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Sims Medieval Hands On


The 21st of February 2011, I got a Hands On experience with Sims Medieval. In this article I will give you my thoughts/opinions on it. I will say that during this Hands On experience I had only 2 hours ish and only played with CAS and the monarch . Before going to the event I had a list of ~22 questions prepared that I wanted to ask and investigate. Because of this I was fortunate that I got some time with Nicola Jenkins and she answered most of the questions, some of the answers are posted at the end, but most are written through out the article, not as Q&A.
I also wrote down a lot of things like all the types of food.

Disclaimer/random
I did not play final version of the game! Remember that while reading this. Also, I’m going to use the word authentic in this article. But I was, obviously, not born in medieval times. So my personal knowledge of that time comes from tv shows (tudors), movies (mist of avalon, a knights tale, first knight), books (R. Garcia y Robertson) and wikipedia.


Also I got the best experience you can have with a game, they put us behind beasts of computers. You know, those computers that us simmers dream of having and dream of how well our Sim games will run on it.

Now to the game!

First impressions.

Pretty
Beautiful
Overwhelming

Second impressions and first line of thoughts.

Impressed.

They took a bit of CAS, a bit of the menu, you obviously got the Sims themselves and there is furniture to interact with. But that is roughly where the similarities between Sims Medieval and Sims 3 stops. The rest is a completely new and a beautiful game. This is what impresses me. With Sims 2 stories, you had a dressed down version of Sims 2 and a bit of a story line. If you could play Sims 2, you could play Sims 2 stories. The 2 hours(ish) we had with Sims Medieval was not enough to even understand where all the buttons are or get properly into the game. This means that you can play a very long time with Sims Medieval.

We at TSR recently had a Medieval theme with medieval related downloads. I’m sorry to say and remember I’m very loyal to TSR it has been my internet-home for the last 8-9 years. But content wise, Sims Medieval beats TSR with a  landslide, hands down, etc.  It is just beautiful.

Starting your medieval Game.

You start the game with choosing a name for your kingdom and then you make a Monarch, every kingdom needs a Monarch. You choose the appearance (clothes, face, hair), you can also choose if he/she is young adult or elder. However the age is in appearance, an elder looking sim will still behave like a regular adult.

Of course if you take into account that in medieval times the harshness of the world and life expecentancy was quite different than it is these days. Elders had to be in fantastic shape as an elder.



The clothes and hair! The CLOTHES and HAIR!!!!  *ahem, cough*yeah I was almost drooling in CAS.  Look at the following screenshots. This is just monarch female, imagine each hero has their own clothes:

Few screenshots of hair/clothes and link to gallery


See the other screenshots here: http://www.thesimsresource.com/staff/sww/galleries/browse


What you will also notice, the faces/fabric look much more detailed and realistic than our cartoony Sims 3.

Traits

With these traits you decide how your sim acts in the game, a friendly sim obviously has different intereactions and options than a vulgar sim.

You pick 2 traits for your sim from the following list:

 

Adventurous

Charming

Cook

Creative

Dedicated

Earthy

Eloquent

Evil

Excitable

Friendly

Fun-Loving

Good

Greedy

Haggler

Hopeful

Jokester

Loves Family

Orphan

Scholarly

Solitary

Unkempt

Vain

Vulgar

Whale Ate My Parents


Whale ate my parents trait?? The info in game says: ‘Carnivourous, Sim-eating whales were a constant threat back in Medieval times. Indeed, legend has it that the ocean was formed from the tears of orphaned children whose parents were devoured by these underwater menaces.’ :D


You also pick one fatal flaw, this is like an addiction. These are your fatal flaw options:

Arrogant

Bloodthirsty

Compulsive gambler

Cowardly

Cruel

Cursed

Drunkard

Fool

Glutton

Hubris

Insecure

Insomniac

Licentious

Morose

Puny

Uncouth

Weak Constitution


These affect your Sims life in such a way that a licentious sim needs a cuddle/kiss every once in a while or his focus (more on that later) drops. There is a rumour that you can overcome this fatal flaw, probably with a quest? Do not ask me about this, stalk your local EA person, I did not have enough time to explore this. I got the rumour from this page: http://thesimsmedieval.wikia.com/wiki/Fatal_Flaw

So the last thing to do is give your sim a name. There is a random name generator in game and it gives you medieval sounding names! Very useful. I want a name generator in Sims 3, pretty please.

The game itself

Ok made the perfect monarch, time to play the game!

The monarch starts in the castle, there are two types of rooms public and private. Private consists of a bathroom (no toilet for your sim! Chamber pot!), bedroom and a dining room (here you can also cook food and get ale (costs 60§). The public rooms has the throne, a scribe table a tactical map and more. On this tactical map you can see the different territories and kingdoms neighboring your kingdom and you can perform edicts.

An edict is an announcement of a law, often associated with monarchism. /wikipedia

The chance your edict passes depends on the relationships with people who can vote on it. *double check who these people are*. An edict can increase or decrease the relationship of your kingdom with the surrounding kingdoms. This adds a fun strategic bit, which I personally like. What will happen when the relationship becomes very low??

Needs/focus

The needs are less involved, your Sim only cares if they are hungry or tired. But when they are, they get a negative moodlet. Things like a cheap bed or bland food also gives negative moodlets, of course vice versa is true. Good beds/food/etc give positive moodlets. These in turn lower or raise your focus.

Focus is like ‘mood’ in Sims 3 however, they affect how well your sim does things. Like a low focus decreases the chance you win a sword fight. This is just an example, but imagine focus influences success/failure of the tasks your Sim does. We have a new learning curve, to find all the positive moodlets.

Quests and daily life (responsiblities).

It has been wildly advertised that your Sims can do quests, but what are they? They are in my opinion like a set of tasks your sim has to do from talking to sims, to spitting in a well. Imagine the adventures from World Adventures, but much more… well… detailed. There are also parts in the quest where your sim can choose not to do something. For example, my sim was told by her evil cousin to spit in someones face. I said that my Sim does not want to do this. This does not mean your quest stops, you move onto the next part, but the story is ‘you are too nice to spit in somones face’. World Adventures did not give options like that.

Next to the quest, your sim has two daily responsibilities, like writing a law or hunting a bear (yes you can hunt! Its like rabbit hole, Sim disappears for a short amount of time). You get a day to do these responsibilities, if you do not do them, your focus drops a lot.

So a quick summery of quests vs respnsibilities, both are tasks but quests you can take your time with and responsibilites have to be done in a short(ish) time frame.

This is how far I got with playing the monarch sim, I think I could have played this game for days if I was given the opportunity.

Kingdom mode

Kingdom mode is a like world view of your kingdom, you can see the different areas and buildings quite fast. In this mode you can also place buildings (note: NOT build, will come to that later). You have to spend resource points when you want to build like a hero building, your sim earns them by doing quests. Here is a list of all the areas I saw in the game:

 

A village (outside your gate)

A shop for buying ingredients and other stuff.

Barracks                                       

Hero Building – Knight

Castle

Hero Building - Monarch

Clinic

Hero Building – Physician

Docks

Your ship is anchored here.

Forest

Can hunt boar here (for example)

Graveyard & cove

 

Jacoban Cathedral

Hero Building - Jacoban Priest

King ball court

 

Lighthouse

 

Market

 

Peteran monastary

Hero Building - Peteran Priest

Smithy

Hero Building – Blacksmith

Tavern

 

The judgement zone

You can punish bad sims here ;)

Town Square

Interact with town folk.

Watcher pavillion

 

Wizard tower

Hero Building – Wizard


In kingdom mode you can also furnish your castle, furnish mode is similar to Sims 3 except different and more medieval icons (duh). You have the regular ‘category’ option to look for objects, however and this got me excited...

There was a collection option too! You could pick like noble themed objects and nature themed. Hopefully this is means the much hoped for collections will come to Sims 3 too. (please)
I wish I had more time to explore kingdom mode, but alas.

Angela and AnoeskaB got the chance to play a bit with the spy and they told me there are funny interactions like pickpocketing.

Questions/random things

My first question to Nicola Jenkins was this:

What makes this game interesting for fans of the regular Sims Franchise?
There is a lot in this Sims Medieval game we already love, but a lot of additional gameplay and its challenging to create and control Sims in medieval times.

My personal view, this is not a Sims game in such a way that we know. You do not go to work every day, build up your career, build up your charisma skill. There are no tasks like that. This is what makes it interesting, it is completely new.

Stories
The game is like one big story and you lead where it goes. Cannot wait to discuss with everyone in the community where their personal actions/choices got them where in the game!

The usual screenshot/video tools are there too btw :).

Religion
I know medieval times had a lot of conflicts with religion (english church/catholic/etc). But I was worried about religion in game, my sims are mine – I do not want the game to give them morals  that at every step they do, something will smite them *extreme example* ;)

This is not the case, religion I would say is there as something that can be used while sims interact and may cause some dislike between sims. (I cannot confirm this, did not play with religion) There are two religions Jacoban and Preteran, and  you can choose to play with them or not. You have to place the buildings in the game to get the religion.

Transportation
This question has been asked many times ‘are there horses, are there horses’ well NO there are no horses. Your sim walks everywhere, but your kingdom is not that large.
However, there is a ship that actually sails away!




Food
My monarch cooked her own food on a cauldron in her dining room, you get the ingredients for the food by collecting or hunting! For example, you see a shrub somewhere, you click on it and ‘discover’ and it turns out to be wildflowers, which you can then collect. Or you go hunt for boar and come back with 3 steaks of boar.

I found the amount of foods fascinating so I wrote it all down:

 

Gruel

Bear soup

Bear stew – large

Boar soup

Boar stew large

Double boar stew large

Eel soup

Eel stew large

Fish stew large

Fowl soup

Frog soup

Frog stew large

Herring soup

Hunters stew large

Meat soup

Mushroom soup

Onion soup

Pigeon soup

Potato soup

Rabbit soup

Rabbit stew – large

Salmon soup

Seafood stew – large

Seed porridge

Stewed fowl – large

Sweet porridge large

Swordfish soup

Tench soup

Trout soup

Turbot soup

Turnip soup

Vegetable soup

Venison soup

Venison stew – large

Whale soup

Whale stew – large


Next to food I also found ales! Cant have medieval times without ale, as you probably cannot drink the water. Drinking Ale does give you a hangover!

Ale

Wine

Baley Ale

Blood Moss Mary

Cider

Feast Ale

Honey Mead

Hypocores

Mulled Wine

Sparkling wine

Sweet wine

Wheat beer.


Aging
There is pregnancy in game, but there is no aging. A child stays a child, does not become an adult. Shame, that does feel a bit like we are going back to Sims 1.

Money
A sim makes money by doing their profession, a physician makes money when he/she heals other sims for example.

Magic
The wizard adds funny looking magic, but I didn’t have much chance to explore this myself L
I did hear he meditates instead of sleeping, here is a screenshot:




Cheats
Yes there are cheats. Angela told me.
No, I have no clue which ones. I didn’t check myself.

Customizable vs authenticity.

As said before there is no build mode, there are also no patterns in create a sim and no custom content. So you may think ‘no way I am buying that game’, but take a few more min to think about it.

EA wanted to give us a medieval game, how would it stay authentic if we could do the same customizable capabilities as in Sims 3? For example I know maybe 3-5 house creators who are talented and patient enough to build a castle in the proper style, I am not one of them – it would just be a square building if I was given a build mode and it would be the same for most players.

So instead they took away that option and gave us a beautiful looking castle.

No custom clothes – have you looked at the screenshots, they clothes they supplied are GORGEOUS! So if you want to complain about no custom clothes, be my guest – I disagree and am happy with the clothes.

I think this game is great for players, especially those who do not like the need system in Sims 3, it’s a lot less in Sims Medieval. It also is great for story, screenshot and video people. But I can imagine for object/clothes and house builders that they will like it less.

For me however (a player) it is great and I want it now… sigh, 28 more days.

Thanks

 

Thanks goes to Angela and Anita for the invite to the Hands On event. The screens were taken at The Sims Medieval EU Community Day event (Hever Castle).


Blackgarden was a great help with writing this and last but not least Shouren from EA UK for checking some facts :)


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#3MangioFeb 23, 2011

Thanks for sharing \:rah\: The game looks stunning.. maybe it's just the high end computer \:D Very medieval-like.. not sure if it impresses me enough though. I want them for sims 3 instead \;\)

#4ziggy28Feb 23, 2011

\:D Thank you for taking the time to explain all of these to us\:wub\:

#5mysteryjack1Feb 23, 2011

Must have been fun! It sounds great, and thank you for taking the time to write it all out, too \:D

#6simsjeanieFeb 23, 2011

Thank you for that great overview! And I award you the medal of being the fastest - you only had two hours and found out so many many things! For sure I'll need days to come to this point you've reached in this short time. You've raised my anticipation in many ways - it really looks great and must be more fun to play than I thought when preordering! \:wub\:  And thanks for the screenies at your gallery - they show more than words can say sometimes. 

#7Peachybitz1Feb 23, 2011

sooooo jealous..can't wait for it to come out!! Thank you for this \:rah\: Great read \:D Only wish we didn't have to wait so long to get our mits on it \;\)

#8fredbrennyFeb 23, 2011

Fantastic review! I wish Sims 3 comes out with curly hair too one of these days....

#9Yngven93Feb 23, 2011

Thank u so much \:D!  There is alot of different information about ts medieval circulating the internet right now, and getting something as thrustworthy as this is really a bliss \:wub\:  I've been going crazy w8ing for this game and now...I want it even more \:D :P  

#10spyros666Feb 24, 2011

WOW.....
This is AWESOME...\:D
I have already pre-ordered it and actually this is one of the best reviews EVAH!!!!
\;\)

#11hannahbanana1969Feb 24, 2011

Great review!  I can't wait to play it...might fill the gap left when I went cold turkey on Wow...I love questing!  Thanks for the heads up!  \:rah\:

#12Ben72006Mar 26, 2011

I may think about getting it and maybe they will do what they did with the sims in terms of coming out with the aging like they did in the sims 2.

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