Sims 2 Uni pics, facts and a clip

They're about as predictable as Halley's comet. But while that reliable celestial body waits 76 years between visits, Sims expansion packs tend to pop-up slightly more frequently and with less spectacular visuals. But as Electronic Arts took us through the next outing for their little computer people, it certainly looked like this time their sequel will blaze a trail.

The big difference between this expansion pack and the apron-tied original rests in the campus setting for the game. For instead of being based around the family home, packed frat houses and dorms are the norm. So while your fledgling freshman Sims are still slaves to your every whim, they are forced to live with other students who have their own hopes, their own dreams, their own unhygienic habits.

But don't fret because not every one of your housemates is a mindless automaton - in fact, many of them don't even study engineering. And while you can't directly command them to pick up your soiled undercrackers, they can be tricked into doing your work for you. It's all down to a new feature called Influence that allows the most popular of the Sims to persuade their mates to perform all of your boring tasks so that you can party and still have the time to pass those all-important exams.

But it isn't all work in the world of the Sims on campus. The Sims can develop all sorts of weird careers and new skills. So along with their time at university, unlocking a whole new world of Wants, it also allows each character to have up to seven desires and a long-term goal that can include new careers in show business, music or photography.

There are plenty of bizarre new rewards too, including a home plastic surgery kit and the Little Shop of Horrors inspired plant, seen in the movie we've attached below.

Known as the Cow Plant, the botanical nightmare is famed the Elixir of Life but as you will see, that restorative potion also comes at a rather bloody cost. But don't worry because if you spend as much time hitting the ouija board as the books then you can always raise the zombie dead to do you biding, if not your maths homework.

The Sims 2 University will be released on PC in March