Games based on the Jurassic franchise used to be quite common. Following the release of the original three films in the late 90s and early 2000s, video games deriving from the franchise were in high demand. Since then, however, there’s been little incentive for developers to focus on the IP. The last serious attempts came from Telltale Games (Jurassic Park: The Game) and Telltale Games (LEGO Jurassic World). That all may change thanks to the 2015 film, Jurassic World.
Grossing over $1.6 billion at the global box office, Jurassic World breathed new life into the long-dormant franchise. With the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom right around the corner, developer Frontier Developments is looking to bring the IP back to video gaming audiences with Jurassic World Evolution. Here are five things to know about the upcoming Jurassic game.
Jurassic World Evolution is a business simulator game set before the events of Jurassic World. Players are tasked with constructing their own Jurassic World theme parks across the five islands in the fictional Las Cinco Muertes Archipelago. The ultimate goal is to develop five-star theme parks on each island by growing the three branches of the park’s development: entertainment, security and science.
To accomplish this, players will need to build essential buildings and facilities. An expedition center sends paleontologists out to obtain dinosaur DNA and create new dinosaurs. Rides, restaurants and shopping centers help provide entertainment for guests, increasing the entertainment branch and earning you lots of money to invest in new dinosaurs.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Jurassic game without things going spectacularly long. Emergency situations are bound to happen, including deadly dinosaur breakouts. To handle this, players can build ACU centers and Ranger Stations to handle loose dinosaurs and repair the park. When in an emergency, players can enter a first-person perspective to experience the crisis first-hand. Additionally, buildings such as bunkers and storm centers can help prepare you for the worst of predicaments.
First established in 1994, Frontier Developments is a British game studio that has a long history of developing business simulator games. This is the same studio that brought us the long-running Roller Coaster: Tycoon, Thrillville and Zoo Tycoon franchises. Jurassic World Evolution’s core mechanics are an evolution from their previous games. Building a theme park, maintaining it, attracting guests, earning money to build bigger and better rides.
That’s not to say their other games haven’t influenced Evolution’s design. The studio’s work on Kinectimals and the interactions the animals had with objects and people helped the studio animate the dinosaurs.
Jurassic World Evolution features a star-studded cast that brings back three of the franchise’s stars. This of course includes Jeff Goldblum who played Dr. Ian Malcom in Jurassic Park and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. He recently reprised his role for a cameo in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Malcom guides players through the game and acts as the player’s conscious. Here are all the returning stars:
- Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcom
- Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing
- D. Wong as Dr. Henry Wu
Notably, fan-favorite characters Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neil), Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) are absent from Evolution. Neither Neill nor Dern have been involved with the franchise since Jurassic Park III. Chris Pratt will reprise his role in the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.
Jurassic World Evolution will feature more dinosaurs than any previous Jurassic film. In total Evolution will have around 40 different dinosaurs at launch, including franchise veterans like the T-Rex, Velociraptor, Spinosaurus, Brachiosaurus and Indominus Rex. Once discovered by paleontologists, players can customize their dinosaurs as they work to bring them to life.
During the dinosaur creation process, players can splice in genes of different species in order to improve the dinosaur. This tampering can change a dinosaur’s appearance, their attitude and their base stats. Once in the field, you’ll need to monitor them and modify the environment to ensure they live healthy lives.
The team worked extensively with Universal Pictures to create the most authentic experience possible. The film distributor provided all the dinosaur models and sounds used in the films as the basis for the game’s models. The wonderfully detailed animals seen in-game are the result of this team-up.
Jurassic World Evolution’s release was set to coincide with the theatrical release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The sequel to the 2015 hit lands on the silver screen June 22 in North America. Evolution, meanwhile, releases digitally for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on June 12, a week before the film. Those waiting on a physical release, however, are going to have to wait a bit longer. Physical versions on PS4 and Xbox One won’t hit store shelves until July 3, almost two weeks after the film launches.
Despite its close launch to the film, Jurassic World: Evolution has nothing to do with the events of Fallen Kingdom.
Be sure to stay tuned for more about Jurassic World Evolution as we barrel towards launch.