The Sims Medieval

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The Sims Medieval
The Sims Medieval.jpg
Standard European Edition Cover
Developer(s) The Sims Studio (Magic Pockets for iOS)
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Composer(s) John Debney
Series The Sims
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, iOS, Windows Phone
Release date(s)
  • NA March 22, 2011
  • EU March 24, 2011
  • AUS March 25, 2011
Genre(s) Adventure game, Life simulation game
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution Optical disc, Download

The Sims Medieval is a video game in The Sims series based upon The Sims 3 Engine. It was developed and published by Electronic Arts for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and iOS, and was released on March 22, 2011. It was made available for Windows Phone, though exclusive to the Nokia Lumia phones, on March 25, 2013. Set in medieval times, it allows the player to build a kingdom through quest-driven gameplay. On December 21, 2010, EA announced that the Limited Edition was available until the launch date, and was also released at the same time as the standard edition.[1]

Features[edit]

The Sims Medieval provides a medieval setting for the player to work within, with newly designed buildings and scenery to create an authentic "back-in-time" experience. Players build up a kingdom, send Sims on quests, and earn rewards in the form of Kingdom Points. The game diverges from other installments of the Sims series in that players can win the game by achieving a kingdom ambition. Ambitions include "Best In Show", "Busy Builder", "Efficient Expander", "Fame", "Filled Coffers", "Hard Workers", "Imperial Domination", "Legendary", "No Quest For The Weary", "Safe And Sound", "Thoughts And Prayers", and "Wealthy Populace".

In a change from other Sims games, the character creation, simulation, and architectural aspects are significantly reduced and altered to enforce a sharper focus on RPG-style gameplay. For example, players are able to customize the aesthetics and layout of building interiors, but unable to alter the basic structure and shape of buildings.[2] Instead, the game involves the player upgrading a kingdom, choosing an ultimate goal or an "Ambition" for that kingdom (such as wealth or popularity), and then fulfilling quests that contribute to that goal.

Only two Needs from previous Sims games return: Hunger and Energy. Moodlets, from the Sims 3, provide temporary boosts (both positive and negative) to a Sim's focus slider, which replaces the mood slider of previous games. The player will have to deal with the daily responsibilities of their Sim. These consist of tasks related to the Sim's profession that must be completed in a set amount of time. If left ignored, the Sim will be given a negative moodlet for not doing their duty.

Ambitions can be completed through the use of heroes (or specialists). For example, the player can have a wizard and a physician cooperate on one quest or a knight and monarch on another. Focus, experience, and the traits of the Sim influence their success, and players may choose how the team attempts to conduct the quest. Players also choose which Sim will lead the team. Quest performance is determined by how long and how high the player can keep their Sim's focus slider filled. The player can take as long as they wish on a quest, but quest performance will suffer if they neglect quest tasks for too long.

The Sims Medieval is not a generational game. Much like the first generation of the main series, The Sims, the characters in the game do not progress through life stages: although Sims are still able to procreate, the resulting children only age to adulthood if one of their hero parents die, in which case they take their place. Each Sim has two normal traits and one fatal flaw, which can be turned into a positive trait through a quest, unlike The Sims 3, where there are five main traits depending on the age group.

In an interview with GameSpot, the game's senior producer, Rachel Bernstein stated that the game will be more dangerous for Sims, with death and failure a possibility during the game's quests. Listed dangers included low focus on quests, plague, peasant revolts, wildlife, poisons, duels, and more.[3] Unlike past games, there is a definite beginning and end to the game. Players earn ratings at the end of the game depending on their performance. Players may also reach "Quest Failed!" screens if they do not complete a predefined goal in a predetermined amount of time.[4]

Hero types[edit]

Players will be able to control several types of 'heroes', or professions. Each will have different abilities and responsibilities. These include:

  • Monarchs will control the kingdom and be able to deal with neighboring kingdoms diplomatically. They can engage in duels, marry important NPCs, and issue proclamations or edicts. Their title changes between Lord/Lady, King/Queen and Emperor/Empress depending on the number of territories they have annexed.
  • Wizards can enchant or fight using their spells, which are learned from a large spellbook and include motions which must be memorized.
  • Spies can poison other Sims, or steal for the kingdom.
  • Priests come in two varieties, Peteran and Jacoban. Peteran Priests follow a simpler path and try to convert Sims with uplifting sermons. Jacoban Priests use fear as a conversion tool and wear expensive clothing.
  • Blacksmiths use ore mined in the kingdom to produce armor and arms.
  • Physicians are expected to keep people healthy using period technology, particularly leeches.
  • Knights can train for strength and endurance and are used to conquer new lands.
  • Merchants have access to foreign goods and trade opportunities.
  • Bards can recite poetry and play lute music for other Sims.

Technical upgrades[edit]

Rachel Bernstein stated that subsurface scattering has been added to character models, to give the characters a "painterly look".[2] Other upgrades are reported to include "next-gen sims tech", and a new engine for light within the game.

Another difference/upgrade is the terrain used in the game. Whereas the terrain or neighborhoods in The Sims 3 or other Sim games was generally flat for the purpose of building, The Sims Medieval's terrain (or kingdom) is varied in altitudes and layouts resulting in a realistic display of geography. The terrain in the game also has a "painterly look" as do the Sims of the game thanks to the enhanced engine. An official update has been released which fixes minor graphic problems.

Publicity[edit]

Bernstein has conducted media interviews and demos and a television marketing campaign is currently underway. Some advertisements feature former Scrubs actor Donald Faison.[5] Sir Patrick Stewart narrated both the "epic trailer"[6] and the intro cinematic.[7]

Adventure Packs[edit]

Adventure Packs add new items to the game, as well as new quests, Sims, creatures, and more. All Adventure Packs have themes that the content is associated with.

Name Release date Major Additions Cities New NPCs New Lifestate/Creature New Death
Pirates and Nobles
  • NA August 30, 2011
New quests, new pets (Falcon and Parrot), 140 new objects, new Traits and Legendary Traits, Treasure Hunting (None) Pirates Baby Pit Beast By Baby Pit Beast

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 77/100[8]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge 7/10[9]
GamePro 4/5 stars[10]
IGN 8.5/10[11]
PC Gamer US 70/100[12]
CraveOnline N/A[13]
The Guardian N/A[14]

Initial response to The Sims Medieval has been generally positive. John Scott Lewinski of CraveOnline stated "It's more the kind of game players can come and go from in shorter bursts of play, as opposed to taking on team quests that can consume hours."[13] Nicole Tanner of IGN awarded the game a score of 8.5 out of 10, commenting "The Sims Medieval has successfully breathed new life into a franchise that was getting pretty stale."[11] "Even with its minor flaws, The Sims Medieval mixes a great sense of humor with simple role-playing game mechanics that result in hours of fun," she added.[11] Atkin Felix of The Guardian praised the game, deeming it as "enchanting stuff set in a beautifully animated and immersive fairy-tale world." "[And,] with a clearer structure for achieving quests and character development, it will appeal to RPG fans as never before," he added.[14] Gaming magazine Edge awarded the game a rating of 7 out of 10, and wrote "It's a funny and sweet time sink, and something that any Sims fan can wholeheartedly enjoy."[9] Although AJ Glasser of GamePro awarded the game a rating of 4 stars out of five, she gave a mixed review of the game, writing "As let down as I am, though, I'm not ready to get out my pitchfork. Some things in this game kept me coming back for 20 hours. [...] The Sims Medieval is a beautiful game with fun and interesting ideas, but it doesn't live up to my fantasy of the Middle Ages and it doesn't completely satisfy the Sims fan in me."[10]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "EA announces Sims Medieval Limited Edition". GameInformer. 2010-12-21. 
  2. ^ a b "Sims Medieval Doesn't Stray Far From Its Roots". Kotaku. 2010-08-20. 
  3. ^ "The Sims Medieval Updated Q&A - The Hazards of Medieval Life". Gamespot. 2011-02-03. 
  4. ^ "The Sims Medieval Updated Q&A - The Hazards of Medieval Life". Gamespot. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2011-02-27. 
  5. ^ "The Sims Medieval TV Commercial". EA. 2011-03-23. Retrieved 2011-04-12. 
  6. ^ The Sims Medieval Epic Trailer - YouTube
  7. ^ The Sims Medieval - Patrick Stewart Introduces a New Sims Cutscene (PC) - YouTube
  8. ^ "The Sims Medieval for PC reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  9. ^ a b "The Sims Medieval Review". Edge. Future Publishing. 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2011-04-04. 
  10. ^ a b Glasser, AJ (2011-03-22). "The Sims Medieval review". GamePro. International Data Group. Archived from the original on 2011-12-01. Retrieved 2011-03-23. 
  11. ^ a b c Tanner, Nicole (2011-03-24). "The Sims Medieval Review". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved 2011-03-25. 
  12. ^ Stapleton, Dan (2011-03-31). "The Sims Medieval review". PC Gamer. Future Publishing. Retrieved 2011-04-11. 
  13. ^ a b Lewinski, John Scott (2011-03-22). "The Sims Go 'Medieval'". CraveOnline. AtomicOnline. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  14. ^ a b Atkin, Felix (2011-03-27). "The Sims Medieval — Review". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 2011-03-27. 

External links[edit]