The Sims Gets Medieval On You

Illustration for article titled The Sims Gets Medieval On You

A new Sims game revealed today that drops the popular characters in the Middle Ages will feature "compelling gameplay never seen before in the history of The Sims", according to publisher Electronic Arts.

The Sims Medieval, the first in a series due out in spring 2011 for the PC and Mac, will have players create heroes, venture on quests, build and control a kingdom, and have control of every "Hero Sim" character in the game. Electronic Arts' press release was a little light on details, so it's unclear just how different this latest Sims game will be from the franchise.

Illustration for article titled The Sims Gets Medieval On You

"The Middle Ages is a time of intrigue, legend, and excitement. It offers a perfect backdrop for a brand new series from The Sims studio due to the limitless stories that can be told," said Scott Evans, General Manager of The Sims Studio at EA. "The Sims Medieval offers a new way for players to experience The Sims which we hope fans will enjoy, and it features gameplay that fans of strategy and role-playing games will find appealing such as controlling an entire kingdom and quest-based gameplay mechanics."

In the game players will be able to control a variety of characters including kings, queens, knights, wizards, blacksmiths and bards. The game will unfold through a number of different quests like crafting a legendary sword, arranging a royal wedding, protecting the kingdom from an evil sorcerer and finding the fountain of youth. Every quest plays out differently depending on which Hero Sim the player is controlling.

The game will also let you build your kingdom through internal expansion or by conquering neighboring territories. EA wasn't clear on whether that meant the game includes SimCity and strategy elements or if it's more about simple, automated choices.

As with most Sims games, The Sims Medieval will be highly customizable, for instance players can choose to customize every new Hero that comes to the kingdom, including selecting their traits and their fatal flaw. But that also means that the game may include some of the tedium of Sims micro-management with players having to make sure their heroes "carry out their daily responsibilities such as healing the sick, trading for exotic goods, or forging armor. From having a baby to competing in a royal tournament, what happens to their Sims is up to the player."


The game is in development by The Sims Studio.

Illustration for article titled The Sims Gets Medieval On You

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Ah, what a shame this could have been an excellent way to examine the fragile dynamic of ancient monarchy where a single awkward social engagement could lead to the long term doom of a country.

Think about it: you control a group of noble's ruling over land. Like the job system in The Sims the more friends you have the more successful you are. But instead of friends you have nobles from other lands who you have to keep in good relations (through negotiations force etc.) with so you can reap the benefits. Those benefits whatever they may be will help you use what your land produces to further your kingdom.

The more your land produces the more you can advance as a kingdom but to be allowed to do so you need to improve relations with other kingdoms.

On the flipside the more powerful your kingdom becomes the more cautious you must be in your relationship with other nobles so they don't take you down a notch in some manner.

Now this may sound a lot like Civilization or some other advanced strategy games I haven't played, But here's the twist. Bringing it back to the Sims you play the game in a Sims style manner controlling the aforementioned nobles in a visual real time.

For example say in the game an "Prince Ponsonby of Parma" has a family of 1 wife and 2 marrying age children; one daughter, one son. Another noble, "Lord Ledford of Lacarne" comes to the Earl's castle for a banquet. Any number of social interaction negative or positive could occur at the banquet. Lord Ledford could declare war on Prince Ponsonby during dinner, The banquet could go perfectly with mild to moderate boosts in relationships on both sides, the Lord's son could make rude advances on the Prince's daughter and even worse she could reject them destroying the relationship of the next generation of both kingdoms, or an assassin could kill the Lord and put the blame on the Prince and alternatively the Prince could save the Lord from said assassin creating a lasting relationship between the kingdoms.

Actually this sounds like a good idea. I reserve rights to this intellectual property with acknowledgment to EA's game as a springboard.