In just a few short months or long months, if you’re the glass-half-empty kind of person, Jurassic World Evolution will be released on the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.
Ever since the announcement of the release date, developer Frontier has been busy promoting the upcoming dino park sim and released a 20-minute demo of Jurassic World Evolution. Hosting the demo is the game’s Lead Designer, Andy Fletcher, and Executive Producer Rich Newbold.
First of all, the game looks impressive. It took inspiration from Jurassic Park Operation Genesis and made it better in all aspects: graphics, gameplay, you name it. The demo started with the devs explaining that players will assume the role of a member of the Hammond Foundation who is responsible for managing a Jurassic World theme park. The game takes place on Las Cinco Muertes, which is a group of five islands that will be familiar to fans of The Lost World. Players will initially begin with one island, Isla Manteceros, with an objective of earning a three-star rating to unlock the next island until all five islands are opened and boast a five-star rating. Furthermore, all islands will present their unique challenges to the player whether it be through different climate conditions, smaller area to work with and many others.
Although Jurassic World Evolution is technically a park simulator game, dinosaurs are still the primary feature that separates it from other park sim titles. As such, Frontier put in a lot of attention and detail in their dinosaur models to ensure that they look amazing. Of course, the controversy about Jurassic Park/World’s depiction of dinosaurs is still a hot topic for debate. However, the game stayed faithful to the movie franchise’s representation of the creatures, since the game is technically a tie-in of the upcoming film, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. Anyway, the dinosaurs showed in the gameplay demo looked detailed and life-like, from the towering Brachiosaurus to the ferocious Ceratosaurus. Whenever the park releases a new dinosaur, a cool cutscene plays, where players can see and appreciate the small details that went into these creatures.
Moving into the park sim aspect of the game players are tasked to balance three essential divisions that you have to please to run the park smoothly. The Science division handles all research and excavation of fossils, the Entertainment division is responsible for everything that has to do with guest satisfaction, and lastly, the Security division is there to keep guests and dinosaurs safe.
The Building aspect of Jurassic World Evolution was one of the features that I looked forward to seeing. Instead of just placing stores and fences like in Operation Genesis, Evolution added a few improvements to make building a little bit more challenging. First of all, players will now need to think about the power source of the park and create the appropriate power stations connected by power lines to keep park lights on. Furthermore, buildings will have slots that can be upgraded to increase that facility’s efficiency, which will make them better at doing their jobs. For example, if the player enhances the ACU Centre, it will make the ACU Team better in tranquilizing dinosaurs or have the ability to handle more tasks at once.
Similar to Operation Genesis, the player will also take charge of funding expeditions that allows for the discovery of new fossils, which will introduce new species to the park, or increase the lifespan of current dinosaurs. The devs also explained that they based expedition sites from real-world dig sites.
Genetic Research is also a big part of Evolution. During the demo, the devs said that: “because this is a Jurassic game we tried to be faithful to the authenticity of ‘Jurassic Science,’ taking these genomes of dinosaurs from long ago and combining them with modern DNA to try and fill in the gaps. So that we can create these dinosaurs, and research new gene types.” In this feature players now have control on the dinosaur’s genetics, which they can manipulate to alter cosmetic and trait genes. Lastly, the devs revealed the role of Jeff Goldblum aka Dr. Ian Malcolm in the game. He will serve as the player’s conscience and will constantly remind you about the ethics of bringing extinct creatures back to life. So expect a lot of “life finds a way” speeches from Malcolm.
Fletcher and Newbold seemed hopeful and enthusiastic as they ended the gameplay demo. From what I’ve seen so far, I think Jurassic World Evolution will be a fantastic game. It’s a beefier version of Operation Genesis, but that’s not a bad thing as Frontier took its best features and added better mechanics to bring fans the dino park sim that they have been dreaming of since Operation Genesis was released. Of course, it is best to wait for the release of the game before passing judgment, but so far, I like what I’m seeing. You can check out the full demo posted below:
Jurassic World Evolution releases digitally on June 12, 2018, for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. A physical release will follow on July 3 for consoles. What do you think of Jurassic World Evolution so far? Will it be a good game? Share your thoughts in the comments below.