Being a huge fan of the Sims franchise, of course I bought The Sims Medieval, actually immediately when it came out. The Sims 3, without a doubt, makes my list of all time favorite games, and the medieval concept was a brand new base game. The previous Sim sets had nothing similar. I expected expansion games to come with The Sims Medieval as time went on, but unfortunately this did not happen.
Having played random online games like Runescape, Adventure Quest, MapleStory, and Mabinogi, I expected The Sims Medieval to be an amazing combination of simulation as well as action. After watching the game trailer, I was literally so excited. I waited for every video, promo, picture, news article, almost anything that gave me more of a sneak peek into the game. Little did I know at the time, that I would be disappointed.
The game trailer misled my expectations for the game. I imagined something very different than what I got. I was sad to see that lots of action that supposedly happened was not shown. In the game, one clicks on different options, choosing a path of decisions, that has consequences.
There is a pit where characters can jump and test if they come out alive against the beast. This is one part that I loved because characters can actually die if they do not defeat the beast. This was unexpected and thus super exciting because I would always be taking a risk if I jumped. If I came out alive, I would get a mood buff boost as well as an accomplishment.
However, I was disappointed not to see the action between the beast and my characters. The only fighting the player actually gets to see is between two Sims. Otherwise, when my characters undertake forest adventures, I only get to read and click text. For quests, I get to read text and flip through storybook like pictures, which was a little better. Essentially, the game is more reading than visual images of what is going on, which is disappointing.
The medieval time period is an action-packed one, and I really wished that the game had utilized that. Another aspect is that I do not have the full ability to do whatever I want in the game. I was always on a quest. I had to fulfill my character’s needs, making sure they were fed and well rested, as well as their work obligations. This is something different than the usual Sim games. In this base game, each character has work obligations related to who they are, such as the monarch, the bard, the magician, the spy, that must be fulfilled by the end of each day. If the obligation was not fulfilled, it hurt the character’s mood pretty badly, also affected quest progress. Due to quests, characters constantly had something to do and work on. There wasn’t much time for exploration and free will like there is in The Sims 3.
I give Electronic Arts credit for attempting to create something new, but they were unable to live up to their own legacy. The Sims 3 was pretty amazing, with significant improvements from the previous Sim generations. I really wanted something different in The Sims Medieval, but the actual game turned out to be different than the one I imagined.
There are a few cool things they implemented though. I guess they tried to have the quests to make the game more similar to adventure or action games, which was a nice idea. They also let you create a characters for each important citizen in the game. During my first game, I made myself the monarch and created other characters based off of celebrities, which was fun.
I like that you get to play as different characters during different quests, as well as progress their personal lives. I was surprised when I “WooHoo”ed as the monarch and got pregnant. I realized that they got rid of the “Try for Baby” option because they tried to match medieval times. I also thought there would be an effect of the citizens gossiping about an unwed monarch with a child, but there was not. Another thing I liked was that the child of the monarch becomes the monarch when the monarch dies. It was interesting that they kept the children as children forever essentially. I don’t think I liked this because I wanted the children to do more than fetch items for their parents.
There were some interesting quests, but some were also pretty lame. I did not like that when I created a new kingdom, I got into playing similar quests again due to lack of variety. It’s possible that I played this game so much and exhausted the options. The Sims Medieval was an interesting attempt at a fresh game, but did not meet my expectations.
From time to time, I still return to it, when I get bored of The Sims 3, which only happens when the game crashes and I get annoyed because none of my progress was saved. Anyways, I recommend checking this game out just because it is really interesting, even if not the best game.