You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Jurassic World Evolution’s’ Fun Starts When Disaster Strikes

Frontier Development has been on a hot streak the past few years. “Planet Coaster” reinvigorated the amusement park sim genre, and “Elite Dangerous” continues to give starship captains a gorgeous sandbox to play in. The studio’s latest, “Jurassic World Evolution” is an amusement park of a different kind, throwing temperamental dinos and corporate politics into the mix.

Jurassic World Evolution” is a natural maturation of the roller coaster sim. Given each of the different park attractions its own food, ecosystem, and social needs assures that players will need to keep their eyes on everything that’s going on.

While you’re managing your dino population, you’ve got to make sure that your visitors stay happy. Food, drink, and entertainment are obvious. You’ll also want emergency shelters in case your dinosaurs get unruly or a massive storm kicks up.

In order to keep people coming back to the park, you need to make sure that there are new dinosaurs. A robust research system allows you to send teams out to real dig sites. Once they’ve uncovered new fossils, extracting them will help fill in DNA sequences.

You can incubated a dinosaur once you have 50 percent of its sequence complete, but that means you’ll be filling in the blanks with frog, lizard, or snake DNA. Each of these affects your dinosaur’s viability, lifespan, aggression, and overall rating. Tinkering with DNA can lead to a more robust baby dino, but the chance of failure increases along with its cost.

The research system also unlocks new dig sites (and fossils) buildings, enclosures, more genes to splice, and medication to combat dinosaur illness. Outbreaks are just one form of calamity you’ll face on “Jurassic World Evolution’s” five islands. Being attentive to your animal population can help head them off, as dead dinosaurs that aren’t removed rot and breed disease.

Managing each dinosaur’s happiness is also crucial. Some of them are loners. Others are pack animals. Let them get too agitated and they’ll break out and attack visitors. While it might be amusing to watch a raptor chomp on some hapless guests, the legal bills are no joke.

Your fortune can turn on a dime. Dead visitors mean lawsuits and settlements. Downtime at the park means people aren’t likely to return.

Your own people can be a thorn in your side, too. There are three different branches vying for resources: entertainment, security, and science. Investments typically increase morale in one and decrease it in the other. Snub one of your departments and the team will revolt, sabotaging your efforts.

The last thing you want is someone pulling a Dennis Nedry and opening all the enclosures or sabotaging your electrical grid. Be a better boss.

“It’s a chaos management game,” says executive producer Rich Newbold. “Things are going to go wrong. It’s how you deal with bedlam.”

Building out your Jurassic park is unsurprisingly fluid on PC. Thankfully, those playing on PS4 or Xbox One won’t be hampered by having to use a controller.

“Planet Coaster worked really nicely with a mouse and keyboard, but not with a gamepad,” says head of animation Nick Rodgers. “We took the core systems, but then tweaked them to make sure they would work as well with consoles as they did with PC.”

Clearing terrain, constructing buildings, and mapping out paths and the electrical grid is all fluid. Frontier’s spine-based building system that makes “Planet Coaster” so delightful has transitioned smoothly to “Jurassic World Evolution.”

Despite the complexity of multiple system layers and the need for rapid response, Frontier has figured out how to on-board players without too much friction. A series of missions on more complex islands helps get players up to speed quickly. Additionally, unlocking more dinosaurs and buildings allows you to go back to earlier islands and improve your rating (in turn opening up more options).

“We try to teach the player basics that we wanted to get across, like placing buildings, making a dinosaur, and a bit of the mission system,” Newbold explains. “It’s a chaos management game. Things are going to go wrong, so it’s ok for players to learn by failing. There’s no critical path. Tutorials are hard to do right. You do a lot of testing. You play it multiple times. I was partly responsible for how the tutorials work, and I played the first 10 minutes so much, just trying to tweak the timing, the VO delivery, and the missions we’re asking you to do.”

One of your most important resources are park rangers in jeeps and ACU teams in helicopters. The former will make repairs to buildings or medicate ill animals. The latter will remove deceased dinosaurs, tranquilize them for moving to new pens, and deal with breakouts to keep the park safe. You can either task your teams to perform tasks or jump into the jeep or helicopter yourself.

Driving and flying are both satisfying, and controlling an ACU team to tranquilize a dinosaur works extremely well. You can aim and fly at the same time, which sounds unintuitive, but works wonderfully.

“Jurassic World Evolution” certainly isn’t the first game based on the movie franchise, but it gets closer than many others. And if you can’t keep your guests happy? Let a T-Rex out of its enclosure and watch the ingrates flee for their lives.

More Gaming

  • Former Legendary Entertainment EVP Joins Gaming

    Former Legendary Entertainment EVP Joins Gaming Company Wonder

    Former Legendary Entertainment EVP Matthieu Coppet has joined gaming startup Wonder as its new Chief Strategy Officer. Coppet previously spent 10 years as the Global Media Strategist at UBS working on forward-looking trends and strategies for the entertainment industry in general. “I remember the feeling when I joined Legendary, and the opportunity to build a [...]

  • Reggie Fils-Aime: Nintendo Switch Games Performing

    Reggie Fils-Aime: Nintendo Switch Games Performing at ‘Historic Levels’

    Software sales for the Nintendo Switch are performing at “historic levels” with the release of the company’s fall lineup, Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime told Forbes, citing “Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!,” “Let’s Go, Eevee!” and “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” as well as a big boost from holiday sales as the reason behind [...]

  • PlayStation Store Kicks Off Five Weeks

    PlayStation Store Kicks Off Five Weeks of Savings Sale

    The PlayStation Store’s Holiday Sale is hosting five weeks of special deals on PlayStation titles running through the new year. PlayStation owners can now peruse a lengthy lineup of games going on sale for the holidays, like “Hitman 2,” the “Spyro + Crash Remastered Game Bundle,” “Grand Theft Auto V,” and a smattering of others. [...]

  • Dallas Fuel to Host Overwatch League's

    Dallas Fuel to Host Overwatch League's First Home Games

    The Dallas Fuel will be the first Overwatch League team to host home games during the 2019 season, the Overwatch League announced on Wednesday. It will be the first time in the esports organization’s history that regular season matches will be played anywhere other than the Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. Dallas Fuel’s first-ever home [...]

  • Epic Games to Offer Cross-Platform Game

    Epic Games Giving Away 'Fortnite's' Cross-Platform Services to Devs

    Epic Games is launching a large set of cross-platform game services throughout 2019 for other developers to use for free, it announced in a blog post on Wednesday. It originally built the services for its popular battle royale title “Fortnite,” which has over 200 million players across seven platforms. They will be operated in a [...]

  • Starbreeze To Focus on 'Core Business'

    Starbreeze To Focus on 'Core Business' Following Reconstruction

    Troubled company Starbreeze AB said on Wednesday it wants to concentrate its operational and financial resources on its core business: internal game development and publishing. ”We’re now focusing the business towards a portfolio consisting of a mix of internally developed games and publishing titles. We are humble for the task at hand, but our aim [...]

  • Pearl Abyss Opens First North American

    Pearl Abyss Opens First North American Office in California

    Pearl Abyss, the Korean developer behind the massively multiplayer online role-playing game “Black Desert Online,” is expanding its operations and opening its first North American office, it announced on Wednesday. The new office is located in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Although multiple cities were considered over a six-month period, Pearl Abyss said it ultimately chose Onni [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content