This game has changed alot since it outing with Sims 3 now we get to see the historical settings, Many of the gameplay elements are the same such as how you control your character and interact with the world and the usual humour is present, however the focus of the game is very different as it has a much more goal-based and no longer a sand box prototype.
Rather than building up an individual sim to a lifetime goal, here you must raise a kingdom to achieve an ‘ambition’ that you select at the start. While none of these are particularly taxing, they do require different strategies which adds a bit of challenge and variety You may be asked to maximise the well-being and security of your kingdom, or to annex all of the surrounding kingdoms to create an empire.
Your kingdom’s progress is measured by 4 aspects (well-being, security, culture and intellect) each of which have associated benefits (if high) or penalties (if low), and by your renown (fame). Points in these five stats are earned by completing quests, of which you are offered a list to choose from based on the current state of your kingdom: the levels of the four aspects, which buildings have been built, what traits your hero sims have, your relationship with neighbouring kingdoms, etc.
Quests are the core of the gameplay, as you can only control your sim(s) while they are on a quest. This is perhaps the hardest change from the normal Sims gameplay to get used to, but it soon becomes another part of the challenge. Different quests require different hero sims, and some have more than one suitable combination and/or more than one ‘approach’ which adds a lot of replay value to them: When a rival challenges your king to a contest does he go himself or send your knight in his stead? Does the wizard bolster your champion with magic, or does the physician help with potions? … Or does your spy sabotage the rival with poisons and thievery without anyone knowing?
Keeping your sim in a good mood and not taking too long to complete quest objectives increases the final reward you earn from the quest. Alongside this are ‘responsibilities’ – each day your sim is assigned two tasks ‘for the good of the kingdom’ that are randomly chosen based on their occupation: A blacksmith may have to produce some armour for one of the city guards, while a physician might need to treat a sick farmer. Completing your responsibilities gives positive mood bonuses while skipping them leaves your sim feeling guilty, and (added on top of quest goals and basic needs like food and sleep) means that you often have to think about the best way to spend your sim’s time. Unlike the core sims games and some of the other spin-offs, there is no ‘going to work’ equivalent and so you have control of your sim for the whole day with the exception of a few ‘off-map’ actions such as hunting in the forest or sailing.
Another key change is that your sims are now created with a specific profession. Each of these professions has various actions that only they can perform (forging armour, casting spells, etc.) and some that are shared (e.g. gathering herbs or catching fish), and these actions reward experience points that level up your hero sims and give them more options. Again, what may seem restrictive to some is challenging to another: Collecting rare herbs with your wizard and physician so your merchant can trade them with allies to acquire a special material for your blacksmith to forge the ultimate armour for your monarch (!) may be complicated, but the sense of achievement is huge.
Overall I think that Sims Medieval is aimed more at serious gamers than casual ones, and so the “Sims” name doesn’t fit it very well. The time- and resource- management aspects and the goal-oriented gameplay will push away sandbox gamers, but there is definitely something here worth playing if you don’t mind a change and a challenge!
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.