Anything you can do...
The set-up for the game is simple as can be: take over management duty on a number of new tropical island sites to create dinosaur-filled parks that bring in enough punters to turn a tidy profit. You're extremely limited in terms of options in the early game, with just a handful of facilities and species available to you until you can make enough money and pour it back into research. For facilities, this works as in any other park management game you might have played – choose a project from a list of those available, assign your team and resources, then wait a bit and you'll be able to build it. Dinosaurs work a little differently, but a lot like they did in Operation Genesis. For these, you need to send out dig teams to sites around the world to bring back fossils to slowly rebuild each species' DNA data. Hit a certain threshold and you can try to introduce them into your park with a pretty low chance of success (and failure can hit you extremely hard in the wallet, especially with more impressive creatures), but further expeditions will add to your data until success rate is maxed out, which is a much safer option for your bank balance and sanity.
The waiting game
In addition to the usual moment-to-moment tasks, you also have three factions to try and keep sweet – the science division who prioritise research and development, the security team who keep your guests safe, and the entertainment department who look to ensure a good time for visitors. For whatever reason, these three teams seem to hate one another and progress with one tends to reduce affinity with one or both of the others, leading to some overly long-winded progress towards unlocks as you really have to focus on one side to help out at a time. This is achieved by completing random missions that can be picked up every minute or so, which is quick enough that you can afford to ditch ones that don't line up with the way your park is developing. Frustratingly, the same isn't true of the special missions, which unlock on each island once faction rep hits a certain threshold. These present some rather taxing tasks that might mean you have to rework large areas of your park to get them done, which can be anything from exhibiting certain creatures under certain conditions to accepting sick dinos from another site and treating them before they can make your entire park sick. The unlocks make further progress easier so these are always worth taking on – they can just take quite a lot of work if your vision of the park isn't in line with the directors' special requests.
Life finds a way
There's no doubting that the game looks the part, though. There's a certain thrill to seeing a dino you've been waiting ages for finally come stomping into the enclosure from the lab, and they all look amazing. On top of that, Jeff Goldblum's involvement and the iconic score really sells the game as an authentic Jurassic Park experience, and fans will surely love being able to head to Isla Nublar themselves to try and succeed where everyone before them failed. Despite its name, it's not really enough of an evolution over Operation Genesis or Frontier's other park-building games to warrant a universal recommendation. But if you're the kind of person that gets a bit giddy when that music starts playing – or if you just really love dinosaurs – Jurassic World Evolution will have you hooked from the moment you release your first 150-million-year-old health and safety hazard.
- Great-looking dinos
- Lots of different species
- Some interesting scenarios
- Painfully slow in places
- Not much park customisation
- Some poor AI
Jurassic World Evolution Review (PS4)
There are some strange omissions that we'd love to see remedied with expansions or DLC – only land-based dinos are included, for instance, and the game could certainly afford to let players get a little more involved with the general running and upkeep of their parks – but we defy anyone to hold back a beaming grin of pure child-like excitement when they release a T-rex into their park for the first time.
Our Review Ethos
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