Gamers dreaming of creating their own Jurassic Park need look no further than Jurassic World Evolution 2, a package that’s both a love letter to the franchise and the best dinosaur video game yet.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 takes the good parts from the original theme park sim and makes them better, throwing aquatic creatures, an exciting Chaos Theory mode, and the ability to speed up time into the mix, which creates a more complete and enjoyable experience.
This isn’t just a management sim, either, as you’ll also get to take control of park rangers as they drive around the maps in their Jeep looking for dinosaurs, before jumping in your helicopter to tranquilize them and transport them to safety. This is a park we’re happy to endorse.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 – Key Details
- Price: $59.99
- Developer: Frontier
- Release date: November 9, 2021
- Platforms: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC
Jurassic World Evolution 2 trailer
Jurassic World Evolution 2 acts as a bridge between the most recent big-screen outing, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion. Dinosaurs are now running amok across the United States, and it’s up to you – with the help of some familiar faces from the movies – to contain them. You’ll set off in a helicopter, tranquilize them from a safe distance, then have them transported to your very own Jurassic Park for conservation.
From here, you’ll walk a fine line between keeping your dinosaurs happy and preventing them from eating the park’s visitors. Each species has its own preferred habitat, terrain style, and food source, which you’ll need to get right to stop them from raging and breaking out of their enclosure. Some are happy to share with different creatures, while others are simply too territorial and will attack on sight. You’ll also need to keep them healthy, sending rangers to scan for injuries and medics to halt outbreaks.
As you progress, you’ll be able to recruit scientists to help you discover new kinds of dinosaurs, research ways to make your enclosures safer, and come up with new attractions to improve the experience of your guests. You can also send them to far-off locations to capture rare, rampaging dinosaurs and bring them back to their newly-built enclosures, boosting your park rating in the process. Just make sure your scientists are well-rested, or you risk them sabotaging your facilities, Dennis Nedry style.
The biggest addition in Jurassic World Evolution 2 is the ability to house aquatic creatures like the gigantic – and terrifying – Mosasaurus, as well as flying reptiles which were previously only available as DLC for the original game. It adds some nice diversity to your park, and it’s hard to see how anyone could be disappointed with the range of dinosaurs and reptiles on offer here.
Dinosaurs have never looked this good (or scary)
Each dinosaur comes with plenty of stats and information about their history to brush up on, and they all behave uniquely in their environment – so much so that dinosaur fanatics will probably enjoy zooming in to watch them going about their business and interacting with other creatures just as much as playing the actual game. There’s an impressive 84 species available, from the classic Tyrannosaurus Rex to the newly-added Amargasaurus, and you can quite easily sink hours into securing them all.
The game’s main Campaign mode, while nothing groundbreaking, is engaging enough. You’ll travel across different environments, learn the basics of dinosaur management, and unlock a host of new creatures as you go. One mission requires you to drive around in search of clues, eventually leading you straight into an encounter with the carnivorous Allosaurus, which is a nice break from building structures and managing your scientists – even if the dodgy driving mechanics sent us flying every time we grazed an obstacle.
You’ll also get to hear the voices of several recognizable characters, including Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing and Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm (as well as a clearly-not-Chris Pratt as Owen Grady), who will help you on your mission, which is a nice bit of crossover with the movies. This light fan service continues with Chaos Theory, a brand new mode that lets you revisit iconic moments from the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World movies, delivering several ‘What if?’ scenarios that let you try to fix what went wrong in the big-screen adventures – can you make the San Diego park from the second movie a success, for example?
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As with any simulator, though, Sandbox Mode is where you’ll spend most of your time. Here, you can build the park of your dreams in locations ranging from the United Kingdom to the Canadian mountains, working to make a profit and keep your guests happy. It’s also here that you start to realize Jurassic World Evolution 2 maybe isn’t quite as in-depth as other big-name theme park management sims, but, honestly, we don’t really mind: We’re here for the dinosaurs, and they’re the best we’ve ever seen in a video game.
With a huge amount of content to discover, lovingly-crafted dinosaurs that feel truly alive, and the thrill of revisiting iconic moments from the franchise in Chaos Theory mode, this is the closest you’re going to get to running your own Jurassic Park in real life.
Reviewed on PlayStation 5.