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Not So MMO: Jurassic World Evolution Review

By David Holmes on June 14, 2018 | Columns | Comments

Jurassic World Evolution Review

Let's be honest, the majority of people have at least seen the first Jurassic Park and thought, I could do better. Dinosaurs for a lot of us were quite a big thing when we were younger and Jurassic Park helped to take us one step closer to our dinosaur filled dreams. Jurassic World Evolution seeks to give you that chance to live out your dreams of being the person behind the scenes making all the important decisions that will make your park a great success or chaos personified. This is our review of Jurassic World Evolution.

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The nostalgia starts off big in Jurassic World Evolution with Jeff Goldblum coming in to voice his character from Jurassic Park Dr. Ian Malcolm. He welcomes you to the Muertes Archipelago as you begin the challenge of building a park on each of the five islands which become progressively harder in various ways as you go further down the chain. You start off with the basics you would expect from a city sim game, power center with relays, a variety of roads, things tourists would want like food oh and fences because this is Jurassic World. As you send off expeditions to discover various fossils, you than process them to make stronger and stronger dino DNA to finally hatch and release it into the caged in world. From there you have your research tree to gain upgrades you install into buildings or new genomes to splice into existing dinosaur DNA. Yes, you can change the DNA so that they can hit harder or live longer or even change their skin pattern. All in the attempt to gain the money and happiness from your guests. 

From there you have the more specialized buildings associated with Jurassic World such as a ranger station, or an ACU station for transporting living and dead dinosaurs, shelters for when things go bad (and they will go bad), security stations, electric fences, just to name a few. Ranger stations allow your rangers to drive out in jeeps to replenish food stations, medicate them with dart rifles and take pictures. While you can automate the task for the AI, you can also take full control of the jeep and drive around aiming for the best picture to make some extra money or to make sure all the dinos are cured. I'm going to admit that speeding the jeep around paths as I drifted corners barely avoiding guests as I rode to rescue a triceratops was quite fun. You can also control the helicopter if you want to use the tranq rifle to knock out dinosaurs (very important when you have a rogue T-Rex on the lose) or to mark half eaten corpses that need to be flown out of the park.

From there it's all about doing quests for the three factions vying for your attention as you continue to grow your park and make money. Science, PR and Security are the factions you must deal with, doing contracts with them will gain you money, sometimes items and reputation. Oftentimes a contract will give you a bonus to one faction while lowering the others. It can be a tricky balancing act, but worth working on them for the upgrades they offer you as you level up those reputations. But it's not all sunshine and goats waiting to be devoured by a Trex. You must deal with storms which can knock power out, damage structures, even letting dinosaurs run loose. Sometimes there are spies who sabotage facilities, other times you just get a angry raptor that has found a way out to play with the guests. These things can slow you down and make profits dwindle, but you can overcome these with proper planning.

The dinosaurs are obviously the big lure of not only Jurassic World the park but of the game itself. There are a great variety of them to discover and make. They have good reaction with each other, though at times you may find yourself wishing for a better herd mechanic when there is a group of the same type around. It felt like the best way to use the rangers or ACU was by controlling them yourself. When left to do tasks by themselves I would find them sometimes ramming into a fence repeatedly trying to get in or just driving through guests.

The game is beautiful and is a dream to watch events play out and the weather adds even more dynamic to the game. One of the games strongpoint is its graphics and beautiful look of the dinosaurs. When you combine that with the music, it makes for a strong combo. There is an option to not play copyrighted music for those who may stream or record video footage, which is a nice touch.

Jurassic World Evolution is a beautiful game that for the most part plays well. It has a few glitches and bugs. The biggest complaint would be the Dinosaur AI or how little is currently there. While the game does hit several nostalgia feelings, for those who don't care about it being Jurassic World, it may not be worth the purchase at this time.


SCORE: 7.5/10


Pros

  • Gorgeous visuals
  • Great music with option to not play copyrighted music (for streams)
  • A Good variety of dinosaurs to play with
  • Driving/flying things yourself can be quite fun
  • Jeff Goldblum
  • Jurassic Park nostalgia ride

Cons

  • AI for dinosaurs is minimal seeming at times
  • AI for Ranger and ACU can be weird