Sims Medieval: straight outta Kirkwall

, | Game diaries

As the champion of Dragon Age II, Garrett Hawke’s been dealt a shabby hand. After losing most of his family and many of his friends, he’s cast adrift. He began as a refugee and leaves the stage, in most cases, just the same. The world in tatters and ruin behind him. Nightmares of blood mages and abominations plague his dreams.

After the jump, I think we owe the man better than that.

And — cue the dream sequence music — with Sims Medieval I intend to give him the chance for a better ending. Mind you, I haven’t played a Sims game for very long. So what could possibly go wrong? It’s not like Anders is around…yet.

Sims Medieval allows for a fair amount of flexibility in character design so I come up with something that looks a bit like Hawke. As in better MMOs and RPGs, you can tweak facial structure, details like one’s eyes and nose, and even a voice. There are four basic speech patterns but you can adjust the tone high or low for a variety of vocal types. You’ll find a good variety of costumes, though in Sims Medieval they’re all keyed to specific heroic roles the main characters belong to. More on this later.

In Sims games, the characters don’t speak in a real language, but an approximation conveys mood and intent while icons, overhead like speech bubbles, indicate topics or the reaction to another sim’s comments in a more specific sense. The Sims Medieval adds an additional twist: Ye Olde Simlish. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s Shakespearean, but it sounds the part.

Lastly you need to pick traits that define how the AI behaves, what rewards it seeks, and most importantly how it will get along with the sims and other stimulae out there. You chose two generic traits and one fatal flaw.

We know Hawke loves family so that’s the first trait. He is certainly an adventurer so there’s his second. While there are descriptions in the trait selection screen, I’m not entirely certain what impact these will have. Oh, and for fatal flaw? Cursed. You really didn’t think a normal person could have the run of luck Hawke did?

Once the King is created, and plopped down into his throne room, the integrated tutorial begins in earnest. Whatever happens next, it has to be better than Kirkwall.

(I’d like to thank EA Support for helping me to get this thing working: Kimberly W. in North Carolina, I hope that pollen situation clears up for you. I had a cyclic redundancy check error and after running through advice from the forums it really came down to calling Customer Service and getting a download code. Kim walked me through some alternatives but eventually set me up. This CRC error seems to be fairly common with Sims products.)

Coming Up Next: Quests Build A Kingdom (Or How The Game Works)

Brian Rucker is a long time gamer and it will probably say “Roleplayer” on his tombstone. He’s known for harrying folks in various gaming forums as OddjobXL and keeps an occasional blog called “The Roleplayer’s Redoubt” at