Gameplay (4 out of 5)
Rather than creating and controlling several Sims at once, Sims Medieval restricts you to one “Hero Sim” at a time. Hero Sims are created to manage the buildings you add to your kingdom, for instance, if you choose to create a Peteran Monastery, you’ll be asked to create a Peteran Priest to go with it. As you play your Hero Sims through quests, they will have the opportunity to advance in level which gives them additional or improved skills.
The quests themselves help you advance your kingdom and fulfill the Knowledge, Well-Being, Culture and Security requirements of your kingdom. Each “ambition” you play through provides you a set number of quest points, referred to as “QP.” Once you’ve used up all your QP in an ambition, you’re done with that ambition. Fail to use them wisely and you can actually fail the ambition. After the ambition is complete, the kingdom becomes open for “free play,” with no quests or daily requirements for your Sims to complete. This part of the game play is more like the Sims games of old, but without the ability to create Sims at whim, build new structures or even remodel them significantly, you just don’t have the same sandbox freedom.
After the ambition is complete, the kingdom becomes open for “free play,” with no quests or daily requirements for your Sims to complete. This part of the game play is more like the Sims games of old, but without the ability to create Sims at whim, build new structures or even remodel them significantly, you just don’t have the same sandbox freedom.
Sound (2 out of 5)
The medieval music is catchy and light, with just a few other sound effects thrown in. Opt to jump into the Pit in the town’s Judgement Area and you’ll fight the beast within. The thrashing, yelling, groaning and clanging are definitely worth whatever wounds your Sim suffers from it. Sims with the “Evil” trait will sometimes stop dead in their tracks to cackle madly. And, the mysterious creature that lives within your Wizard‘s cauldron exists almost completely through the gurgling noises he makes.
Graphics and Camera (3 out of 5)
Because your camera is typically zoomed out in Watcher’s View, don’t expect a lot of really detailed, lush environments. The character models are nice, though, and for the most part, Sims seem to move and fight realistically. Additionally, when Sims get into tussles, argue or slap one another, the animations are spot-on. The game suffers from the camera in some ways, as there aren’t enough ways to get the camera where you need it. While it will follows your active Sim, you can’t swivel the camera around him. This can make gathering from resources a bit tough, and decorating the interiors of your structures can also be a challenge.
The game does suffer from a few different types of glitches. Sims will occasionally get stuck in environments or get items stuck to them. Saving, closing the game and reloading fixes most of these, but sometimes the only solution is to abandon a quest and pick a different one for the time being, hoping that the afflicted Sim will find a way to free himself.
All in all, Sims Medieval is a pretty good time. It’s more focused than a traditional Sims game, gives players something to work toward and small successes and achievements along the way. The problems it has don’t overpower just how cool it is to have your own Sim kingdom, and tormenting your Sims is just as much fun as it has always been.