This tie-in for the fourth "Jurassic Park" film has you managing and exploring the park
Jurassic World Evolution is a theme park simulator that puts you in charge of creating a prehistoric zoo. Developed by Frontier Developments, a company that cut their teeth on simulators like Planet Coaster and the Roller Coaster Tycoon Series, this game draws from the traditional formula while bringing the added thrill of prehistoric monsters to the equation. While the developers clearly know a thing or two about putting together a game like this, they don't necessarily stick the landing completely in integrating the sense of wonder and fascination that Jurassic Park is so known for.
The developers aren't the only prodigious talent involved in the game. The voice work, at the very least, is very strong. Jeff Goldblum returns from the movies as Dr. Malcolm Ian and brings a delightful sense of irreverence to the game as one of your three main advisers. The game eases you in nicely with a well-designed tutorial, but it doesn't insist on holding your hand through the entire game. While the option is there to follow your way through the lessons, you're just as free to blaze your own trail through the game and get creative in your park designs. At the heart of the experience is a game not dissimilar from other theme park or city sims. You build pens for your dinosaurs and attractions for your guests, link them together with power, make sure all the necessary amenities are supplied to each sector, and watch the business roll in. It's a soothing formula that's further improved by the gorgeous graphics. There's a sense of majesty to each park, and the dinosaurs are all lovingly detailed to match the designs from the movies. A basic story makes up the main campaign, and it takes you through a series of increasingly diverse, dangerous, and challenging islands. Along the way, you'll send researchers out on expeditions to discover new breeds of dinosaurs and expand your collection.
Adding further complications are the fact that you have different advisers working in different departments, and they aren't always on good terms with one another. Improving the entertainment at your park could mean angering your security adviser and putting your guests at greater risk from a dinosaur attack. It's a neat balancing act but one that doesn't necessarily stand up to scrutiny. While there's plenty to love here, the systems can be a bit on the simple end and somewhat more transparent than more advanced simulators on the market. Still, the thrill of filling a theme park with dinosaurs is exciting, the developers do an exceptional job capturing the tone of the setting. The inclusion of a free form mode is a must, and the game really shines when you remove the mission-based limitations.
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