A few months ago we had the opportunity to test a demo of Jurassic World Evolution 2 and our first impressions could not have been more positive. If the original was already a management and strategy game more than competent, this sequel seemed set to level up and compete in the big leagues. He promised to correct the problems of the first and add a good number of additions. More biomes (snow and desert), weather effects (tornadoes, storms, and sandstorms or blizzards), aquatic and flying dinosaurs, a greater number of creatures (84 species for the 44 of the original), and so on. He also boasted of revamping the formula by incorporating new layers of depth (incubation of eggs, hiring of scientists, fights for territory …), and even bringing with him an extra game mode: Chaos theory. However, and for the record that we are the first to be surprised, the sensations that the final version has left us are much, much warmer.
All the novelties mentioned are there, but they are not always welcomed, they rarely go beyond anecdotal and they involve something that no one had warned us about: cuts in other fields. Jurassic World Evolution 2 it’s not more and betterRather, they are a handful of extra add-ons, often questionable and lacking the ambition, ingenuity, and dimensions of the original. Looks like an expansion rather than a sequel and the price seems exorbitant. Is it still enjoyable? Of course yes, but it is not the differentiating leap that we expected and we can understand that there are people who, after trying both, still like the first one more.
A dinosaur ate campaign mode
Its reviled story mode is the best example of what we expose. The campaign of the first Jurassic World Evolution was a delight to spend hours and hours on, a walk through the archipelago of the Five Deaths that allowed us to inaugurate a Jurassic park on each island. In this sequel, the campaign is nothing more than a three or four hour tutorial. It consists of several frankly easy and simple missions that serve to visit the new biomes and test the new functions, nothing more.
The penultimate level, to tell you about one, invites us to create an aviary and it ends when we put a handful of species inside and make them coexist in harmony. In other words, it is enough to ask our scientists to investigate how to build the building, then lift it and finally release the dinosaurs that we have rescued from a previous expedition inside. There’s no more. And how the mission begins by giving us Extra money, We expanded the aviary a couple of times so that they have space and are happy, we add water, feeders and we crown ourselves with rocks here and trees there. On less than half an hour we will have completed the mission and we will be in the next one. No return option, no reputation goals. As we said, it is no more than a mere tutorial.
An example of how to take advantage of a license
Something similar happens with the extra game mode. Chaos Theory proposes five missions, each set in a different movie in the saga. It becomes a “what would happen if…?”, Or what is the same, a reinterpretation of what happened in the different tapes. I could have John Hammon fulfill your dream if we had been the directors and managers of your park? Was there a way to do things right? What if Jurassic World would it have worked? This is the kind of question that Chaos Theory aims to answer. The cinematics with which each phase opens, its scenarios and the skins of its buildings and guard teams, among many other details (voices, soundtrack, video clips …), are directly extracted from what we saw on the big screen , they take advantage of the license wonderfully and will delight fans of the universe of Spielberg.
However, at a conceptual level they are still levels that serve as instructional academies, as tutorials. At least three of them are very linear, they take us by the hand continuously and it shows that they are there to teach us to play and fiddle with according to what options and problems. More than an extra mode, Chaos Theory seems like a continuation of the campaign, a reinforcement of it that pulls nostalgia (well it does) and luckily lasts a bit longer. But even if we add both modes, we are not sure we prefer them over the story of the original. And in any case, why choose? They are not exclusive. They could have put these as an introduction to the sea of maja and then have thrown us into the clutches of a new campaign as long, deep and complex as that one. The current result makes us feel at all times as if an arm had been ripped off the game.
One of lime and one of sand
That impression reverberates in the rest of the news. It is very good that there is tornadoes and snowstorms, but if they only serve to take away half the park … Why not include countermeasures and the option of predicting their arrival? As it is, once we have Mother Nature on top of us, all we have to do is cross our fingers and open the shelters. There are times when new weather effects are felt unfair and frustrating. It is as if the developer had added problems to the management of the park, but not solutions. It is visually attractive, but squeaks on the playable. Exactly the same thing that happens with, for example, aquatic and flying dinosaurs. We’re glad community requests were addressed and included, but they are less interactive and have fewer options around them than other dinosaurs. They are not only decorative, but … Not to mention the headaches that the camera gives to getting into aviaries, or the physics of water. It is the usual tonic of all the novelties. They appreciate each other, but the effort could have been greater. Lack of ambition, ideas. They fill in the file and little else.
We also like the possibility of create the employee template of the park and that each scientist has their own abilities, advantages and disadvantages. It is a common choice of the genre (see Two Point Hospital and its predecessors, for example), but already put, why make them so idiotic and basic? Do you really need to tell them how long they should sleep because if they don’t they will get mad and sabotage us? The same with the paramedic teams and the new health problems derived from them. If an “ambulance” is assigned an enclosure and its dinosaurs get sick, do we really have to manually tell them to go see what happens to them? There are games that run aground and trap us in an infinite loop of trifles. The sensation of repetitiveness appears in many moments, such as the weaknesses of AI and the feeling that orders and types of behavior are lacking. Longevity and the degree of challenge should lie in the amount of things that we must control and the resulting mistakes, or in our creativity to provide solutions, or in making some decisions or others and their respective consequences. Now rather it derives from traps like the (random) storms and how much patience we have and how long are we going to attend to the same nonsense over and over again.
On the other hand, yes, we like that stores have more types of modules inside, but why are we still unable to see the inside? And why has the option of choosing how many people work in them and what price the products have been lost along the way? Why are some of the buildings from the original missing?The new attractions and vehicle tours are also funny, but wouldn’t it have been better if the parks specialized in entertainment, safety or income had been maintained? There is no longer a trace of the types of approach to our management, with their pros and cons. But if these have disappeared, why do the store modules still refer to them? It seems that they make the decision, but without confidence, without having them all with them, and leaving behind the trace of what was.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 es one of lime and another of sand in all its sections. It adds, but it also takes away. It advances, but not what is expected. There are still pending issues (balancing the economy, button to undo the last movement, etc.) and in many, such as graphic and sound, it remains unperturbed, without taking advantage of the new generation to increase the dimensions of your mapping (even more than it does) or to reduce load times. We thought that what we saw in our first contact were the bases on which it would build a game of the license to remember, but of layers and pillars nothing, that was all it offers. It is not little, but leaves us hungry.
The proposal continues to work and there are interesting findings, such as the increase in the number of Dinosaur animations and behaviors, or the Pokémon Snap phases in which we do photographic excursions in our Jeep. Promises of what it can be. And in turn, sandbox mode shines with its own light again and the novelties make the number of possibilities at our disposal grow even more. It will give us fun afternoons and afternoons riding our dream park. In other words, Jurassic World Evolution 2 is still highly recommended for fans of the genre, dinosaurs or the original game, but for exactly the same reasons we could recommend that one. No more no less.