Jurassic Park hasn’t had a worthwhile video game adaptation in this century, but for fans of the series who have always wanted to run their own version of the ill-conceived and ill-fated amusement park, this may be the best opportunity in a while. Jurassic World: Evolution is a construction and building sim, a la The Sims or RollerCoaster Tycoon, and one of the first major console entries in the genre in a long while. The game was announced on August 20 of this year, but yesterday, we were treated to a surprising tech demo featuring brand-new in-game footage.
Jurassic World: Evolution comes to us by way of Frontier Developments, which has a proven track record in the sim category. They were the stewards of the RollerCoaster Tycoon franchise from 2003-2005, and recently created Elite: Dangerous and the successful Planet Coaster. While we haven’t seen the user interface or been introduced to the creation tools yet, there aren’t many better pedigrees you could wish for.
This isn’t the first trailer for the game, but it’s the first to feature actual in-game instead of pre-rendered footage. Immediately the quality of the textures and dinosaur models stands out, especially for a construction sim. The trailer was debuted at Frontier’s own expo this weekend, and though video of the press conference is not yet available, it’s been reported that the company announced their licensing of original CGI models and textures from the films. The graphical fidelity likely won’t reach the levels of something like Horizon: Zero Dawn, but for the genre, this figures to be one of the most technically impressive we’ve ever seen.
Jurassic Park is one of the most beloved movie franchises out there and Jurassic World was a megalithic success, so Frontier has a lot of people to please. However, the developer has announced a pretty encouraging suite of features, including the ability to “bioengineer new dinosaur breeds” and explore areas besides the expected Isla Nublar. Look for Jurassic World: Evolution sometime in the summer of next year, likely coinciding with the release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.