Pirates and Nobles Invade the Sims Medieval

By Mark Wallace on July 13th, 2011 at 12:15 pm.


Could EA have completely lost touch with their playerbase? It’s a widely known fact that never in the history of the Sims franchise has a player been the slightest bit tempted to bother, annoy, harass, or torture a Sim — not to mention keeping the hapless buggers from showering or using the WC. So the new Sims Medieval: Pirates and Nobles expansion pack, which introduces an “interrogation chair” in which Sims can be tickled, abused by a chinchilla, or otherwise wheedled and cajoled, could represent one of the great missteps in the gaming giant’s history.

Or not. In fact, Pirates and Nobles is much more likely to keep the latest and most RPG-ish installment of the aging Sims family looking fresh and young for just a bit longer (or at least, so EA hopes). In addition to the usual raft of new objects, furniture, outfits and interactions that arrive with any Sims expansion (including fetching medieval-, pirate- and noble-style makeup, which the game had lacked till now), Pirates and Nobles adds a new quest storyline featuring two rival factions (guess what they’re called), and a pair of star-crossed lovers, each hailing from the wrong side of the tracks moat docks …you know what I mean.


And, boldly pushing the envelope of Sims-style storylining, Prats and Nobs puts you squarely in the middle of the love story — even allowing your choices and quests to affect the outcome of the tale! Okay, so you may have seen this kind of thing before (if you’ve played an RPG at any point since this site was launched 138 years ago), but as Sims games go, this is a bit of a step forward, and it’s interesting to see this expansion push the game even closer to a more traditional RPG. Perhaps because the original Sims Medieval had already pushed it pretty far away from a more traditional Sims game.


All of which leads us back to the interrogation chair, which can be used to get various Sims to give up the information you’ll need to complete those quests. (That’s right, it apparently has a purpose other than letting you get your simulated schadenfreude on.) This makes quest-doing potentially more interesting than simply following instructions. Potentially. No word yet on what happens if you just leave a Sim strapped in there while you go away and have your non-simulated tea.


Pirates and Nobles introduces at least one new Kingdom Ambition, some not-very-exciting-looking-despite-the-tentacle treasure hunting, among other minigames, and two new pets: a pirate parrot and a noble falcon. While you’ll need these birds to attack other Sims in the course of your quests, they’ve got nothing on the Sims 3 Pets, which will be released this fall. I spent a few minutes trying out the still-in-development animal editor at a recent EA press event, where I managed to create what looked like a dog with the head of a pug grafted onto the body of a dispeptic German Shepherd, a single huge, emerald-green leopard’s spot gracing its coat. While that proved moderately satisfying, it looks like the Sims 3 Pets simply won’t be able to hold a candle to the grotesqueries possible in that other Will Wright creation, Spore. For torturing digital creatures, stick with the interrogation chair.

Pirates and Nobles is due out in August. And if you missed it, read Quintin’s review of his review of the original Sims Medieval. Oh, and before I forget: Yaarrr.

Mark Wallace is a San Francisco-based writer, among other things. Read his blog if you like, or just find him on Twitter. Who reads blogs?

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22 Comments »

  1. Sami H says:

    “Prats and Nobs”

    Hire this man.

  2. Bodminzer says:

    This whole Medieval thing looks kinda cool, like the old creature games but with people, rather than the endless ‘lol they’res onf ire teh randome!” guff people tend to use as justification for the dull as ditchwater ‘proper’ sims games.

  3. Bilbo says:

    I had a lot of fun with The Sims Medieval, but I don’t buy into the Sims Expansion Pack culture anymore. I’m happy enough with Medieval, and I’m going to keep the card firmly in the wallet until they make another significant leap forward. Some new objects isn’t it.

  4. Jajusha says:

    Loved Sims Medieval, refreshing, new, while still Simlish.

  5. Drake Sigar says:

    Who was it around here that wrote an article claiming bad behavior in games is much more fun when the game isn’t sanctioning or encouraging the behavior?

    Well anyway, I wrote a ‘review’ of the Sims Medieval on my blog and thought it was a step in the right direction for The Sims franchise, because although it isn’t an entirely successful experiment (where’s the customization?!), at least it’s an experiment. We’ve had ten long years of The Sims games and frivolous expansion packs which have offered little since the original.

    • Joe Maley says:

      I agree, I liked that it was something new but it was so far from the house-building that I loved in the earlier sims that I just could not get into it. I was really disappointed.

  6. KillerB says:

    Why are pirates so cool? Cos they just ARRRRRRR!
    (Sorry)

  7. Archonsod says:

    IIRC the Spy already indulges in torture and assassination in the base game.

  8. Bhazor says:

    Damn it, I’m a Sims 3 fan who has dodged most of the more shameless cash in add ons (the “stuff” collections, the Exchange) but sexy lady pirate costumes in a game with medieval lesbianism? Dang obscure fetishes, truly they are my kryptonite.

  9. Vexing Vision says:

    This just bumped Sims Medieval on to my WANT (eventually) list.

    • Harlander says:

      Yep, the needle’s definitely rising from “maybe get the huge combo bundle that Sims games always do when it’s cheap” towards “probably get the HCBtSGAD WIC”. Not quite enough to reach the hallowed levels of “totally get..” or even “… as soon as it’s out”, but an unmistakable increase.

  10. jeremypeel says:

    Lovely to meet you Mark. No need for the ‘as Sims games go’ qualification about choice and consequence, though; Sims 3 was an emergent playground to equal Dwarf Fortress and needs no apologies.

    I’ve yet to get my hands on Sims Medieval, but it seems like it continues to pursue the RPG-lite questing of World Adventures. Which was fun enough, but actually sacrificed more of the choice the main game’s tools precipitated than I would’ve liked.

  11. AgamemnonV2 says:

    “Pirates and Nobles expansion pack, which introduces an “interrogation chair” in which Sims can be tickled, abused by a chinchilla, or otherwise wheedled and cajoled, could represent one of the great missteps in the gaming giant’s history.”

    …You have played other Sims games, right?

  12. satsui says:

    I got to be honest. I didn’t like Sims Medieval much. I thought it was a great idea, but the execution wasn’t there. It seems to linear to really be a Sims game, and some of the “quests” don’t even tell you how to complete them, so I end up with all these quests that can’t be completed. Or maybe I’m just an idiot. Either way, loved the game at first, but became too repetitive.

    • bongosabbath says:

      Non-linear or not repetitive; pick one. This IS The Sims, after all, and you can’t have your cake and eat it (maxing out your hunger stat) too.

  13. Frosty840 says:

    Sims Medieval was okay, but it was also pretty easy. Once you’ve completed one section of the game (by “section”, I mean a whole kingdom questpoint chain. You get 50 points to spend on quests, and you must meet certain goals by the time you’ve spent the 50 points), there’s really very little motivation to continue, as any halfwit would probably have completed all possible objectives during the first playthrough. After that, you’re relying on variety, and if there’s one thing Medieval didn’t have, it was any kind of long-term variety…

    • soulblur says:

      That was my issue with it as well, actually. When you start a new kingdom, everything is exactly the same, apart from your one carry-over character. At least some new settings, or randomised building placement would have helped.

  14. NegativeNancy says:

    Uffie. Oh yes. OH YES.

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