EA Games has finally released their latest Sims offering. And this time, it’s not just an expansion pack. The Sims Medieval is traditional Sims meets Age of Empires: basically, it bridges the gap between the respective genres.

The Basics: The Sims Medieval breathes new life to the classic simulation-style game, offering players more direction. Rather than simply going through the motions of a character’s life, one must complete quests in order to build their empire. Once a quest is completed, gamers will be awarded points, which allow them to add new locations to their kingdom. There are a variety of these available, such as the Market, the Barracks, the Tavern and the Wizard’s Tower, amongst others. Each location comes with its own “hero”, which is the playable character for that specific location. For example, The King (or Queen) must be created along with the Throne Room, a Knight with the Barracks, a Merchant for the Market, and so on.

The creators take the simulation to a whole new level in this game. In The Sims Medieval the gamer becomes “The Watcher”, in other words, the god. So, if you like your ego stroked, this one’s for you. Sims can pick a religion, or are converted by the “Peteran” or “Jacoban” Priests (also playable characters). They can then devote themselves to their deity, aka you. On the other hand, if you don’t have a god-complex, this could become a little creepy.

What’s right with it? If you’re a fan of The Sims, a lot actually. The graphics are better than previous editions, even if you don’t have a great graphics card. The design is also pretty user-friendly, particularly if you’re familiar with The Sims 3 set up.  Another plus is the plot detail in the game – it would take you a very, very long time to complete every quest with the variations that come with each character. The game is definitely not as monotonous as the older versions.

What’s wrong with it? If you’re used to The Sims 3, the fact that the characters don’t age could become irritating. In this sense, the game reverts back to the first edition of The Sims. Also, fans of the traditional simulation-style game may become irritated by the lack of freedom – if you’re not “on a quest” your character won’t be playable. The most annoying thing about it? The music. If you’re not a fan of medieval folk tunes, this one’s not for you.

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