The Sims Medieval added new life to an old formula, cutting away the fluff of modern day life and leaving the adventure and simplicity of Medieval times. It was a refreshing new look at the franchise, and though some elements were incredibly shallow such as the repetitive nature of your kingdoms and throne rooms it was expected that the inevitable expansion would add content enough to completely refresh the game again. To put a long story short, it hasn’t exactly delivered.
Like the expansions for previous Sims games it brings a selection of new items and traits to your kingdom which fit the theme of “Pirates and Nobles” very well. From the Piratey throne of coins to the Regal swan-shaped writing desk there is a variety of new content, even if most of it is just variations on existing objects. The highlights come in the form of the various pirate clutter objects and wall hangings which add much-needed personality to any room. The new traits are generally interesting, in particular “Guild Enemy”, which hikes up prices at the village shop. I do think that there could have been room for more however, especially pirate-themed traits.
There are a few new things to do, such as owning parrots, treasure-hunting and interrogation, though I feel that the birds could have been expanded on, especially considering the great job they did with them in The Sims 3: Pets. The interrogation mini-game is also quite confusing and never really explained in the same way as the blacksmithing or leeching.
Being an adventure pack however, the main pull is definitely the quests themselves. Set against the backdrop of a war between Tredony (Merchants) and Arbyville (Pirates). Once the war story-arc is started you are treated to a variety of interesting and fun quests allowing you to make any hero a Pirate or Merchant dependant on your kingdom’s alignment in the conflict and gain extra benefits for your trouble.
These new adventures are all well and good, but I don’t think they add up to a full retail price. I expected new heroes, namely actual pirates and merchants that inhabit the docks. I expected a new kingdom layout or at least a few new world maps to forge new alliances in. After playing about 7 kingdoms in total it gets a bit boring replaying the same world over and over, especially when the game text explains how your character “Sails to a brand new land”, and to expect us to play the same world again for the new war-based ambition is frankly an insult to the freedom insinuated by the idea of “pirates”. They could have at least moved the buildings around! At times it feels as though the additions have just been taped onto the game rather than truly integrated and although it adds a bit more life to the game it doesn’t fix the issue with repeatedly playing the same kingdom. You can’t even control ships directly!
All in all, Pirates and Nobles is a nice addition to the amount of quests, but does not add enough to be a full retail release. Maybe it would be better to save your booty until the price comes down.
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.