The Sims 2 University Expansion Pack


Here’s your chance to act like a Van Wilder

You can play the first Sims 2 expansion pack—The Sims 2 University—any way you like: You can relive your own college experience, or you can create the experience you wish you had.

You can ditch class and lounge around your dorm blowing bubbles out of a bong until you get kicked out of school. Or you can study like a madman, make the Dean’s list, and graduate with honors. How well you do in school ultimately affects your career options once you graduate—or drop out, if you’re a bubble blower.

Because the University expansion pack integrates the college experience into the core gameplay of The Sims 2, you can now raise sims in The Sims 2, and send them off to college. Or you can just create a sim and start at college. Unlike real college, it’s ridiculously easy to get good grades and make the Dean’s list. Just do your assignments, write a term paper, keep a positive mood, and you’ll skate by. (Maybe college is easier now than it was in the last century, when we were there.)

You never actually see a classroom in the game; instead, you jump from lot to lot (from your dorm to the student lounge, for example). The problem is the game never gives you a good reason to ever leave the dorms. You’ll suffer through several loading screens if you do, and by the time you arrive at your destination, you have only a few minutes to play before you need to head back to the dorm to eat, sleep, or void your bowels.

One of the most interesting new features is that sims can now apply peer pressure to other sims. This is useful for getting people to do your homework assignments or prank your enemies. Frank the Tank aficionados can also streak the quad, if that’s your fancy.

This expansion offers a ton of new gameplay elements and it’s a lot of fun; even after playing for hours, we felt like we had only scratched the surface. And that’s the problem: The game never offers you much incentive to wander off the path of least resistance and explore its vast world. --Josh Norem

+ College: Lots of new animations, fun gameplay, and hilarious interactions.

+ The Real World: Going anywhere takes forever; piss-poor frame rates.

Month Reviewed: May 2005
Verdict: 7

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