At the EA San Francisco Showcase last night, I got to play around with The Sims Medieval. Now, because I don't pay attention to things, I was unaware that a Sims game set in the middle ages was in the works. However, upon hearing about said game, I forgot that my mouth was full and immediately shouted "I WAMMA FEE," and blasted Ben PerLee with taco particles.
Initially, I assumed the game was going to be The Sims, but you know. With knights and thatched roofs and leprosy and stuff. This isn't entirely the case. While it does feature a number of familiar (read: girly and dollhousey) features from regular, modern-day Sims -- like picking out charming furniture and dressing up your Sims in the majestic petticoats -- The Sims Medieval introduces some fantasy RPG elements.
You start out by designing a monarch (and picking out his/her majestic petticoats) living in a meager throne room and monarch's quarters (which you can then decorate with charming furniture.) From there, the traditional Sims gameplay stops. In order to expand your kingdom and unlock new Sims, you have to complete quests. For instance, if you go out and fight goblins, you'll earn enough kingdom points to build a wizard's tower, and then you've got a sorcerer who can learn spells and shoot lightning bolts at people, etc.
There are ten different playable classes, like blacksmith, knight, bard, or morbidly obese albino drunkard priest. (Actually, that last one was just a character I created. I made him look like he was about to barf, and gave him a genuinely ridiculous-looking hat.) In the past, the audience for The Sims has been casual gamers, little girls, cruel amateur sociologists, and my ex. Meanwhile, games with medieval stuff like swords, wizards, and thatched roofs are more successful with the exact opposite demographic. I'm very curious to see how The Sims Medieval goes over.
The Sims Medieval will be out next March. I'm sure we'll have more coverage before then, because let's face it... Resistance is FEUDAL. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)