully is reminiscent of the medieval era. Needless to say, there's lots to do in this game while you collect rare ingredients from the forest, go hunting, make spells and get lost in this thoroughly well thought out game.

Graphically, The Sims Medieval is easily one of the best looking Sims games to date. The high resolution of the PC is really used to its advantage here and even though the environment and characters are quite cartoony, they look exceptionally clear. The animation is a treat to watch, especially some of the strange flaws of the heroes such as your villain laughing maniacally or passing gas, it's definitely quite amusing. The only thing I could complain about the graphics is that everything looks a little too clean in this world and that the camera angles can be a little fiddle some but fortunately the gameplay overpowers these two issues. Add in a very medieval type soundtrack and all those classic Sims sound effects and this game comes together rather nicely.


In the end, The Sims Medieval is definitely one of the best releases of this series in a long time and the tweaked gameplay and new direction of the game will not only be pleasing to existing fans but also newcomers to the series who will easily be able to pick up the game and start playing. With its RPG-light aspect and adventurous to comedic ambitions and quests, The Sims Medieval will give gamers endless hours of entertainment as they battle the strangeness of the medieval times!




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