The new video game developed and published by Frontier Developments, ‘Jurassic World Evolution’ lets players step into the shoes of John Hammond and try their own hand at running the infamous dinosaur theme park. Of course, the movies always depict something going wrong and the resulting chaos, but this game allows players a fair attempt to avert those problems and get the park up and running smoothly.
The game operates like the classic Zoo Tycoon, with dinosaurs as the primary focus. You send expedition teams around the world to dig for fossils, and get the dino DNA from those fossils to develop the genome. Once you have 50% or more of the genome, you can incubate and birth that dinosaur.
Meanwhile, the Science, Entertainment, and Security divisions of the corporation are all vying for your attention, and it’s up to you which branch of the company you’ll favor in your operations. In time, more islands and options open up, and the challenge gets greater as both man made and natural obstacles get in your way of running a successful Jurassic World.
Most simulation and tycoon style games tend to operate better on a PC, and the customized control you have in those types doesn’t tend to translate well to a console controller. Therefore, it’s a pleasant surprise to find that this controls very well for the Playstation 4, and it’s clear a lot of care went into making that happen so the game could be more accessible to console gamers as well, rather than PC gamers exclusively.
The visuals are stunning and impressive. All the dinosaurs are well rendered, but the true impressive looking aspect is the environments. Individual blades of grass are all visible, water spreads realistically from pools to wet surfaces, and the jungle environment of the islands looks fabulous.
Jeremiah Pena provides the outstanding soundtrack to the game, and all the recognizable themes from the movie series are present. But obviously having the Jurassic Park theme blaring on repeat as you play the game for hours at a time would be terrible, so the incidental and background music used is new, and very well composed. There’s a great mix of positive atmospheric songs to lift you up and remind the beauty of natural wonders like dinosaurs, and it fits the mood of the actions you take perfectly.
The game features the voices of the actors from the films. Bryce Dallas Howard reprises her role as Claire, BD Wong returns as Dr Wu, and there’s even Jeff Goldblum as Dr Ian Malcolm. These are welcome additions as they strengthen the game’s connection to the films and makes the action of the game feel like is has more stakes. You aren’t just running a video game version of Jurassic World, you’ve been given the reins of the real Jurassic World straight out of the movies!
As a kid, I always adored the old Zoo Tycoon expansion pack ‘Dino Digs,’ where it added dinosaurs as a possible animal for your zoo. It stretched my imagination, and made me pine for a game where you could make your own Jurassic Park. Thanks to this, my childhood fantasy has finally come true. Any fan of the films should pick this up and give it a go. It has plenty to offer in visuals, sound, and the entertainment factor. You can spend hours on end perfecting your park, and given the different paths you can choose as head of the corporation, it even offers solid replayability.