New ‘Jurassic World’ game lets you fight dinos, sow chaos (and build a park, I guess)

Tycoon games became a staple in many childhoods after Rollercoaster Tycoon showed us the exhilaration of murdering a bunch of innocent theme park guests through horribly designed coaster rides.

Now imagine that, but instead of death traps disguised as a rollercoaster, you’ve got a rampaging T-Rex to terrorize people with. And that’s basically how we expended our roughly hour and a half of playtime with Frontier Developments’ demo for the upcoming Jurassic World Evolution sim game.

While not exactly the “official” premise of business simulators like Frontier’s classic Rollercoaster Tycoon or the new Jurassic World game, the designers admittedly know that not every player will come into their game with the purest of intentions. Sure, constructing your own fully functional, hazard-free, profitable, and ethical dinosaur theme park voices nice and all.

But is it really in the spirit of Jurassic Park? Nope.

“It’s inevitable if you open a park, something will go wrong, ” said game director Michael Brooke. Much of the Jurassic World Evolution game is designed to play out like a typical zoo tycoon game — with daily operations moving somewhat smoothly.

But, “you can get into various tragedies: personnel sabotage, dinosaur escapes, territory battles, weather storms.”

Even if the goal of this business sim might differ from the movies, Murphy’s Law still applies here.

And that’s not to mention the other chaos video games permits in order to fulfill evil players like me who only want to sow as much chaos and demolition as possible. For instance, you can “accidentally”( on purpose) leave gates to the dinosaur enclosures open. And if you think only clever daughter Tyrannosaurus Rexes are a danger to your guests, you’d be dead wrong( literally ).

Sure, the carnivores will straight up eat people. But the herbivores can cause equal amounts of chaos by charging mob. And everyone who recollects Wayne Knight’s death scene in Jurassic Park knows merely a buffoon would assume smaller dinosaurs can’t deal a lot of damage.

But even without players intentionally making things go wrong, the dinosaurs have a dangerous intellect and life of their own.

One of the team’s biggest objectives and achievements lies in the incredible faithfulnes of the dinosaurs, from their appearance to their intricate AI. Their behaviour patterns are affected by the environment around them, and specific species needs. Some involve socialization to be happy, while others need a wide breadth of space to be part of a safe ecosystem. Fulfilling these needs and challenges influence their overall mood, causing everything from angry to fearful responses.

While you play most of the game from a god-like, third-eye view, you have the option to go to a more first-person experience and take control of the staff who come in to preserve enclosure. While no upkeep people were killed in the making of my playthrough, history has proven Jurassic Parks aren’t kind to them in the long run.

Life find a way, right Dr. Malcolm?

Image: FRONTIER DEVELOPMENTS, UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, AMBLIN ENTERTAINMENT INC.

Small escalations of hazard are actually embedded into the narrative progression of video games itself, too. You start off on a calm and easy island with fair weather in order to get the tutorial lessons. But like every profitable business, you’re eventually pressured into expanding beyond it.

The risk of expansion here isn’t simply a potentially disastrous business venture, either.

“In the cinemas, they never genuinely took security threats severely enough, did they? ” asked Brooke. “In Jurassic Park , Hammond says they spared no expense. But that didn’t seem to account for a total system failure of their machines.”

Similarly in Jurassic World Evolution , you must balance three separate divisions as a is part of the Hammond Foundation: security, amusement, and science. Each come with their own cost and value, both monetarily and morally speaking. We didn’t get at mess around with it too much, but the DNA splicing seen in the first Jurassic World movie did seem like a possibility.

There are plenty of recalls to both Jurassic Park and the new Jurassic World movies

Image: frontier growths, universal studios, amblin amusement inc.

“If you look at the films, they’ve tended to focus on only one of those divisions: entertainment, ” Brooke told. Corporate greed is likely why those parks keep running into the same issues. “But, to be fair, you need to use all three divisions in order to be the ultimate in dinosaur management.”

When you move onto harder locations with tropical storms and difficult terrains, it invites a whole host of other complications. Brooke even hinted at the health risks to eventually start looking into militarization operations — which, again, didn’t aim well for the folks of Jurassic World .

But fortunately, Jeff Goldblum is reprising his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm, acting as the voice of conscious and reason that dedicates player’s advice( remotely, mind you) about the wrongdoing that lead to the catastrophes he witnessed. But there are other characters whispering in your ear, too, imploring you to keep pushing your parks to the absolute limit of ethical practices.

Jurassic World Evolution seems to have something for everyone: If you want to watch a T-Rex eat the shit out of a poor goat, or instigate a T-Rex v Triceratops territory combat to the death — you’re in luck. Or, for those who aren’t particularly fans of the IP, it’s still an intricate and engaging business sim with lots of interconnected systems that requires thought-out management strategies.

But perhaps the biggest draw of all is the same one experienced in the Jurassic Park cinemas: dinosaurs are fucking rad. And imagining how our world would interact with theirs is fantastic.

“They’re magnificent brutes, ” told Brooke. “They ruled the earth for so long. Humanity has existed for only about 100,000 years. But they stalked the earth for 65 million years. There’s this undeniable enticement to their sheer scale, as the masters of the planet before we came along.”

Jurassic World Evolution releases digitally on June 12 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One, while physical copies for PS4 and Xbox One will become available on July 3.

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