EA have announced The Sims Medieval and at GamesCom I had an opportunity to have a chat with Rachel Bernstein, senior producer, in the behind the scenes booth about the upcoming RPG life simulation game. Rachel introduces the pre alpha software demo and gives GGUK the low down on this new brand for the studio.
Sims Medieval is a completely new way to play The Sims and itâ€™s centered around heroes, quests, kingdom building and kingdom ambitions. Rachel briefly showed me around the castle environment, allowing me to see the lighting, textures and architecture of the kindgom which is all crafted beautifully to submerge the players into a powerful storyline. There are a selection of different characters to choose from including a minstrel, Knight, Magician and Merchant. These Sims all have different capabilities and tell different storylines.Â Sims can gain kingdom points, which can unlock new Sims and also restore faith, health, knowledge and safety into the kingdom.
Each character has their own individual story. Each quest you perform uses quest points and Sims gain an achievement depending on how well you have hit your ambition. You can gain platinum, gold, silver and bronze. The aim of the game is to create your hero, choose your quest and fulfil your kingdom ambition.Â There is also an opportunity to replay quests to discover new ways to solve problems. The Sims can gain experience from quests, levelling up and earn money from their private treasures. Players can customize their sims personality and â€˜Fatal Flawâ€™. Not only will sims have to carry out their daily responsibilities, they may have to cure the ill, trade exotic ingredients and forge armour.
Sims can get married and bring up children. But this time around your sim will not die of old age and children will not grow up and leave home. The Sims characters can also participate in a duel. The demonstration showed me the Knight and king in a fighting tournament. Once the duel begins you can control what moves the King makes. They will fight until their health and stamina each reach zero.
On the screen, Iâ€™m briefly shown various rooms including the Kings Throne room and, off to the side, a selection of meeting rooms. These rooms are here for appointments and occasionally to entertain visiting diplomats. Inside one of the Kingâ€™s rooms is a scribe table at which he sits and writes out proclamations which heÂ can then read out to the people of the kingdom.
Zooming the cameraÂ view out a little from the rooms, you can still see yourself in the castle. Maxis have done a lot of research into the middle ages andÂ invested a lot of time in creating an authentic looking castle. You can easily pull the front wall away to see theÂ interior and peek into the rooms and thatâ€™s the look Maxis wanted to go for. The castle is constructed of big thick walls for supporting the castle, along with detailed rafting and ceilings.
There is a great deal of customization involved with The Sims Medieval which includes changing colour schemes and fabrics. Players can shift and alter furniture from room to room and give a personal feel to their kingdom.
Our first quest shows us that there is a plagueÂ in the kingdom and the king is very sick with it. This means that sims need to find a cure or end the Kingâ€™s misery. If youâ€™re a wizard you could use magic or if youâ€™re a merchant you can trade and aid him with some exotic ingredient. The priest can attempt to help by asking for the watchers blessing. Pharmacists have to cure all the people in the kingdom, if not, they will be punished. These punishments can involve taxes, or being led to the stocks by the constable, who is not playable, where you will have vegetables thrownÂ at your face to add to your humiliation while everyone sits back and laughs.
Medieval medicine is all about research and leeches. The Pharmacists use leeches on their patients to suck out enough blood so the patient can receive medicine. It was very funny at this point to watch the patient sitting on a chair while several leeches are tossed onto their faces. These leeches have to be collected in the kingdom as there is not an endless supply of them. After the patient has had their dose of leeches, they have been partially healed. Once this activity has been performed,Â a carrier pigeon is sent with a note attached to the priest, so the patient can meet at the church. During this time the Pharmacist is crafting medicine for the king. The priest will need to pray for the kingâ€™s health, and also talk to the people of his community to raise the popularity of his church. He may also need to change the tone of his sermon to make it more effective. The priest will also be competing against other religions in the area. Finally the doctor arrives to examine the king and sheâ€™s figured out that the king has blood poisoning. She then returns to her clinic to investigate and do further research to find a cure. There really is a lot to do and a lot to think about.
The Sims Medieval looks amazing with stunning graphics with well detailed sprites. It captures the Sims in a new light, building around storytelling and creating a kingdom to live in. Every detail of this new title has been enhanced with creative ability in mind, to expand on the sims in the middle ages. Players can choose different characters each time to provide a different storyline. Choose to be a good or bad ruler of the kingdom, customize your Sims and the kingdom to yourÂ hearts content and explore the personalities of each hero. Medieval was very appealing to me and I loved the fact that you could take on different characters, customize personalities and eventually build an epic community within your kingdom. If youâ€™ve been a fan of the sims franchise, this is an opportunity not to be missed. Iâ€™ve played all of the sims games in recent years and Iâ€™m excited about this.