With Jurassic World: Evolution 2, Frontier Developments has given its Dinopark simulation a real successor. It's not only more extensive and complex, but also more entertaining - which, to put it simply, is due to the increase in scope and complexity.
Hatching dinosaurs is complex and kind of magical. It seems to have been far less difficult for Frontier Developments to turn a good simulation game into an even better one. Jurassic World: Evolution 2 has been improved exactly where it should have been improved to have even more fun with Dinopark management.
Jurassic World: Evolution 2 - much more complex
The flight to Mars is currently more tangible for people than the implementation of John Hammond's idea of building a theme park around living dinosaurs. What seemed so easy in the 1993 film classic is still impossible in reality - luckily, Dr. Ian Malcolm say. It's a shame, say those who would like to stroll through such an amusement park. After all, this is possible on a PC and console, even if it felt like it took millions of years to implement the idea.
At some point, Frontier Developments came up with the idea of implementing a park manager with the primeval lizards and a powerful license to replace the previous uniformity of carousels, roller coasters and cotton candy. That was already well received with the debut title Jurassic World: Evolution from 2018 - now the developers have added one more. In any case, the goal remains the same in the sequel: As a manager of a dinosaur park, you should do your job better than the protagonists in the original film. Frontier Developments consistently relies on the functioning basic structure, but has given the successor a lot of new features and content as well as improvements, especially in the game mechanics. The end result is - we will reveal this at this point - better, rounder, more fun. However, Jurassic World: Evolution 2 is not yet perfect either. Which is good in a way, because that way the developers can go for it again and bring a third part onto the market - at least that is what we wish for the series of games.
Story picks up after The Fallen Kingdom
Jurassic World: Evolution 2 has a story. It takes place after the last Jurassic movie "The Fallen Kingdom" and picks up on the orgy of devastation left on the screen. The player should fix it, clean it up and, of course, collect plenty of dinosaurs from the wild in order to quarter the little animals safely behind fences. Accordingly, as an employee of the "Department of Fish and Wildlife" you act in the various regions of North America - from desert sections to icy mountain landscapes. Again and again small story fragments are interspersed through dialogue sequences, but not everything is always comprehensible. And: The campaign isn't particularly long with around seven hours of playing time in the end.
It's about catching the dinosaurs and locking them away. The focus is not on building a park as a visitor magnet. The whole thing is not really challenging either. Scarce Funds? Nothing. The CIA is generous if, as a wildlife catcher, you only ensure that the lizards stay in their enclosures. And the short campaign also makes no use of many game elements. All in all, they could have been left out. Playing the campaign is especially worthwhile for those who have ignored the predecessor so far. Then the story part is at least useful as a kind of tutorial.
The second part of the game, entitled "Chaos Theory", is much cooler. In well-known what-if scenarios, the developers give players the opportunity to reenact the events of the five films - and change them! This trick is much more successful than the simple dino lock-up campaign, especially because players can connect their own memories of the film templates with the gameplay on the screen. This adds an extra layer of experience that I like. Fans of the franchise, in particular, will be pleased to be able to iron out the mistakes made by the original park managers. And so Frontier Developments takes players back to Isla Nublar or to San Diego. The scope of the five individual scenarios is also significantly larger: one mission takes up to ten hours of play. Overall, the "campaign 2.0" is 40 to 50 hours of play time. And something else is different: the scenarios are noticeably more complex.
Dinos can be real divas
When it comes to improving the simulation aspects, the developers are starting with the dinosaurs themselves: the animals are many times more demanding than in the predecessor when it comes to setting up their habitats. Fence, water and feed in - done? Park managers can't get away with that easily in Jurassic World: Evolution 2. The primeval lizards know exactly what they like and what not, what the underground of their enclosure must be like and with whom they like to be in company. Several micro-factors then determine the comfort factor. Some herbivores like tall trees, others love scrub. One carnivore likes it sandy, another likes vegetation in the fenced off area.
It is therefore best to look after the animals in such a way that they feel as comfortable as possible. For two reasons: First, because you want the dinosaurs to be as good as possible. Second, because happy dinosaurs don't think about causing trouble. Attempts to break out should be avoided. In terms of parking security, the primeval lizards should therefore live as comfortably as possible.
In Jurassic World: Evolution 2 that doesn't end with trees, food and drink, but also with health. The ranger team is then sent to inspect the animals and, if necessary, to provide them with veterinary care. Sometimes a syringe is enough, but sometimes dinosaurs are injured more severely and have to be treated in the dinosaur clinic. If it is not the dinosaurs themselves who do the work, then it is a storm that damages fences that are then to be repaired. So there is always something to do in the Dinopark, it can always be something different. Jurassic World: Evolution 2 is varied when it comes to daily tasks.
Visitors can be real divas
The improvements in detail also apply to the visitors. The developers have roughly divided them into four types, whose preferences need to be satisfied. Adventure tours for some, hotels for others and even the animal rights activist type has found its way into the game. Nature-conscious visitors take a particularly careful look at the comfort of the dinosaurs. No matter what you can bait visitors with, they all want one thing: toilets and protection. So players have to align their park on several levels. Along the dinosaur preferences, along the visitor preferences and along the basic needs of the guests. The classic theme park elements are then connected to this. Building food stamps, pulling money out of visitors' pockets in souvenir shops - many things can even be adjusted in detail. The shops can also be equipped with modules to increase efficiency. It can be worth it, but it doesn't have to be. The better equipped shops and co., The more expensive the maintenance. The investments always have to be weighed up. By then, at the latest, it will become clear why Jurassic World: Evolution 2 is at least a largely classic park simulation. In the end, the unset potential is a bit of a shame, because although the visitors have different needs, it does not initially matter for the general influx of guests. In other words, they are all the same at the cash register.
At this point, the developers could definitely optimize so that the orientation of a theme park has a more noticeable effect on the simulation factor. Thankfully, it is quite pronounced overall: you have to lend a hand again and again because not everything runs automatically. This becomes particularly clear in research: all the scientists want to be managed and actively. Assign projects and expeditions, hatch new dinosaurs, every researcher has different strengths and weaknesses in character values. And so that there is no boredom here either, the scientists can be trained accordingly during the course of the game. in everything you do you have to keep an eye on your finances. Throwing money around is possible, but not very successful. Frontier adheres to a simple rule of thumb: better costs more. Good researchers want a bigger piece of the pie, additional equipment can devour huge sums of money - and supply costs keep putting a strain on the wallet: replenishing supplies, getting fuel supplies, sending researchers off for a break. There is nothing free in Jurassic World: Evolution 2.
By the way, you can spend a lot of time with the successor simulation game, especially the challenge mode is sometimes a tough nut to crack. The aim is to give your park a five-star rating in a short amount of time. Different levels of difficulty provide additional "fun". If you can't do anything with it, play the sandbox and do what Dinopark Managers do - then according to the specifications you have set yourself. With all the increase in complexity, Jurassic World: Evolution 2 is also far from more profound park simulations - in return there are dinosaurs to admire and content that cleverly and excitingly combines game and films.
Number of players: single player
Age: from 12 years
Long-term motivation: high
Genre: simulation games
Sub-genre: park simulation
Developer: Frontier Developments
Publisher: Frontier Developments
Official Website: Link
Year of publication: 2021
Platforms (Test system): PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Costs: from 59,99 euros
Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a noticeable further development compared to the predecessor of the same name without a serial number. However, the developers remain with their concept below what would be possible in principle for an economic simulation. Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a compromise between park manager and economy management and wildlife video game. To describe this title of all things as a beautiful building game would be inappropriate: Unfortunately, you can't do a lot of beautiful building. The buildings look too similar for that, they are often too sterile. Yes, that fits the Jurassic brand with its fundamentally futuristic look, but it does not correspond to what you are used to from games like Planet Coaster or Planet Zoo.
And yet Jurassic World Evolution 2 hits as a simulation game. Last but not least, this is due to the grandiose basic theme: caring for and observing the fascinating primeval lizards in the game is simply fun. This is where the title - like its predecessor - draws a large part of its appeal. Fans of dinosaurs get their money's worth twice with Jurassic World Evolution 2: they can play and at the same time experience a parallel universe in connection with the movies.
The fact that Jurassic World Evolution 2 is as good as it is is thanks to the developers - they have made improvements in the right places and in detail. Instead of overturning everything that worked, one optimized. At times, Jurassic World Evolution 2 feels like a kind of necessary intermediate step that Frontier Developments initially wanted to take. The game is entertaining and wonderfully presented, but there is a lack of variety in the long term. In any case, the fact is: Without dinosaurs, the pure management part would fare significantly worse than with comparable economic simulations. So the dinosaurs save the game - that's a good thing!
For the third part - which hopefully will come! - if you want a little more love for the story mode. It doesn't do that well in Jurassic World Evolution 2. Yes, the scenarios are great, but you can't get rid of the feeling that there was simply more to it. If you are already announcing that you will be able to play the events after the last blockbuster, then it should crash. Just lock up dinosaurs, that's too easy.
Still: Anyone who had fun with Jurassic World Evolution will have even more fun with the sequel.
Last updated on 25.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API