Jurassic World Evolution Review

Jurassic World Evolution finally lets you build the dinosaur amusement park of your dreams. Ever since Jurassic Park was released, it’s been a dream for many to visit a real-life version.

Unfortunately, that won’t happen in reality, but thanks to Frontier Developments’ Jurassic World Evolution we have the next best thing. Build your park, grow dinosaurs, solve problems and make money.

It’s a perfect idea and it’s a real wonder that it’s not been done sooner.

Jurassic World Evolution is wonderful and certainly offers hundreds of hours of goodness for players and fans.

Jurassic World Evolution Review

As a child of the 90’s, I grew up loving dinosaurs and especially Jurassic Park. If you saw that movie when it came out in the cinemas, you always dreamed of visiting a real-life version. It was the perfect blend of science and science fiction, or so it seemed at the time, and the idea that it may one day happen was tantalising to a 12-13-year-old.

Unfortunately, we now know that cloning dinosaurs from preserved DNA are likely an impossibility. Thankfully, those bloody legends at Frontier Developments have given us the next best thing.

Jurassic World Evolution is an absolute wonder of a game. Micromanaging has never been more fun or deadly.

From the outset, you’re introduced to the five islands that make up the Las Cinco Muertes Archipelago;  Isla Matanceros, Muerta, Pena, Sorna and Tacaño. The career mode is a brilliantly paced introduction to Jurassic World Evolution’s myriad mechanics. 

Can’t you see the fleas?

Initially, you’ll be treated to a fairly quiet, easy park to build and manage, however things ramp up quite considerably, testing your knowledge and skills. Your first park is located on Isla Matanceros introduces you to the broad mechanics of Jurassic World Evolution.

It’s here that you’ll learn how to clone dinosaurs with your Hammond Lab, send teams out on digs to recover new fossils, improve your current DNA profile for each dinosaur and more. There is a lot to keep track of in Jurassic World Evolution, but thankfully you have lots of help.

Meta help comes in the form of characters from the movies, Ian Malcolm (voiced by Jeff Goldblum), Owen Grady (definitely not voiced by Chris Pratt) and Dr Henry Wu. These talking heads give you advice, encouragement and, in the case of Henry Wu, threats.

It’s a nice touch, though the voice acting for Owen Grady is really offputting. It’s a bad impersonation.

What have they got in there, King Kong?

More substantive assistance comes from the heads of Jurassic World Evolution’s three departments; Science, Entertainment and Security. These department heads give you missions to complete that pushes the game forward, teaches you how to build your park and, most importantly, earn those dollars you’ll need to keep your parks open.

The quests range from very simple to very complex. Some common ones include reaching a certain income level, breeding a dinosaur with a specific DNA percentage, taking a photo worth a certain amount and upgrading your facilities. 

It’s these quests that help you understand how simple, yet deep the gameplay in Jurassic World Evolution can be. Every new building opens up new avenues for revenue, exploration and scientific advancements. Once you have a Fossil Research Center you can unlock more of each dinosaurs DNA to make the embryo’s more viable. 

With a Ranger Station, you’re able to fix broken fences, medicate sick dinos and restock empty feeders. There is a tonne of different buildings that each help to grow and improve your park. They’re all able to be upgraded too so that they perform better, faster and are able to do more.

The pirates don’t eat the tourists

Being a sim management game, you, of course, need to manage power, money, visitors and the dinosaurs. Power and money are the two that I kept running out of the fastest. However, both are easy fixes.

To get more money, you simply need to complete quests for the three department heads. And to add more electricity, you’ll need to build substations, power stations and power poles. 

Visitors will come to your park as long as you have facilities and amusements, so they’re less of a worry, though if you mismanage the dinosaurs, the visitors become a much bigger hassle. 

At the beginning of Jurassic World Evolution, you’ll only have access to some tame herbivores, but it isn’t long before you’re able to add some carnivores to your park. If, and when, the dinosaurs escape it can be a minor inconvenience or a catastrophe.

Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs…

When the herbivores escape, they roam about, scaring visitors, but rarely inflict any damage. You use your security team to tranquilise them and transport them back into their pen.

However, if the carnivores escape, it’s big, big trouble. People will die, other dinosaurs will die and the insurance bill will go through the roof. Catastrophes are part and parcel of running your own Jurassic Park, but the frequency with which they occur is a bit galling. 

I found myself having to patch up fences, tranquilise escapees, transport them back, open up the disaster shelter and protect the visitors so often that I wasn’t able to actually further my park. Granted, this was after I’d finished the campaign missions for that island, but still.

Dinosaurs aren’t your only danger either.  Tropical storms threaten your parks on the regular with the potential to destroy your buildings, kill your livestock and harm your visitors. You can build storm protection which does mitigate it a little, but when the big storms hit, expect to be paying for some rebuilds.

Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. Despite the disasters and rampaging dinosaurs, when Jurassic World Evolution allows you to play and manage your park it’s a calming, supremely enjoyable affair. The absolute best part is being able to explore your park from the ground and get up close and personal with your dinosaurs.

Simply being able to walk or drive around your very own Jurassic World, makes the price of admission worth it. And, if you get sick of completing missions, running out of cash and dealing with the blowback from your parks, you can always head to Isla Nublar and play the sandbox mode.

Here, you have unlimited cash and access to everything you’ve unlocked in the campaign mode. 

I found that the campaign was incredibly good fun even when it challenged me. It was all just preparation for the sandbox mode. It’s here you’ll learn that “they do move in herds” and that if you’re not careful you might build “one big pile of shit.”

Frontier Developments has done an amazing job with Jurassic World Evolution. Fans of the film series or those who enjoy sim management games will find plenty to keep them occupied. Jurassic World Evolution is highly recommended. 

Welcome, to Jurassic Park. 


Jurassic World Evolution was reviewed on PS4 using a digital copy provided by Frontier Developments.

PowerUp! Reviews

Game Title: Jurassic World Evolution

  • 9/10


    Build your very own Jurassic Park - 9/10

  • 8/10


    Pit dinosaurs against each other - 8/10

  • 8.5/10


    Dealing with the inevitable disasters is actually fun - 8.5/10

  • 8.7/10


    Explore your park at ground level - 8.7/10

8.6/10

Summary

Jurassic World Evolution finally lets you build the dinosaur amusement park of your dreams. Ever since Jurassic Park was released, it’s been a dream for many to visit a real-life version.

Unfortunately, that won’t happen in reality, but thanks to Frontier Developments’ Jurassic World Evolution we have the next best thing. Build your park, grow dinosaurs, solve problems and make money.

It’s a perfect idea and it’s a real wonder that it’s not been done sooner.

Jurassic World Evolution is wonderful and certainly offers hundreds of hours of goodness for players and fans.

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Leo Stevensonhttps://powerup-gaming.com/
I've been playing games for the past 27 years and have been writing for almost as long. Combining two passions in the way I'm able is a true privilege. PowerUp! is a labour of love and one I am so excited to share.

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