Jurassic World opens the games with a sense of wonder that the movies captures, with Jeff Goldblum giving you funny little tidbit warnings that you might encounter. Little did Jeff Goldblum know, is how tedious this game might be unless you’re a fan of the Jurassic series.
Tedious Park Simulator
There are five different main islands to unlock and explore which begins with a tutorial experience unlike any other. All five different islands, aren’t very “different” at all besides the difficulty increasing with devastating weather changes or budget straints. Each one feeling similar to the last with an island simply blanketed with jungles and grassy fields. While the islands may all feel the same, the dinosaurs are incredibly detailed with 42 different species available at your disposal. 42 different species seems like a lot, but the tedious grind into unlocking all 42 species is one of the main negatives of the game. To begin unlocking the different species, you must first go to the map screen and click on dots which represent the different dig sites around the globe. Once you do that, you will have to wait for a two minute timer to expire while your dig team unearths the fossil. When the timer expires, you then go to a separate screen where you see all the fossils you acquired, which is similar to a lootbox card pack, which you will choose to either sell or research. The lootbox card pack can contain a valuable rock with no dinosaur DNA, or a random assortment of fossils to be used to fully research a dinosaurs genome or to sell. You then rinse and repeat those same steps over and over until you unlock all of the different species.
Once a Dinosaur has been unlocked, you still don’t just to get to hatch a Dinosaur, you must roll a dice to even see if you get to create them. The reasoning behind this is that every dinosaur in the game has a viability percentage that is based off of how much of their genome that you have researched and if you’ve added any mods that modify their genes. If the percentage is good, then you’ll have created a huge Dinosaur, but if not then you’ve just cost yourself hundreds of thousands of dollars. Creating a Dinosaur is like going to a casino, you’re essentially gambling with having to spend a ton of money in hopes of winning, but there is always a chance of losing which always seems like it’s punishing the player.
There is a contract system that gives you different goals to unlock new buildings and or to procure resources. The challenges become boring quickly, as often times you are simply getting to a new tier of income or creating some dinosaurs. There are three factions that you can gain reputation with to unlock a few new options, but they leave you with little room to make meaningful decisions.
There is a sandbox mode that can be unlocked that does give the players unlimited resources, but to unlock it, it could take roughly 30 or more hours of the tedious grind that I spoke of before. Also, unlike other city or park builder games, there is no way to speed up time to skip long stretches of waiting for dinosaurs to hatch or the cash to roll in.
For Jurassic Fans
Jurassic fans will be excited to know that Jeff Goldblum lent his voice for the narration of Dr. Ian Malcolm. Along with Jeff Goldblum, other Jurassic World actors joined the mix including Bryce Dallas Howard and B.D. Wong and someone who is trying to impersonate Chris Pratt.
Although, there is a start studded cast for the game, the real stars of the show are the dinosaurs. Being this is a Jurassic Park game, dinosaurs will get out of their pens and wreak havoc such as devouring guests which causes lawsuits. Like I mentioned earlier, there are 42 species of dinosaurs, but there are no aquatic or flying dinosaurs so if you’re trying to recreate the first Jurassic Park movie then you’re out of luck. The dinosaurs can be very unpredictable at times as there were often times when I had a dinosaur that was just fine with their environment, suddenly bust out of its cage because it wanted more trees.
If you’re a fan of the Jurassic Park series, there is a lot here to keep you happy, but if you’re looking for a great park simulator then things will get annoying quick.
Dinousaurs can only do so much of the heavy lifting before the game begins to crumble.