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Review: The Sims 4 Discover University…to the detriment of your own degree

Written by Gaming

There is something deeply ironic about abandoning my actual real-life degree work to spend seven hours playing in a fictional university, but if I kid myself that it’s for “research” for this article, it feels less of a complete avoidance of reality. That’s right, The Sims 4 Discover University expansion pack is out now, and it’s already taking over my life.

You’d think it would be an unappealing prospect considering how much of my life is already filled with university, but the idea of attending university in The Sims got me so excited. Unlike previous games in the franchise where the University pack was one of the first to be released, Simmers have had to wait five whole years and six expansion packs for Discover University.

Is it worth the wait? Well, there’s definitely some improvements to previous university expansions that already have Sims 4’s version standing out.

For once, there are opportunities for your sims to live off-campus and attend university from any of the pre-existing worlds in the game; previously sims have been magically transported to a closed-off university world without the chance to go home and visit their families until they finish university.

The pack focuses much more on everything outside of the classes – from homework and studying to organisations, much like our societies, and of course the parties.

Even though some of us might relate to that and wish for a similar world to escape our families, it’s still nice to have the option. New developments also include two universities to choose from that exist in the same world for some friendly rivalry; the University of Britechester is reminiscent of English red-brick universities in its traditional style whilst Foxbury Institute has a more futuristic, modern campus vibe.

Discover University has also said goodbye to active classes introduced in The Sims 3 University, whisking your sims away to class in a “rabbit-hole” building whilst you fast-forward time until they’re done. Honestly, I wish I could do this for my actual classes. The pack focuses much more on everything outside of the classes – from homework and studying (yes, the irony was very much present as I sacked off my own seminar reading to make sure my sim got top grades) to organisations, much like our societies, and of course the parties.

Strangely, the dorms don’t allow for ovens to be placed, which takes away a significant part of student life for me…

My sim held her first ‘Keg Party’ – a very Americanised idea in a pack that has otherwise tried to showcase a more universal experience – and had a great time getting ‘juiced’. Strangely, the dorms don’t allow for ovens to be placed, which takes away a significant part of student life for me – where’s all the plates piling up and the frustration of trying to cook whilst four of your flatmates have their pasta waiting to boil too?

One thing that is definitely not reflected in my real university experience is how my sim’s roommates randomly come in with plates of lobster thermidor, cookies and cakes. In my halls, it was more like mouldy bowls and forgotten sour milk…

Discover University is fun and challenging, as the sim’s university terms last only five weekdays. Imagine trying to do a presentation, exam and an essay in just five days, before doing it all again a day later. If you want to avoid the realities of your degree just like me, give The Sims 4 Discover University a go… just don’t forget to actually do some real-life studying every now and then.

Last modified: 18th November 2019

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