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Take your Sims to a time of chivalry and filth with The Sims: Medieval

Publisher Electronic Arts takes a lot of chances with its franchises %26ndash; witness Dark Spore and Dead Space Ignition %26ndash; but it seems that everything the Sims franchise does works so well, that it%26rsquo;s barely a risk at all. We were skeptical of the World Adventures expansion until we raided our first tomb, Indiana Jones-style. And we got hooked on the Ambitions expansion the instant we got our ghost busting gear. With the next entry in the Sims, EA will be taking their people managing sim to the dark ages and tweaking the formula with a new quest system and some interesting new career choices.

Quest-wise, you%26rsquo;ll participate in such medieval fantasies as crafting legendary swords, finding the fountain of youth, and stopping an evil sorcerer from taking control of your kingdom. Of course, if such daring exploits are not your cup of tea, you can also engage in some wedding planning, which is probably going to be just as captivating, much to the chagrin of us hard, macho GR men. Another new addition is that of Hero Sims, characters ranging from wizards to bards who will find their way into your kingdom as the game progresses, and whom the player can choose to control at any time. All Hero Sims can be customized as well, enabling players to change their appearances, personalities, and even give each of them a fatal flaw.

Taking a cue from various strategy games, The Sims Medieval also enables the player to choose how to go about enhancing his or her kingdom. You could take the diplomatic route and attempt to expand your borders peacefully, focusing more on internal improvements. Or, as is always the fastest and most entertaining option, you can also just go around conquering the surrounding lands.

You won%26rsquo;t be able to play The Sims: Medieval until spring of 2011, but if you have a previous Sims title, you can start preparing for it right now. Just keep your Sim from bathing for a week, and then send him next door to conquer his neighbor%26rsquo;s home with general debauchery and unseemly smells. Just a thought.

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