Although Ive played just about every PC iteration of The Sims I am not an unabashed fangirl. In fact, I found myself fairly well disappointed with The Sims 3 because it didnt seem like that big of an improvement on The Sims 2 and I missed the cut-scenes and other things which helped me forge a connection to my Sim characters. But The Sims Medieval takes what The Sims 3 did and suddenly makes it a lot more interesting, and for that it scores major points.
A few of the annoyances that are inherent with The Sims franchise still exist after all these years. Pathing problems still occur (although less frequently than in earlier Sims titles), so youll have Sims not making it to their intended destinations, or NPC Sims jerkily trying to maneuver their way around your character. Actions get cancelled seemingly without explanation. I even ran into a weird glitch that prevented me from entering Furnish mode, and then prevented me from saving my game progress. But glitches are few (fewer than any Sims launch Ive experienced, actually) and not game-breaking.
Value is, of course, in the eye of the mouse-holder. That said, if I spend roughly $40 and, in return, receive a bare minimum of 20 hours of fun gameplay, and I find myself still eager to head back for more, I find that Ive made a good purchase.
Theres quite a lot to do in The Sims Medieval. With 12 different Ambitions (you unlock them as you complete others, but you do start over fresh with each one) and multiple characters and quest lines for each one the game has enough content to last a good long while.
As with every Sims title, Im expecting the novelty to wear off after a while. The quests are fun and engaging, but theyre not really strong enough to be a driving force for the game, and thats not what The Sims is all about, anyhow. Will I return to The Sims Medieval after Ive completed a few Ambitions? Likely. Will I take breaks from the game? Also likely. But Im going to play the hell out of it for a while, and Im happy to have it among my archives for those dry spells when I have nothing better to do.
As I said at the start of this review, some things never change. Just the other night I found my husband standing and looking over my shoulder once again, watching my Sims plumbob turn from green to yellow.
Uh oh, he said. The yellow is bad, right?
She has to pee and she didnt complete her Responsibility today so shes ornery, I said.
He stood and watched me play for a while longer, laughed at some of the antics of my wizard, cringed at the procedure my bloodletter performed in barbaric Dark Ages style (leeches included), and finally concluded that maybe he should give this game a whirl. Thats a first for him--hes not a PC gamer, and hes never been much of a fan of The Sims.
Even if youve played The Sims before, you havent played this game--it brings something brand new to the table in a familiar and well-loved format. Try it; you just may like it.