The Sims 2: University is the first major gameplay expansion for the popular life simulator. Though it adds new careers, social interactions, musical choices, and a new influence system, the real focus is on a distinct college setting and a complete new life stage for the high school graduates who attend.
As with most expansion packs, University
requires the original Sims 2
in order to work. It may be run with any combination of the other expansion and "Stuff" packs which were later released for the game.
comes with three premade campus settings which append onto existing residential neighborhoods. Sim State University, Academie le Tour, and La Fiesta Tech are all functionally identical in terms of their courses of study, but with distinct housing, community lots, and NPCs to interact with. Custom colleges can also be created from scratch in the same way as custom neighborhoods in the base game.
Sims are able to apply to college at any time during their teenage years, but the likelihood of being accepted or securing a scholarship is influenced by their grades in school. Skill Points and job experience earned through after school activities can also give characters a leg up on their college experience, so it's likely that they'll want to head off to campus as late in their teens as possible. There are no adult programs, however, so If a sim ages into adulthood the option to attend a university is forever closed.
Young Adulthood Sims who venture off to college immediately enter a new stage of life bridging the gap between their adolescent and adult years. Young Adulthood lasts as long as a sim is actively enrolled in a university and is measured in eight semesters which last three days each. Graduates then have three last days in which to wrap up their affairs, so if they remain for the entirety of that time, this new life stage has a maximum length of twenty-seven days.
Once out on their own, new students start with their own bank roll to cover their living expenses. Scholarships can greatly boost the base amount, but even the most frugal individual will need to start bringing in some extra simoleons to make it through the full four years. Fortunately, they can not only work part-time jobs on campus, but also serve as mentors to other students, become part of a successful band, and earn grant money for their scholarly achievements.
Characters who flunk out of school due to failing grades or choose to drop out will return to their home neighborhoods and immediately advance into adulthood. In the three days following their last final exam, characters can elect to graduate at any time by throwing themselves a special graduation party.
SchoolworkTime as a young adult is measured rather differently than for any of the other life stages. Unlike sims in normal residential neighborhoods whose age is determined solely by time spent at home, the semester timer continues to run down even when characters are out visiting community lots. The result is that students have a hard total of seventy-two game hours to budget between satisfying their normal Needs, satisfying their Wants and Aspirations, and meeting the requirements of their course work.
Unlike elementary and high school, simply attending class and completing nightly homework assignments isn't enough to succeed: sims must be ready to complete extensive research papers, interact with their teachers outside of class, and engage in independent study to prepare for the demands of their intended major. Each possible major requires different fields of mastery, ultimately establishing the ground work for a sim to excel in certain professions later in life.
- Requires Creativity, Charisma, Cooking, and Mechanical skills
- Leads to Artist, Culinary, and Paranormal careers
- Requires Logic, Body, Cleaning, and Mechanical skills
- Leads to Natural Science, Law Enforcement, or Medicine careers
- Requires Charisma, Body, Creativity, and Logic skills
- Leads to Show Business, Political, or Athletic careers
- Requires Charisma, Creativity, Logic, and Mechanical skills
- Leads to Business, Political, or Show Business careers
- Requires Logic, Charisma, Creativity, and Mechanical skills
- Leads to Military, Artistic, or Political careers
- Requires Creativity, Body, Charisma, and Mechanical skills
- Leads to Criminal, Slacker, or Show Business careers
- Requires Logic, Cleaning, Creativity, and Mechanical skills
- Leads to Natural Science, Science, or Criminal careers
- Requires Logic, Charisma, Cooking, and Creativity skills
- Leads to Slacker, Culinary, or Paranormal careers
- Requires Mechanical, Cleaning, Creativity, Logic skills
- Leads to Science, Medicine, or Paranormal careers
- Requires Charisma, Body, Cleaning, and Creativity skills
- Leads to Political, Show Business, or Military careers
- Requires Logic, Charisma, Cleaning, and Creativity skills
- Leads to Paranormal, Law Enforcement, or Show Business careers
Sims have three choices for accommodations on campus. Dormitories are cheap and have cafeterias, but the lack of privacy and constant bustle of activity can make managing all the other responsibilities a lot more challenging. Private residences, on the other hand, offer a lot more peace and quiet, but the combination of food, rent, and the occasional repairs will put them out of the price range of many students.
The third possibility is to join a sorority or fraternity and live in a Greek House. Much like in real life, sims must either befriend a current member or pledge their way into a Greek House, and if accepted, will join a close association of friends to help split the costs and responsibilities of college life. Plus, there are parties: wild toga parties where large amounts of pizza and liberal use of the communal "Bubble Blowing Machine" and "Juice Keg" will increase the Greek House's reputation on campus. As a fraternity or sorority becomes more renowned, membership will increase and sims will start "finding" better and better furniture to deck the place out with.
Secret Societies are distinct from their Greek counterparts in that there are no overt means to join them, and no immediately obvious reason why a sim would want to. Those few who find a way into the good graces of such an organization, however, will discover shady new ways to breeze through college while exacting vengeance on their enemies.
Graduation, Dropping Out, and Expulsion
Each "year" of university work includes two semesters, and students who successfully complete a year unlock a reward they will carry forward for the rest of their lives.
- Freshman - Sims gain a fifth Want slot, expanding the number of activities that will boost their Aspiration Meter at any given time.
- Sophomore - Students who complete their second year may take the chance to reflect on their experiences so far and change their lifetime Aspiration if they like.
- Junior - Upon completing their third year, sims earn the ability to lock in two of their current Wants or Fears and prevent them from changing, giving the player more control in which goals to pursue
- Senior - Characters who successfully graduate from college gain a coveted sixth Want slot, making it even easier to fulfill their Aspirations, and exclusive access to University's four new career paths: Artistic, Natural Science, Show Business, and Paranormal Investigation.
If a sim elects to drop out of college prematurely, he or she will retain any rewards earned up to that point and simply return to their original neighborhood to begin adulthood.
Students unlucky or slovenly enough to fail two semesters in a row, however, will be expelled and suffer the permanent addition of a fourth Fear slot. The more Fears a sim is contemplating at one time, the more likely it becomes that one of them will come to pass and send the character spiraling into depression and madness.
Aside from the campus life, University
introduces a new Influence mechanic which allows characters in the game to coerce others to do their bidding. This is accomplished with a new Influence Bar which accumulates Points by satisfying a sim's usual Wants. The more influence that sims gain through their various successes, the more elaborate tasks they can convince others to perform. Examples include simple requests like telling a joke to another sim, all the way up to taking care of a tedious chore like cleaning up around the house.
The length of the Influence Bar is directly related to the number of friends the sim has at the moment, so aloof wallflowers will never be able to collect many Influence Points no matter how many Wants they they fulfill.
Greek House pledges are the exceptions to the rule: they can be required to perform any task by any current member of the House, regardless of how much Influence the member has.
Music Bands and Inventories
Another new interaction added in University
is the ability for multiple sims to play different instruments together in a band. If the group is good enough, they can even perform in public areas on campus or residential community lots to earn some extra cash.
Between sets, characters will also find new vending machines on community lots which allow them to purchase cell phones, portable music players, and handheld videogame systems. These objects then become part of that sim's personal inventory and can be easily accessed at just about any time.
Other assorted improvements in University
- many new interactions such as Hang Out, Play Kicky-Sack, Have Pillow Fight, Form Study Group, and more
- through the use of a new reward object, deceased sims may rise from the grave as fetid, grey-skinned zombies
- over a hundred new objects include arcade machines, plastic surgery kits, pool tables, mini-fridges, and a camera that allows would-be photographers to hang custom snapshots on their walls