Two Words: Don’t Bother.
Seriously, do not waste your money. Or at the very least wait until it’s in the bargain bin. It’s sad because the original Sims game was one of my favorites, but as I’ve played the games since I’ve never enjoyed them. Even though I did have complaints with the first game (no days off, having to make friends to advance in your job) at least it felt like there was a challenge. This doesn’t even feel like a challenge, and it could be called Medieval Home Decorator Pro.
So you get your kingdom and your first hero sim, the king. That’s the first problem. You can’t play as just anyone, you have to play as hero sims. So you can’t be a peasant and just lazy around working the field and fixing up your crummy place. In case you didn’t realize it immediately, it also means that you can’t improve or work on any of the buildings in your kingdom. Oh you can change around the furnishings if you want, if your using the correct sim for that building of course.
I should also mention that to start playing as a sim, you have to choose a quest. So you can’t just take your sim and do random stuff to level up (something else that’s pretty useless in the game) or to improve your kingdom. At the end of each quest, depending on how well you do, you get to add a new building to your realm. Most of them allow you to recruit a new hero sim (Tavern gets you a Bard, Church gets you a preacher, etc…) although some of them just improve your kingdom.
Since I mentioned the quests, I think they are the easiest challenge I have ever faced in a game. I used to play a game in which you could click Quest Help and you would walk towards where you needed to go. But this game takes it one step further in that they put icons over where you need to go that you can always see on your screen no matter where you are. Need to go to the next step of the quest? Click the bubble and select the correct quest action and your off.
Also love how they didn’t include horses in the game, which I’m sure means there will be an expansion pack somewhere including them. It’s sort of ridiculous that you have to walk EVERYWHERE no matter who you are. Yes, I do realize that there is the fast forward button, but walking takes up precious time which you could theoretically be doing something more important. Not that I have found that more important thing.
Sure you can write laws and issue edicts as the King, even hear petitions. But none of them do anything important. Or at least make changes that are noticeable when you walk around. On the bright side you can kill Sims by throwing them to the Pit Beast. You can also send them to the stocks, which allows other Sims to throw eggs and fruit at them. Unfortunately they don’t revert to the Medieval reason stocks were so popular (figure it out for yourself).
The game is nothing more then a time sink without at least the joy of farming virtual fruit that Farmville gives you. There’s also almost no balancing of the status bars which at least was fun when you filled them all the way. Now you just get energy and hunger. Buffs simply give you a better chance of success in your interactions. Unfortunately interactions are so easy that you rarely need to get above what the game considers 50/50 for the interaction to be a success. I did countless interactions and only failed one that was on 50/50, yet I also failed one that was a sure thing. Go figure.
There’s so much wasted potential here, that your probably better off playing Sims 2 and just creating a Medieval themed neighborhood. I don’t think this is a really hard idea EA, give me the toys and let me play with them. Don’t hold my hand every step of the way and make me put the round peg in the round hole. Let me actually find my own multiple ways of dealing with things. If I want to be an evil bastard, allow me to make ridiculous laws and edicts. I don’t want to just randomly throw people to the pit beast. I want to throw them to the beast because they broke an inconsequential law.
For that matter I don’t want your pre-designed buildings. I want my chapel to look like the entry gates to hell. I want my castle to just be a throne on top of a huge pile of skulls. I want my smithy to be chained to the wall in a cave, forced to continually work 24/7 smelting iron ore and preparing my death machine. Or maybe I’d like to be a tavern keeper who shanghais drunks? Or design a tavern ala From Death To Dawn.
Whatever I might have been dreaming, Sims Medieval is not it and will not let me do it. More then likely whatever you thought it might be isn’t it either. Pick it up in a bargain bin for 10 bucks sometime next year and you might get 10-20 hours out of the game before it becomes too repetitive.