Sims Medieval: Pirates and Nobles Preview

Sims Medieval spices things up by throwing some pirates into the mix.

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Sims Medieval took the franchise in a new direction by giving you more purpose and direction through quests. It also gave you a chance to earn rewards, as well as the ability build up your kingdom and, ultimately, fulfill your ambition. The Sims Studio is already expanding on this with Sims Medieval: Pirates and Nobles, an adventure pack that will give players more quests to play and the choice to play as a pirate or a noble. At the EA Summer Showcase in Redwood City, we were able to see what it was like to sit on our throne of pirate booty.

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The expansion doesn't increase the size of the world, but the pirates of Aarbyville and the nobles from the land-locked nation of Tredony find their way to your kingdom and set up camp. As always, the pirates and nobles are at odds with one another, so as the ruling monarch, you do what any good neutral ruler would do: You pick a side. You still have access to the professions from the main game, so you can branch off at any point in time to pursue the pirate's life or a higher standard of living as a noble. Our demo began by giving us a view of what a pirate- or a noble-themed room would look like. You have the ultrafancy ornate decor that comes with being a noble and the pirate's room that is littered with eye-catching treasure and a variety of wooden furniture.

As a pirate, you'll have access to do pirate-y things like dig for rare treasure and own a parrot. You can name your parrot, feed it, and then promptly send it off to attack some poor unsuspecting sim. There are treasure maps that you'll come across, which can lead you to a pile of slime-covered gold or a tentacled monster. In our demo, we were lucky enough to avoid the monster for the most part, but for the sake of our entertainment, our monarch jumped into the monster pit for a good thrashing. Swordfighting is also a key feature to the game, and it seems like that is what the nobles tend to do in their spare time. As always, you'll have access to an extensive wardrobe, and we were told that a patch will come out before the expansion ships to give everyone the ability to add makeup to their sims.

The interrogation chair is another feature that has been added; you lock up the closest (and most unfortunate) person you can find and use a variety of tactics to get information out of him or her. There are two meters to measure people's will and alertness, and you have to try to lower their will so that they will spill their secret while staying conscious. There are several forms of interrogation, and they range from tickling with feathers to unleashing the ferocious chinchilla. Some sims actually enjoy some of this torture, so you'll have to change up your tactics if it's not working.

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Depending on how you approach the quests, we're told the additional content could take up to 25 hours to complete. It stays true to the spirit of the sims, with plenty of customization, goofy characters, and an endless number of things to do pass the time. If you've been waiting for a reason to return to the medieval world of the Sims, then keep an eye out for Sims Medieval: Pirates and Nobles when it is released on August 30.

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