Any self-confessed gamer, who is also a fan of Jurassic Park, will fondly remember Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis (2003). Since that time, there has not been a decent simulation game based on Steven Spielberg and Michael Critchton’s popular dinosaur franchise. Thankfully, this decade and a half long wait is finally coming to an end. Welcome to Jurassic World Evolution (2018); a brand new park building simulation game from Frontier Developments. That is right folks, Jurassic Park is back!
The announcement was one of the best, and only, new reveals from the Xbox Pre-Gamescom 2017 Show. Although the reveal was nothing more than a CGI (computer generated imagery) teaser trailer; it certainly did a fantastic job of whetting our appetites. I could barely contain myself, and audibly gasped when I saw the news. As a massive fan of both simulation games and Jurassic Park, this announcement is definitely one of the best gaming highlights of 2017; at least for me personally.
What makes the announcement just that much better, is the news that development of Jurassic World Evolution is being undertaken by Frontier Developments. That name should sound familiar to gamers who enjoy simulation games, as the United Kingdom based studio is behind hit franchises like Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 (2004), Zoo Tycoon (2013), Elite Dangerous (2014) , and Planet Coaster (2016). Needless to say, Jurassic World Evolution is, without a doubt, in good hands!
As a ‘spiritual’ successor to Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, it has been revealed that Jurassic World Evolution will put “players in charge of cinema’s greatest tourist destination – where they will have the opportunity to construct and manage their own Jurassic World”. With this in mind, players will be put in charge of park operations on the infamous island of Isla Nublar, as well as other islands in the Muertes Archipelago. This means that gamers may very well have the opportunity to conduct research and build parks on Isla Sorna – also known as Site B, the island where the dinosaurs were engineered and made. Speaking of, Jurassic World Evolution will also allow players to “bioengineer new dinosaur breeds”, as well as construct attractions for guests and containment and research facilities. The latter needed for when, as Dr. Ian Malcom so famously put it, “life… uh… finds a way”.
The more I learn about this game, the more excited I become. Thankfully, it appears as if the developer are just as passionate about the franchise. According to Frontier’s Chief Creative Officer, Jonny Watts, the studio is “thrilled to be putting players in charge of their own Jurassic World” because they are “long-time fans of the entire Jurassic series”. He added that they are “excited to bring over fifteen years of management, simulation, and creature development expertise to a destination and franchise that remains an inspiration to us”.
In a little over 12 months, gamers will be able to begin breeding their favourites dinosaurs for the world to see, enjoy and, hopefully, also be terrorised by. I am so looking forward to seeing some of my favourite dinosaurs comes to life, once more, in a park that I get to design, build and maintain. With that said, I really do hope that there will be some urgency to the game, whereby players will be held accountable for the kinds of ‘monstrosities’ they may bioengineer. It would be so much fun to have to bring a park back from the brink of bankruptcy courtesy of an Indominus-Rex outbreak – much like the 2015 film after which the game is named.
Jurassic World Evolution is due to release in the Northern Hemisphere’s ‘summer’ release window, just in time for the next film in the franchise, Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom (2018). The game will be made available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC.