I think the first thing you must be aware of this is not the sims but that isnt a negative reflection on the game, just if you play this like The Sim 3 which uses the same game engine you might be slightly disappointed.
The game is slightly more focused towards quests, tasks and building a kingdom. So although the freedom is there you are more driven to achieve your overall aim, this has been well counter balanced against the need to micro manage your sims, giving you more time to complete your goals.
The idea of needing 10 different Heros is indeed a very clever one, you no longer have the luxury of focusing all your attention on a single SIm, for instance is you want a great knight, you need a good blacksmith to make the best armour, who needs a good market to buy the best supplies to build said armour as not everything can be found within the kingdom.
Now the change that has caused a major area for concern is that each kingdom ambition has a set end to that achievement, once achieved you have to start all over again with a new kingdom with totally new Sims with no skills, just a different ambition and although there is a free roam option after you finish the ambition, it feels slightly pointless as you are given nothing to really achieve. Personal I think this is an odd and potentially foolish move.
If you are a Sims fan then you will probably enjoy this as although its not the traditional Sims style we have all come to love, the game play still holds a warm feeling of similarity. However, it seems to have lost some of the Sims magic and provides you with the sense they have simply cashed on their brand image.
Its a decent game but based on the questionable changes to the game play and the price which is rather steep, its only a solid 3 stars.