‘Jurassic World Evolution’: Dino Park Management With Stunning Visuals

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Jurassic World Evolution, Image: Frontier Games
Jurassic World Evolution, Image: Frontier Games

What Is Jurassic World Evolution?

Jurassic World Evolution is a business simulation style game where players get to construct their own dinosaur theme park, managing attractions, research, and park development while keeping their guests and star attractions happy.

What Rating Is Jurassic World Evolution?

Jurassic World Evolution is rated ESRB T (Teen) and PEGI 16. It features the level of violence you would expect from a game featuring carnivorous dinosaurs, but any incidents where guests are eaten are blood-free. Common Sense Media recommends the game for ages 10 and up.

Can I Watch a Trailer for Jurassic World Evolution?

You can. Here it is:

Gameplay and Verdict

Let me start off by stating that I am a huge fan of the Jurassic Park franchise, and also of theme park management simulation games. One of my all-time favorite video games is the 2003 Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, and so when I heard about Jurassic World Evolution I was absolutely thrilled. I was especially excited when I learned that the game would be created by Frontier Developments, the team behind Planet Coaster. I reviewed Planet Coaster when it was released in 2015 and was simply blown away by the graphics, and I’m delighted to say that Jurassic World Evolution is equally beautiful, if not more so than its older sister.

To be honest, it’s hard to move on from the graphics, as it is these that will be the key selling point for this game. Visual spectacle has always been key to the Jurassic franchise (just think of that scene from the original movie where we—and the characters—first see the grazing brachiosaurus) and that has been an area which has always let down the video game tie-ins. I still own my original Jurassic Park Amiga game, and while the graphics of more recent games like Operation Genesis have certainly improved upon that, something truly spectacular has never been on the cards before. That is what Jurassic World Evolution offers, getting to share in that wow moment that the characters experience. I would love to see a VR option added onto this game to be able to walk through the park after you build it because it will bring me as close as I’ll ever get to fulfilling my childhood dream of walking through a “real” Jurassic Park.

Releasing a Newly-Hatched Struthiomimus, Image: Sophie Brown
Releasing a Newly-Hatched Struthiomimus, Image: Sophie Brown

However, let’s move on to some gameplay. One of the first things you’ll notice when Jurassic World Evolution loads is that the tutorial mode is narrated by Jeff Goldblum, reprising his role of Dr. Ian Malcolm once again. This is a truly genius addition, as it adds both an extra layer of immersion to the game and also Jeff Goldblum—and what in life is not improved by the addition of Jeff Goldblum? Dr. Malcolm’s tutorial is acerbic, witty, and infinitely sarcastic. You get the feeling they just had someone play the game in the voiceover recording studio and let Jeff chat away in the background because he’s not so much helping you along as making barbed comments about what you’re doing. After hatching your first dinosaur, you get a monologue about, “the machinations of the ambitious. Undoing extinction. Playing with nature’s laws… What can possibly go wrong?” There are five movies to tell us the answer to that, Dr. M; we know what we’re getting into here!

The tutorial walks you through the basics, placing buildings, creating dinosaurs from your genome library, etc, and once you’ve got that down, you’ll be introduced to the three division heads who will offer you contracts. There’s some truly excellent diversity to be found here too, which was incredibly refreshing to come across. The three park divisions are Science, Entertainment, and Security, and choosing which contract to take will determine which direction you follow in the game. This is not a permanent, locked-in choice, however, and you will have the opportunity to take on contracts from all three divisions as you progress further. Keeping your division directors happy is a key strategy element in Jurassic World Evolution. If your reputation with any of them falls too low, they will begin to sabotage your park—and we’ve all seen what happens when Jurassic Park employees work against the park…

The Contract Selection Screen, Image: Sophie Brown
The Contract Selection Screen, Image: Sophie Brown

Career mode is central to Jurassic World Evolution, and in this you’ll need to develop five-star parks across all the fictional islands in the Las Cinco Muertes (The Fives Deaths) Archipelago, beginning with Isla Matanceros where the tutorial takes place. Isla Nublar, the original island seen in the films, hosts the sandbox mode which is unlocked after you achieve a four-star park on Isla Matanceros. The sandbox mode allows you access to everything so far unlocked during career mode as well as unlimited funds. Back to career mode, and you will need to balance the contracts you are taking from each division to build your park and keep it running successfully. Or you could intentionally mismanage your park just to see what happens…

There’s little more to it than that. Build parks, try to stop dinosaurs from getting loose and killing one another and your paying guests, attempt to make money, and thrill your visitors. It’s a fairly standard theme park building game from most perspectives, but the graphics (and the Goldblum) will keep you coming back for more. Being entirely honest, my computer struggled to run Jurassic Park Evolution. It really did. The game has impressive system requirements and, as with Planet Coaster, if you’re playing on PC, I highly advise you to aim at the recommended list on Steam rather than the minimums in order to get more streamlined play.

Construction Underway at my Park, Image: Sophie Brown
Construction Underway at my Park, Image: Sophie Brown

This is a stunning game that will appeal to fans of Jurassic Park/World and theme park management games—so no real surprises there. It does exactly what you expect it will, but it does it impressively and looks fantastic at the same time.

What Formats Is Jurassic World Evolution Available In?

Jurassic World Evolution is available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

What System Specifications Will I Need?

The following system advice is recommended by Steam.

Minimum:

  • 64-bit processor and operating system
  • OS: Windows 7 (SP1+)/8.1/10 64bit
  • Processor: Intel i5-2300/AMD FX-4300
  • Memory: 8 GB RAM
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (Legacy GPU: GeForce GTX 660) / AMD Radeon 7850 (2GB)
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 8 GB available space

Recommended:

  • 64-bit processor and operating system
    OS: Windows 7 (SP1+) / 8.1/10 64bit
    Processor: Intel i7-4770/AMD FX-8350
    Memory: 12 GB RAM
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 / AMD RX 480
    DirectX: Version 11
    Storage: 12 GB available space
Genome Library at the Beginning of the Game, Image: Sophie Brown
Genome Library at the Beginning of the Game, Image: Sophie Brown

Expansions

There are currently two expansions available for Jurassic World Evolution.

Cretaceous Dinosaur Pack adds three new dinosaurs to the game: Iguanodon, Dreadnoughtus, and Carcharodontosaurus.

Secrets of Dr. Wu features two new locations on Isla Muerta and Isla Tacano as well as five new dinosaurs including three hybrids.

GeekMom received a Steam code for review purposes.

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