Jurassic World Evolution 2: Dominion Malta Expansion Review
I’m a huge fan of Frontier Development’s series of sims. I think Planet Coaster and its immense amount of added content is just about the best and most relaxing way to putter around building a theme park. While it doesn’t yet share quite the same boatload of DLC, Frontier’s Jurassic World Evolution 2 continues to, well, evolve. Evolution 2 also does something that Planet Coaster can’t. It ties nicely into the blockbuster Jurassic Park/World/Dominion franchise of movies.
Your standing with the Authorities and Underground evolves and changes depending on what you buy and from whom
Set Sail for the Mediterranean
While the Dominion Malta expansion isn’t revolutionary, it doesn’t need to be. The base game is quite competent on its own, thank you very much, and it just keeps getting better. Malta is the second DLC for Evolution and it adds a new campaign, a handful of new dinosaurs, and maybe best of all, cops some great ideas from Jurassic Park Dominion.
First, let’s talk dinos. Malta adds several diminutive, movie-star carnivores to the stable. Atrociraptor, Lystrosaurus, Oviraptor and Moros Intrepidus are not big, beefy boys but they have plenty of sharp teeth. They attack in packs and watching a hapless guest stray too close and get swarmed is terrifying. Although the number of added dinosaurs might be small, the DLC and free update also add new skins, improved animations and new behaviors to existing animals. Also added are five new challenge maps and a number of general cosmetic enhancements.
Dominion Malta’s new campaign plays into the Mediterranean setting with some attractive new landscapes. The player is tasked with simultaneously restoring three decrepit parks into thriving attractions. In addition to being in beautiful, sunny locations, each park has distinctive theming. If juggling the demands of three parks isn’t enough, the DLC adds some new challenges that go beyond economics into ethical and moral dillemas.
Maybe the most significant new mechanic in Dominion Malta is the addition of two new ways to quickly add animals via the Dinosaur Exchange. You can buy from the Authorities or the Underground (kind of like the movie’s Night Market). As you might guess, the Authorities offer better animals, health guarantees and the like but at higher prices. The Underground’s prices are lower, its selection of dinosaurs occasionally more intriguing, but transactions are riskier. It reminded me of buying a rare, purebred dog off a sketchy breeder on Craigslist.
Depending on what you buy and from whom, your standing with the Authorities and Underground evolves and changes. You can also complete monthly contracts for both which further cements (or destroys) your relationship. The Dinosaur Exchange speeds up animal acquisition for the impatient. It also introduces a bit of risk/reward to the process.
Play the Movie
With a Metacritic score in the upper 30s, Jurassic World Dominion — the film — was not a critical success. That said, it pleased a lot of fans with callbacks and characters from earlier movies. Likewise, Dominion Malta will please fans of the film by including characters played by Kayla Watts, Barry Sembène, and Soyona Santos, voicing their roles for the game.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 continues to evolve into a first-rate sim. The Dominion Malta expansion does something more than just adding stuff, though it does that, too. The Dinosaur Exchange adds an interesting ethical element to the mix, and the tie-ins to the movie bring a little blockbuster shine to the game as well.
***PC code provided by the publisher for review***
- Tie-ins to the Dominion film
- Dinosaur Exchange mechanic
- Interesting new campaign
- New dinosaurs and lots of small improvements
- A relatively small number of new animals
- Added campaign doesn’t break new ground