The Sims 4 will introduce university campuses in the next expansion pack – The Sims 4: Discover University. The release date is 15th November for PC and Mac and 19th December for Xbox One and PS4.
A university-themed expansion has been a recurring theme since The Sims 2: University. As the very first expansion pack for The Sims 2, back in 2005, The Sims 2: University added the ‘young adult’ life stage. Back then, young adult was exclusive for university students; teenagers become young adults when they moved to campus and become adults when they graduate.
The young adult life stage has, instead, been part of the base game for The Sims 3 and The Sims 4. The Sims 3: University Life introduced further education late in the timeline of The Sims 3. Sims could enroll via the computer, taking one major, and could attend multiple times.
Like with The Sims 3, this expansion is quite late into the series of expansion packs. The Sims 4: Discover University will be the eighth expansion pack of the series – as well as following eight game packs and fifteen stuff packs.
As an expansion pack, there will be larger addition of features and gameplay. There will be a combination of new features exclusive for students, non-students (such as new jobs), and those accessible to both.
The expansion will introduce a new neighbourhood, Britechester, with two somewhat competing campuses. Firstly, the University of Britechester is a more arts and humanities-focused campus. Alternatively, more focus on scientific fields can be found at the Foxbury Institute. A quirky option to study is the ‘villainy’ degree – one of the distinguished options offered by the Foxbury Institute.
A new type of lot, dormitories, provide on-campus accommodation. These usually involve sharing a room with another student, complete with communal facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms. Students will also be able to rent homes off-campus, provided they have the simoleons for it.
Sims can obtain scholarships, providing they are performing well enough. Alternatively, they can risk taking out a loan, which will involve consequences, such as interest and debt.
Outside of lectures and study sessions, sims can participate in extracurricular activities or clubs. Examples include a robotics club, debate club, and even a secret society. Groups and clubs are also a major feature in The Sims 4: Get Together; it isn’t clear if clubs at university will function the same, or if Get Together will expand what they can do, or if they have separate mechanics.
A good student lifestyle has more than just studying and extracurricular activities. More features and objects based around partying and having a good, fun time are being added. Working around age rating, there are metaphors for alcohol-fueled activities, including ‘juice pong’ and a ‘juice keg’.
New Life State?
Alongside the robotics society, there will be a new robotics skill. With this skill, sims can craft drones and robots. It isn’t yet clear how much autonomy these machines will have. From the trailer, it appears that robots would function like sims and be able to interact with objects, as well as communicate with other robots or sims.
An independently functioning robot life state has existed since The Sims 2: Open for Business. The Sims 3 had introduced two different robot life states, Simbots (The Sims 3: Ambitions) and Plumbots (The Sims 3: Into the Future).
Whether robots in The Sims 4 will be fully controllable and have their own life state, akin to ‘occult’ sims, remains in the air. From their portrayal in the trailers, it is very likely they will.
For adult sims, graduate or not, there will be extra careers to choose from: education, engineering, and law. Education at a university will influence career success and likely starting position in any relevant career.
It is unknown what level of interaction non-students can have in Britechester. The neighbourhood may be limited to only students, commercial lots, and townies. However, unlike the previous two Sims games, which generally only involve one main neighbourhood, the player can switch between any non-holiday neighbourhood and visit with any number of members of the currently played household.
Watch the trailer for The Sims 4: Discover University below: