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Jurassic World Evolution Review

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Jurassic World Evolution Review

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I saw screenshots of this game and it looked good so I thought it might be an interesting management sim. I watched the first Jurassic World movie and thought it was OK although the CGI was well done. Those safari globes "Gyrospheres" visitors toured in looked really fun!

Jurassic World: Evolution

So you're in charge of developing the Jurassic World on various islands. It starts off quite slow because your main source of funds pretty much come from excavations that take a couple of minutes in real time. It's not until you excavated enough fossils, improved your gene sample completion rate before you can incubate and hatch dinosaurs into your park. Then the visitors start rolling in as well as the cashflow before you can really start building up the park.

The cycle is fairly much excavate, find new fossils and hatch new dinosaurs. After that, you need to build an enclosure that suits their needs such as a dinosaur that prefers lots of open space or one that prefers lots of forest. Some of them might not even get along so it takes some attention to detail and reading their profiles.

Then there's also some "contract" missions given by three different departments science, entertainment and security. They're kind of like side missions you complete to boost your rep before you can unlock the next mission for unlocking a new facility. Over time you improve the different aspects of your island zoo until you reach the star rating needed to unlock the next island and then you can choose to move on.

Collect genes and incubate.

Despite the slow start, I quite enjoyed the sim. When it worked anyway. As of version 1.4.3 the game would keep freezing on my Windows 10 i7 machine with 32GB RAM and a 3 year old 3GB Geforce GTX 780 Ti. It meets the recommended requirements and the graphics card runs really the game really smoothly when it's working even though it barely meets the minimum of a Geforce 680. It's just a shame it just freezes the entire machine so I have to force shutdown. Oddly enough, a machine with a newer Geforce 1080 card runs the game just fine.

I think overall the game is quite unpolished as a management sim because it's probably one of the rare games that doesn't let you speed up the game. There's also a lack of info so that while research, excavations are under way you always have to switch to the relevant screen before you can find out how long's left. Would have been better if there were tiny progress bars shown somewhere on the HUD.

It also doesn't seem to let you know how many of each dinosaur you currently have either which would have been useful since one your rating factors depend on the variety. You also don't have the entire visible island available for building on either because there are invisible territory boundaries you need to stay within and for some reason, these aren't shown until you actually move a building pass it. So the only option you have is to switch to map mode and remember where the boundaries are to plan your park well.

Game looks good and runs smooth when it's working.

Other than that you have very little to do since the main source of income comes from visitors who are only interested in the number of dinosaurs your park has. Well, once you start progressing to the other islands you do have a bit more to do such as protecting your buildings from storms and also manually giving out commands to stop break away dinosaurs. However, for the most part it's really quiet which you can spend time flying around by manually piloting a helicopter or driving a ranger rover. I think it would have been good if rangers actually automatically patrolled areas or you could set patrol paths.

Visually the game looks great with the lush green environments, water and weather effects - probably partly thanks to the Unreal Engine 4. Dinosaurs are lively but after the first unveil you'll most likely be skipping the intro release scenes. On the other hand, it's good that you can get a view of various facilities and control the rangers or even gyrospheres. You also see and hear all the actors that starred in the movies if that's something you're after. It's got a great sound track to back it up that suits the evolution concept.

It's satisfying balancing everything on the island to get enough stars to unlock the next and it's great fun wondering what the next dinosaur or item you'll unlock. On top of all that, game just looks great. If they sorted the bugs out and tweaked the UI some more, I think this has the potential to be a great management sim.

Different islands, different problems.

Good

  • Looks and runs great... when it's not freezing the machine.
  • Fun excavating and discovering the next dinosaur.
  • A fair number of contracts, missions and interruptions to keep you busy.
  • Sandbox mode where you don't have to worry about budget or reputation.
  • Can get a nice view from the facilities and drive the gyrosphere.
  • Great soundtrack.

Bad

  • Can freeze too often on certain machine configs to be playable with v1.4.3.
  • What management sim doesn't have a speed control?
  • Would be good if you could set patrol paths for rangers.
  • Not enough information such as territory boundaries, progress and number per species.

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