|Platforms||PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, and Xbox Gamepass Ultimate|
|Release Date||November 9, 2021|
Jurassic World Evolution 2 is the successor to the original entry released in 2018. It was developed and published by Frontier Developments. The game’s primary campaign takes place after the story of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Gameplay revolves around aiding the Department of Fish and Wildlife in the United States. The campaign also has the player working alongside familiar faces from the films such as Claire Dearing and Owen Grady.
Violence: Violence is present in Jurassic World Evolution 2 primarily involving dinosaurs fighting other dinosaurs which can result in them dying or getting injured some are shown having gashes on their bodies. Additionally, there are some scenes where dinosaurs can escape and devour guests which involves them swallowing them whole with minimal to no blood and this also occurs with live goats when a dinosaur requires live prey feeding dispensers. The carnivore food dispensers contain bloody meat for dinosaurs to consume. Sometimes the player will need to use a dart gun to pacify dinosaurs for transport to enclosures.
Language: Due to the way the game works, it’s often hard to pay attention to the dialogue as it often occurs while you are working on the park, there could have been some instances where the Lord’s name was taken in vain.
Negative Content: Jurassic Park and Jurassic World’s messages often were that when humans try to play the role of God they end up failing or causing catastrophes. The game removes these consequences though as the goal is to create controlled environments where no issues arise from the process of playing God. Additionally, the game’s history of dinosaurs is based on a secular view of creation rather than a Creationist one.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 has an ESRB rating of T for teens and a PEGI rating of 16.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 strives to offer the experience of managing a Jurassic Park or World for fans of the franchises. The game shines brightest when it focuses on the dinosaurs and the sheer variety offered for players to raise and use as attractions. In addition to the logistics of park management that is akin to games like Planet Coaster, there are also safety and health concerns players must address through having adequate health checks and medical facilities available for dinosaurs. The game presents a complex yet streamlined management sim packaged with in-depth dinosaur breeding and rearing.
In addition to the deep mechanics involving park management, the campaign has the player approaching dinosaur management from a different perspective of being a wildlife safety and preservation specialist. The preservation of dinosaurs adds a level of realism and depth to the game as it deals with more realistic issues that bringing back dinosaurs could present in modern times. The campaign also does not hold back at presenting situations that can become dire within a moment’s notice such as a sandstorm that damages fences allowing dinosaurs to escape, or a fight between dinosaurs that leaves them in critical condition and a race against the clock to save them.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 has a wonderful soundtrack combining new pieces with the classic tracks from the films. The ambient sounds of the maps all sound authentic and add depth to the experience. The voice acting for the most part is very well done with some characters being voiced by the actual actors that portrayed them in the films such as Jeff Goldblum as Dr.Malcom, and BD Wong reprising his role as Dr. Wu, along with Bryce Dallas Howard voicing her character from the Jurassic World film’s Claire Dearing. Some roles however didn’t quite sound like the characters they were portraying most notably Owen Grady who doesn’t sound like Chris Pratt. The vehicle sounds were semi-realistic with most sounding similar. The dinosaur roars and other audio were expertly done and had the same high-quality sound present in the various films.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 has very good graphics with incredibly detailed dinosaur models and picturesque terrain and environments. Despite being mostly played from a top-down perspective there is the ability to explore the environment in first person which shows how much detail was put into the game especially when it comes to vehicles, observation areas, and helicopter piloting. The variety of weather effects such as blizzards, rainstorms, and sandstorms all have very realistic depictions in the game and add to the realism of the different environments within the game. One area that is a slightly lacking element of the graphics is the NPCs which are all somewhat generic looking and are not nearly as detailed as the dinosaurs, though they are acceptable.
While Jurassic World Evolution 2 offers an enjoyable experience, it has some major issues. One of the biggest problems is the small amount of new content added to the game that is free. Much of the new content that is added is DLC, this issue however is overly prevalent in Frontier Developments’ games. Other titles in their library have over a hundred US Dollars worth of DLC for their games and the same can be said of Jurassic World Evolution 2 with a base price tag of sixty US Dollars for the costs of the full experience, the whole game is very expensive. The prevalence of the DLC is not limited to being available on the store pages. Still, it is also front and center advertised in the game’s main menu with a whole section on the left side dedicated to viewing the catalog of DLC. The other issue with the game experience was the long load times. The PC version on a middle to higher-end PC still gave lengthy load times for a game that didn’t seem like the times were justified.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a good game for fans of the Jurassic franchises or fans of dinosaurs and park management sims. The game struggles with over-monetization and long load times but didn’t hinder the enjoyment of the gameplay experience. It has a wide variety of game modes, from simulating past films but making those parks successful to having a challenging yet enjoyable campaign and a creative sandbox mode, there is something available for all play styles. The dinosaur species viewer is a great way to learn about the individual dinosaurs of different historical periods and the databases offer good supplemental information to give the player a deeper understanding of the universe the game takes place.
The Bottom Line
Jurassic World Evolution 2’s overall presentation and experience were good but the barebones free support post-launch paired with some minimal effort NPC designs and long loading times held this game back from receiving a perfect score however it is still an enjoyable romp through the universe of the Jurassic films.