This is a fresh installment to the Sims series, and in a way it breathes a new leash of life into a game that was starting to get old. The big question is, will The Sims fans like it?
If you enjoyed playing The Sims just for building houses and neighbourhoods, then you will be disappointed with this latest offering from EA. You cannot build anything on it, all you can do is furnish the interiors, but there isn’t a great deal of furniture to choose from. This in itself for me was a little bit of a let down, but I hated building in the Sims anyway for I was never any good at it, so it’s not something that has totally ruined the game for me.
There is little freedom in the game, for you are very restricted on where you can go. If you visit the market to buy food, armour or weapons, you don’t get to see any of the market. Instead, your sim disappears and some actions pop up on the screen for you to choose from. The same thing happens when you are doing quests and you have to go inside a cave for example. If the Sims 3 can release an adventure expansion pack that allows you to go hunting mummies and treasure and actually being able to see and control your Sim whilst doing so, then why can’t this game allow you to do that too? It feels like a major step back for me.
The quests you get given have to be completed as quickly as possible for you to be able to earn more points from them, which puts you at a disadvantage when wanting to interact with other sims along the way. If you do get the time to interact however, and i’m sure you will, a lot of the same old options are still there. Romance, friendly gestures and wooing is all still available to you. You can even send villagers to the stocks if you wish!
The points you earn from quests allow you to level up, which is a feature I really like as it makes doing and completing the quests more worthwhile. After each quest, you may also get the option to unlock a building. This could be a barracks or a blacksmiths for example, and you can then create someone to work there by yourself, or just hire a pre-made Sim. I always find it fun to create someone myself, because that’s what I have always enjoyed the most about The Sims games – creating families. Speaking of families, you can still have children in this game and get married, however they don’t age. Nobody in this game ages or dies, which is a real shame for it would have been nice for your son or daughter to be the successor of the throne when your hero passed. What? Hero? Ah yes, sorry, you create a hero at the start of the game who is the Prince or Princess of the Kingdom, and this is the Sim you will find yourself caring for and controlling the most, for you cannot control any other characters until the option arises when it comes to choosing a quest.
Gone are most Sim needs. All that you have to watch is the hunger and energy bar of your Sim. If the bar turns red, it means you’re very tired or hungry, and you must do something about it. You can buy food from the village market and cook it yourself, or order your servant to cook for you. You can’t interact with stairs or doors anymore, as the houses are split into two floors. If you want to interact with something upstairs, you have to click on the second floor tab and click the object you want to interact with. Your Hero/Sim will magically appear. The camera is a major flaw, for it can sometimes get stuck behind rocks and cliffs, and most of the time it doesn’t even spin around properly. Hopefully a patch of some sort can sort this out.
I thought the game would be more free-roaming, just like how The Sims 3 is, but with a Medieval setting. That is the biggest disappointment for me, but I also think it’s a good thing, as it separates this game from the others in the series as it tries to break away from the norm. Does it succeed? Yes, in a way it does, and it feels like a Simulation RPG that I hope can only get better via expansion packs. Horses are something missing big time from the game, and it would be nice to see EA release some sort of ‘Horse and Carriage’ expansion pack. Are you taking notes, EA?
If you’re a fan hoping for more of the same, then you will be disappointed.