It seemed like it took way to long, but the park simulator we have all been waiting for is here with Jurassic World Evolution. At least the park simulator we have all be asking for since the first film released and gaming technology made it possible to do. I guess that is why Frontier Developments took control and put together a version of the Jurassic World IP to sate that want the gamers and film fans have been craving. At least that is how it all looks from the outside. Let us take you inside the park and see if it truly holds up to what we have all wanted. Here is our review of the game.
Things have progressed a bit since the last big issue with the other Jurassic Park locations and now it is time to open up a new one. Or open up five new ones and make a whole lot of money in the process. That is what we have now been tasked with as well as pushing forward the company's goals and science as well so we can recreate even more deadly dinosaurs for tourists to gawk at. That or be eaten by as life always finds a way. That is why we need to be on top of all of the functions of the park and keep the guests happy and the beasts in check. Can we do it though?
Right out the gate, I have to say that the navigation system of Jurassic World Evolution is pretty rough to use and work to your advantage. It is possible that this is because I played the game on the PS4 and not a PC, but it is still rough to move about and get a real angle on things in general for the game. It is not impossible, but I quickly moved on from using the basic navigation in the game to just using the basic menus to select and do what was needed. While a good option, it led me to miss out on some of the fun of panning around my parks and seeing what each new Jurassic World had to offer. I built it so you would expect it would be easy to navigate around and view.
I was not the only one who had issues navigating around the parks in Jurassic World Evolution though. Another major issue I kept running into in the game was the fact that the automated tasks you can set your teams to do would constantly get messed up as the AI did not know how to move either. Too many times did I see the notification that something needed to be fixed, I would task a team to do it, I would keep seeing the warning minutes after it should have been fixed, and then I would zoom in and see that nothing happened because one team crashed into the other trying to leave the parking lot. I always had to mitigate it by hopping into the first-person mode for the team and drive myself, but it made things harder to keep track of once I started moving into many other parks.
Another weird thing for the game that made things difficult was that none of the Jurassic World's I made were able to share resources across each other. They could share their research and progress further in the game you needed to do so, but you could not share funds from one to another. At least I was never able to. This left me more frustrated than I would have liked as my main park was pulling in a lot of money by the time I opened my second, but I had to build that one up slowly as I did with my first. This led me to ignore the other one outside of placing buildings in the location just so I could progress my first. It seems so very odd and like I was forced to miss part of Jurassic World Evolution as there was no other reason I could find to use the multiple islands.
If there is one thing that Jurassic World Evolution got down, it was the feeling of the dinosaurs and how they act. This whole franchise has popularized our vision of these beasts from so long ago and it could have been easy for Frontier Developments to do the minimal amount of work getting this right. They did not do that in my eyes as each dinosaur felt alive and as unique as you would expect. From the animations to the AI that governed their actions in the park, it felt about how we have all been led to believe these creatures should have been. In essence, Jurassic World Evolution was able to capture that same sense of awe we all had back when the first dinosaurs appeared on screen.
Another thing that felt right in Jurassic World Evolution was the fact that we could "possess" some of the teams going out and performing tasks in the game. It was limited a bit too basic rangers and helicopter teams, but it was a good break from the resource management to be able to drive around and snap pictures of the dinosaurs, shoot them with health darts, or tranquilize them when they escaped their pens. There were auto tasks to do this, as I mentioned above, but it was more fun in many instances to get out there and do it ourselves. At least when you were able to actually take a break from the other monotony of running your own Jurassic World park.
The last thing I want to bring up here was something that I thought I was going to hate in Jurassic World Evolution and that was the contracts we were able to take to appease each of the different divisions of the park. I thought it was going to be strange to have them all asking for your attention and then causing catastrophic issues if you ignored one over the other. It all actually played well into the narrative and made me want to make sure one was not upset over the other. Not because I did not want the park to fail, but because they each gave good reasons to have the attention brought their way. I would have preferred some of the contracts to raise all of the ratings with each, at least every now and then, but it felt about right in the corporate world we were in within Jurassic World Evolution.
At the end of it all, Jurassic World Evolution is not going to be a game for everyone. It is a park or business simulator more than anything and if you love the resource management style of play, this will be for you. It even comes with the added bonus of all of the wonder the franchise has brought over the years. If you were looking for a game set in the Jurassic World universe that would let you play out those styles of adventures, then you may want to move right along from that. While there are some of those elements in here, they are few and far between to capture your attention much longer than a few minutes. It is sad but true.
I give Jurassic World Evolution 12 Broken Electrical Fences on the Broken Electrical Fence scale.
Jurassic World Evolution — Launch Trailer
Jurassic World Evolution was developed and published by Frontier Developments for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC on June 12th, 2018. A PS4 copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.