Before Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’s June 22 release, fans of dinosaur fun have something else to look forward to. On June 12, British game developer Frontier Developments released Jurassic World Evolution, a game that allows fans to try their hand at running their very own Jurassic Park.
To promote the release of the game, Frontier showed up to E3 in a big way. It was impossible to walk through crowded South Hall of the Los Angeles Convention Center without passing the large and imposing Jurassic World gates (pictured above) they had set up as an entrance to their experience.
On one side of the booth developers showed off the game, demonstrating features to anyone who happened to walk by and talking about the development process. On the other side, players could enter those gates and queue up for a special presentation and a playable demo of the game itself.
The presentation featured a very well dressed woman who referred to us as ‘investors’ and briefed us on the ins and outs of running the park (all while assuring us it was perfectly safe of course). It was a clever way to introduce the demo and keep the theme of the booth going.
The demo was available on the Xbox One or the PC. I played on the Xbox One, and the game ran beautifully. The controls took a couple of minutes to get used to, but once I learned them they felt easier and with a bit more time with the game I feel confident that I’d be as fast as I could be on a PC.
Gamers were timed and allowed you to explore the opportunities until that time was up. My T-Rex bashed through his concrete enclosure and unleashed himself upon the park. Other players were releasing all their dinosaurs just to see what type of chaos they could cause. It was a lot of chaos.
Overall the game was a lot of fun and I see there being a lot of potential for building your own park and taking advantage of the depth of the gene editing options you have when breeding dinosaurs. It will be interesting to see what challenges it might throw your way, beyond the obvious dinosaurs getting loose and eating people.
One downside that fans have taken issue with is the fact that the developers will not be aiming to support player created mods. In the past, Frontier has been very positive towards mods, and their previous title, Planet Coaster, has a thriving modding community.
Creators commented on this on Reddit, assuring players that, while they appreciate mods, they don’t feel like that is the right direction for the game at this time. Though it also sounds like perhaps the tie in with Universal and a well known franchise may also be responsible.
“We’ve been very lucky to work with Universal Studios and get access to great assets to create a world that remains faithful to the look and feel of the films and ultimately we are focusing on delivering the best Jurassic World Evolution experience we can and making sure the vision for the universe as a whole is respected,” they elaborated.
Still, it was great to see them at E3, and they put on a good show that didn’t require a 3 hour wait in line. The booth was spectacularly built, and hopefully the money they spent shows up in some increased sales for the game.
Jurassic World Evolution is available now to PC, PS4 and Xbox One.