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Two Point Campus: Enrolment Edition – PS4

RRP: £19.99
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RRP £19.99
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Build your university, your way! It’s time to spin academia on its head! Got a yearning for learning? Or just keen to build an educational masterpiece? The campus is jam-packed with new creative tools to help you build the university of your dreams. For the first time, build in the great outdoors as you develop your own delightfully educational campus environment, housing the top …
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Category Tags , , , , , , SKU VKM-SEGA50.UK.22DE Availability 3+ in stock
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Awards

Rating

  • Graphics
  • Multiplayer
  • Story (Career Mode)
  • Originality

You Might Like

  • An established formula
  • Sleek interface
  • Good on console

Might Not Like

  • More of the same
  • Didn’t replicate campus life
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Description

Build your university, your way!
It’s time to spin academia on its head! Got a yearning for learning? Or just keen to build an educational masterpiece? The campus is jam-packed with new creative tools to help you build the university of your dreams.

For the first time, build in the great outdoors as you develop your own delightfully educational campus environment, housing the top teaching facilities in the land. Whether you prefer building on simple foundations, or placing every tree, you can build the university you want.

The Enrolment Edition includes:
• Exclusive Enrolment Edition packaging and artwork.
• A Foldout paper campus poster map, slightly bigger than A3 in size.
• Two Point Bonus DLC pack, including exclusive in-game items for both Two Point Campus & Two Point Hospital.
• A 14-page Campus prospectus containing details of in-game classes, facilities, societies of other fun Two Point Campus activities.

In Two Point Campus you’re responsible for the development and academic achievement of a university. This will involve dedicating the majority of your time to the most important factor at any campus: the students. Do you remember your time spent at university? I do. I had the pleasure of attending two freshers weeks. My first experience of uni was a monumental failure that culminated in a swift exit. Hopefully, my campus management skills won’t be as catastrophic.

Two Point Hospital was a reimagining of Theme Hospital. It refreshed the business simulation genre by adding to what was already a successful framework. Graphical improvements supported a host of new mechanics and brought the hospital to life, albeit in funnier ways than its predecessor – yes, even sillier than Theme Hospital.

I can remember buying Theme Hospital during my first stint at uni: I was at Lancaster doing no work. Instead, I purchased old PC games from Amazon, locked myself away and played as though I didn’t have anything to do.

One of the games was Theme Hospital. The cases arrived sealed in a cellophane wrap. The plastic cases were cheap and barely supported the disc within. I’d bought the games for less than five pounds. They were both from the Sold Out variety of classic games, whose slogan was, “Quality software at an affordable price”. If only that were the case now.

Campus life hasn’t been the focus of many games, so I was excited to explore such an intriguing theme. Actually, I can’t think of a game that focusses solely on campus life in the simulation arena. Though I’m sure someone will correct me.

Impress Me

Upon starting the game, a casual bossa nova, lounge style music plays. I thought of Gran Turismo and those sweet childhood days. What a chilled way to start the game. This kind of relaxed elevator music was a hallmark of Theme Hospital. It always made me feel a little more professional when building the most efficient hospital. If I’m saving lives, I don’t want to be swayed by the emotional swings of an eclectic soundtrack. Unfortunately for Two Point Campus, they altered the formula. I’ll talk a little about that later.

A short animation plays when you begin a new game. The clip showcases the variety of university styling and activities that you’ll be able to experiment with. There’s an odd schism between video content and the actual game. Invariably, these snippets usually show more than what the game can do, or even what the game is about.

You’ll be taking charge of your first institute for the tutorial phase. What I liked most about learning how to play Two Point Campus was how direct the learning is, and how the game attempts to hide the fact that you’re being taught how to play. It tells you what to do and what to click without reams of information.

What Are We Doing Here

As I mentioned at the beginning, the students are your bread and butter. The campus revolves around their needs. During the tutorial phase, you will be reminded of the three Rs. These are: Relax, Rest and Relieve. Relax and relieve are near enough the same thing, a fact highlighted in the game. But, as we know from experience, the typical student requires both. Zones for relaxing and zones for resting. The area reserved for relief is the bathroom; or the most comforting place when drunk.

In order to make students happy, one must follow a set of development guidelines. The most obvious is, to keep in mind the students’ happiness. Their experience at the university is tantamount to good grades so you’ll want to focus on improving their wellbeing. Sort of like real life.

Each student can be clicked on to analyse their specific desires or frustrations. The information is quite comprehensive and seems unnecessary. I don’t care about the individual too much; this is university where grades matter. That said, it is amusing to see their foibles and quirks listed. I won’t spoil them here though.

By employing better staff, the students’ grades are likely to improve. By pressing X, an easy to navigate pictorial menu can be accessed; this is well designed and minimalises the difficulty in navigating the UI.

If the facilities that are used by the staff and students are upgraded, their happiness and contentedness will improve. Nurturing the students is also a great way to improve their happiness. Paying attention to their hygiene is an ideal starting point. This includes bins, plants and hand sanitising stations. By increasing the size of their dormitories and placing more objects in their rooms, their morale will increase steadily and the rooms will level up.

When students are happy, they will perform better in class and get better grades in their assignments. As students improve they earn XP, so you can even track your students’ productivity. You might even become attached to one of them and feel the need to channel their inner genius. Playing Two Point Campus has led me to believe that my educational experience has been one of neglect. When a game convinces you of essential pedagogic techniques, it’s hard not to look back and wonder what if.

The Fundamentals

Despite the unusual mixture of British scenery and a general American campus culture, the game gets the basics right. It’s easy to navigate the menus, which at first appear complex, and understand the statistical minutiae. The core element to check regularly is happiness. This can be visualised as an overall rating at the bottom of the screen, or you can check on each individual student to ascertain if there are any severe dips that can be rectified.

In the information panel, there’s also some useful indicators. You’ll be able to see how students are progressing in their respective courses, as well as viewing interesting feelings and traits. By reviewing this information you can decide what changes, if any at all, are necessary to improving the quality of experience for the students.

In the same menus, you’ll have access to further information such as, mood, needs and environment. There’s also more detailed personal information about their relationships, clubs they’re part of and their learning rate.

Oftentimes in the past, I’ve struggled with the initial learning curve of some games, especially those games ported to console – the likes of Stellaris and Cities: Skylines. These are both excellent games but they have steep learning curves and poor implementation on consoles. For the record, I love both games, but I always had to be in the right frame of mind to play them. They’re not in the pick up and play category. On the other hand, Two Point Campus feels like a dedicated console game.

Campus Life

Campuses can be boring places. Granted, they’re initially quite fun whilst you’re learning the layout, exploring with new friends and going to lectures, but once the honeymoon phase is over, however, life becomes routine. A good routine, but a rather monotonous one. Arrive at the campus (or maybe you live close enough to walk), pick up a coffee if you’re lucky enough to have an onsite Costa, then attend class.

In Two Point Campus, life is obviously a lot better than this humdrum existence. Life is colourful, full of interesting classes to attend and funky people to meet. Everything in Two Point Campus has been designed to make the player happy.

Two Point Campus isn’t trying to be anything more than this. If the game decided to join a dating site, it’s profile would read: I’m a fun-loving individual who wants to make you happy, take you for strolls around my favourite universities and share with you my love of campus jokes. I’m easy-going, always up for a laugh and I’m not fussy about the food I eat.

If you’re looking for a simulator that tries to mimic reality, you won’t appreciate the direction of Two Point Campus. It’s an intentionally amusing game that aims to make you laugh and provide you with the means to create the campus of your dreams. You know, the campus you wished you could have attended.

Post-Graduation

Two Point Campus doesn’t succeed in recreating the feel of campus life per se. The layout and design of the interior walls and the external shape of the buildings is too samey. I appreciate it’s a follow up to Two Point Hospital, but I didn’t expect it to look the same. I thought there would be some innovation. Instead, what we get is a reskin.

The way you interact with the campus and adjust priorities is where the game feels newer. At the hospital, the going gets tough when you’re struggling to cure illnesses and develop new technologies. Two Point Hospital was entirely business focussed. In Two Point Campus, the pressure is on to make money, but success is measured differently. By providing the player with greater control over every aspect of the operation, it allows for a more flexible approach. There’s also a better balance between staff and students when compared to doctors and patients.

Ultimately, the game is middle of the road. What it does well, it does really well. It’s downsides, namely it’s generic art direction and misinformed location design, bring it down a few levels. The peculiar inhouse radio host is American despite the setting and the turbulent soundtrack, whilst innocuous, didn’t create the desired atmosphere.

Two Point Hospital is a relaxing game and makes for a relaxed experience. If you liked Two Point Hospital, you’ll like Two Point Campus. The only thing is, it’s development and design are overly relaxed as well. Maybe some people still think they’re on campus, or maybe the team just got those campus vibes during development. I reckon it would have been a joy working on this game!

Zatu Score

Rating

  • Graphics
  • Multiplayer
  • Story (Career Mode)
  • Originality

You might like

  • An established formula
  • Sleek interface
  • Good on console

Might not like

  • More of the same
  • Didnt replicate campus life