Frontier Developments “Jurassic World Evolution” is one of the best movie tie-in games I’ve seen in a long time. The dinosaurs are stunning both in design and animation, and it’s a great experience at first, unfortunately this feeling of joy may not last long due to the game’s lack of depth.
JW:E is a park management game where you build your own Jurassic park/world just like in the movies, and just like in the movies, things can go south really quickly. The game campaign will have you building your own dinosaur parks in a set of islands called Las Cinco Muertes aka “The Five Deaths“.
You start in an easy island and as your progress in the game, you unlock more difficult Islands. The increased difficulty can come in the form of tropical storm, limited building space and/or limited financial resources.
There is also a sandbox mode that can be unlocked pretty quickly where you have unlimited money. However, you can only build the things you have already researched in the campaign mode. The same thing also goes with the dinosaurs, because you can only breed those you unlocked previously.
As you build your park, your main concern is taking good care of your dinosaurs and your guests. Each species of dinosaur will have different needs. So some will be loners who will not tolerate other dinosaurs and will kill them on sight. Others, like the Velociraptors are strictly pack animals that will freak out if they don’t have at least one buddy to keep them company.
When a dinosaur freaks out, it will start attacking the fences, and once the fences are down, they will start either eating your guests or running over them. Guests are easier to handle. Nevertheless, you will have to build transportation and hotels for them.
Furthermore, you also have to create buildings where they can go to eat, go shopping or have some fun. So if you’re keeping both your guests and dinosaurs happy, the game will give you a high park rating, and this is what will unlock the more difficult islands.
In the campaign mode, you will get to interact with three characters representing the development departments of your park called “Science”, “Entertainment” and “Security”. The leaders of these departments will give you different quests such as breeding a specific dinosaur or reaching a milestone you were planning on reaching anyway like having 1800 guests.
As you complete these quests you will earn reputation and unlocks such as unique dinosaurs or technologies. However, be careful with maxing one department reputation while neglecting the others because these can trigger a sabotage event where something bad happens to your park.
For example, sometimes it can be something devastating like every gate opening at once and all your dinosaurs running lose. The advisable route is to increase each department reputation evenly so you don’t have to deal with the possibility of sabotage.
As you progress in the game. You will be able to unlock better fences, better facilities, and you will also unlock the genome that will allow you to breed cooler dinosaurs. Dinosaurs such as the most famous dinosaurs of the franchise such as the T-Rex, the Velociraptor and the Indominus Rex, even the newest bad boy of “Fallen Kingdom”, the Indoraptor was added to the game via a free update.
I appreciate that the Indoraptor, and a bunch of other dinosaurs came as a free update instead of a paid DLC, or even worse, the dreaded Lootbox.
The design and animation of all the dinosaurs is fantastic. They move and sound and feel just like their movie counterparts, and it’s very entertaining to watch them come out of the Creation Lab and go about their day. I can see they put a lot of effort in making these dinosaurs perfect.
The only issue I noticed is a lot of repeated animations, on the other hand, the Indoraptor that was added post launch has its own animations and moves in a unique way that nobody else does.
The game is not without flaws unfortunately, there are many features that don’t work so well or could have been improved. For example, placing out buildings in the game can be a nightmare, because of uneven terrain, you will be fighting a lot trying place a building down.
Many of these buildings such as restaurants have an area of coverage, but you cannot see it while you’re placing down the building, only after you’ve built it. While the dinosaurs look amazing, they don’t show a lot of complex behavior, many have pointed out a lack of pack behavior.
The carnivores act like killing machines instead of animals. As they will kill anything they can regardless if they are hungry or not…That may be fitting for a psychopathic animal like the I-Rex, but it shouldn’t be the case for every single species.
An issue the community brought up was the small size of the Giganotosaurus when compared to the Tyrannosaurus Rex, and while everyone knows that the Jurassic World dinosaurs are not supposed to look like real-life dinosaurs.
So it was upsetting for some to see a dinosaurs whose name starts with “Giga” looking like a dwarf when compared to the T-Rex, while in not only real life, but a lot of other media this has not been the case, a detail like this is certainly not a big deal when compared to gameplay issues, but the design decision has certainly confused a lot of fans.
All in all though (despite the said cons that I have mentioned earlier), “Jurassic World Evolution” is a game that I would recommend to anyone who loves “Jurassic World”, “Jurassic Park” or dinosaurs in general.
+ The dinosaurs are amazing and capture the spirit of Jurassic World
+ Awesome graphics
+ There’s a whole lot of different dinosaurs to be found in the game
+ JWE is a fun game despite its flaws
– The mechanics in the game are a little bit lacking
– I wish that there had been more in-game content
– JWE is very performance demanding
– There could have been more buildings such as attractions, restaurants, etc.
Replay value: 3.5/5
I recommend this game to any fan of Jurassic World or dinosaurs in general. So if you’re into management games with deep mechanics, then you might find JW:E a little bit lacking but certainly keep an eye on it. Frontier Developments has stated that they will support the game with future content just like they support their other games like Elite, so it’s very possible that they will release DLC in the future bringing more interesting mechanics… or a Mosasaurus.
Robin Ek – Editor.
The review code was provided by Frontier Developments.
The Gaming Ground
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