Since I reviewed the base game in November 2021, Jurassic World Evolution 2 (JWE2) has received two large updates and made two DLC packs (the Early Cretaceous Pack and the Camp Cretaceous Dinosaur Pack) available for purchase. Nearly six months on from its original release, I’m taking a look at everything new and considering how those updates and optional extras have impacted gameplay.
Early Cretaceous Pack
The first DLC pack for JWE2 was the Early Cretaceous pack released back in December 2021. This simple expansion added four new dinosaur species to your Challenge and Sandbox parks:
- Kronosaurus – A carnivorous marine reptile and one of the largest ever pliosaurs.
- Dsungaripterus – A small pterosaur.
- Minmi – A small, armored herbivore that is part of the ankylosaur family.
- Wuerhosaurus – A second herbivore, this one part of the stegosaurid family.
I really appreciate that this first DLC pack for JWE2 includes multiple dinosaur types with land, water, and flying species included here plus a mixture of herbivores and fish-eaters—quite an impressive spread from just four species. Of course, that’s ALL that is included so this is an expansion that has virtually no impact on the game itself beyond adding variety to your parks. Still, with the number of marine and flying species rather limited in the base game, this is a welcome addition for those trying to make large, interesting parks with plenty of variety for guests.
Camp Cretaceous Dinosaur Pack
The Camp Cretaceous Dinosaur Pack is the second DLC pack available for JWE2 and was released earlier this month. As you might have already guessed from the name, it’s themed around Camp Cretaceous, the animated TV show set in the Jurassic universe.
This DLC pack will give you two brand new dinosaur species: Scorpius Rex and Monolophosaurus with variants and color/pattern options as with all previous dinosaurs. Although neither are household names (like the Indominus Rex and Indoraptor, Scorpius Rex is another fictional hybrid species imagined for the franchise), both these new dinos are very distinctive which is great to see when so many of the species already included are so similar looking—particularly when viewing them at a distance. Scorpius Rex will be an especially dramatic addition to your park—just look and that image at the top of this post—and with both new dinosaurs being carnivores, this is a pack hugely suited to players looking to create parks that appeal to adventurous guests.
The pack also opens up new Camp Cretaceous Variants for the Ouranosaurus and the Kentrosaurus, plus eight new skins for other dinos like T-Rex and Carnotaurus, all based on the specific dinosaurs in the show. One of the best additions in this pack is the inclusion of a Bumpy skin for Ankylosaurus. The Bumpy skin is one of the most distinctive I’ve found in the game so far and it looks great in the wild, but speaking of distinctive, you can also now add bioluminescence to your parks with two skins based on Parasaurolophus lux.
What the pack doesn’t include is any new buildings, contracts, or other content related to the Camp Cretaceous show, and that feels like a wasted opportunity. If nothing else, I would have loved to see a hotel based on the treehouses seen in the pilot episode, or perhaps some kind of river adventure ride. As it is, this feels like just another dinosaur pack aimed at completists and players looking for maximum dino variety in sandbox mode rather than an actual Camp Cretaceous pack, and that seems a little disingenuous. Younger players drawn to this pack by the name/association with the show may find themselves a little disappointed with the actual content, although arguably given the game’s PEGI 16/ESRB Teen rating, the target audience for Camp Cretaceous probably shouldn’t be playing in the first place.
Updates 1 and 2
The two updates are where the bulk of the new content has come from for Jurassic World Evolution 2 so far, which is great considering they have both been provided free for players who own the base game. The lists of new content and fixes included in these two updates are enormous and far too long to share here, but they include:
- Seven extra JP themed building for the sandbox mode
- Fourteen new and newly themed DFW buildings for the sandbox mode
- Sandbox versions of all five campaign levels
- More information on the finance overview screen
- Better accessibility options
View the full (enormous) list here.
- New “Species Viewer”
- First-person view option
- 22 Facility Decorations
- 26 General Decorations
- New trees with the ability to plant individual trees
- Building upgrades
- Additional contract options
- Improved ranger patrols
View the full (even more enormous) list here.
Having played with all the new updates and DLC packs, it’s clear that the most noticeable new content for JWE2 so far has come from the game updates and not the paid DLC packs.
The two DLC packs available so far have added fantastic new dinosaurs and a wide variety of options (I especially love the bioluminescent skins and having more marine reptiles at my disposal), but that’s all they do offer. As their names suggest, these are simply dinosaur packs and there’s no new gameplay or even decorations here—even when it feels like there probably should have been in the case of Camp Cretaceous. Unless you’re a completist, keen to add variety to your sandbox parks, or simply looking to support the developers financially—all good reasons to buy—then there’s no real need to invest in either of these and you won’t be missing out on much.
I’ve still got my eye on the horizon for the first truly BIG DLC pack from Jurassic World Evolution 2, and with the release date of Jurassic World Dominion edging ever closer, I think that day is coming soon. For now, this steady drip-feed of large game updates and smaller, optional, content packs is helping the game feel fresh many months after its release. With new dinosaur discoveries being made all the time, there’s endless possibility for more content to keep fans coming back to see what’s new, and that’s before we even get to Dr. Wu and his hybrids!
GeekMom received a copy of this game for review purposes.