Jurassic World Evolution: Complete Edition Review
There is a lot of work involved in building the greatest theme park in the world, and filling it with dinosaurs is the best way to do it. I mean, minus the fact that we have to start from scratch, plan for expeditions, extract fossil DNA, build dinosaur enclosures, create dinosaurs, tranquilize them when necessary, perform lots of research, keep up good ratings … yup, best way to do it. But no really, as intimidating as these tasks may sound, Jurassic World Evolution is not asking for the impossible. It provides an excellent balance between strategy and enjoyment that makes this city-builder immensely addicting to play, offering never-ending replayability and an abundance of dinosaurs at your fingertips. Besides allowing dinosaurs within reach of children and building a park in an area with known volatile weather conditions, what could go wrong?
In Jurassic World Evolution, you’re in charge of building and managing a theme park by constantly filling it with different dinosaurs to attract guests and make lots of money. As this is the Complete Edition, you also get all the major narratives and a bunch of dinosaur packs for free, which means you will never have time to sleep because you will be constantly grinding away.
There are three modes you can play this game in — Campaign, Challenge, and Sandbox — and all three are equally as exciting. It depends on the mood you’re in really, and whether or not you feel like pushing yourself or if you just want a laid-back park building day. If you want to have goals and build multiple parks, the Campaign mode is where you would want to go. If you want to have a shorter game but still want to strategize, Challenge mode is a great choice. And finally, if you just want to turn your brain off and create a dinosaur park with no distractions, Sandbox is perfect for that — the catch is Sandbox only has what you’ve obtained so far in your campaign. Whatever you decide, you will have to make good decisions for yourself, your guests, and your dinosaurs.
What keeps us players motivated to try new things in our campaign and challenges are the missions and contracts that appear every couple of minutes. They come from the heads within the science, entertainment, and security departments. Think of these requests as side quests that can help unlock new features in the game, and luckily they automatically come to you (or you can seek a contract out yourself too). By accepting someone’s contract, you will increase your relationship with their department; in turn, this decreases your relationship with others. You can play it as a balancing act and try to please everyone equally, or you can just ignore an entire department altogether if you’d like — you’re the manager here.
Trial and Error
Another fun part of this business simulation is the need to tend to your dinosaurs and understand their behaviour and traits. Some breeds don’t get along with others, and some dinosaurs can’t even stand the sight of two more of their kind. Put too little dinosaurs together and they could get very lonely; put too many dinosaurs in one den and things could get ugly. There are alphas established within a species, preferred habitats that will affect their comfort level, and even aggressive behaviour that can manifest due to neglect and overall unhappiness. It can be incredibly challenging to keep up with everything as well, making this experience absolutely exhilarating.
Something to note is that a lot of the choices you make will mostly be based on trial and error. There is a basic tutorial but nothing is really explained. It can be frustrating because when you first start out, what seems to be foundational knowledge isn’t even given to you. On the other hand, you start off in an easy enough location where your environment is near perfect, and the game slowly introduces you to different types of buildings and research you can embark on to prepare yourself for the future. Like, why do I need to prevent power outages when everything is fine? Oh, it’s probably foreshadowing something. Sometimes, things spin out of control and you just have to learn the hard way.
Despite this being an excellent port to the Switch, one of the bigger complaints I have involves the quality of the visuals when playing on handheld. The resolution is greatly diminished and almost everything becomes incredibly blurry, which is very distracting when you’re trying to navigate around your park. Even though the small text and other icons remain sharp and bright, the rest of it looks dull and almost like you forgot to put on your glasses. This unfortunately means the convenience of having a portable console isn’t a good enough reason to use it. Ultimately, I do enjoy playing simulation games on a monitor or television screen, and there aren’t many issues when playing it docked.
Enjoyable Jurassic Park Experience
The abundance of dinosaurs and the city-building aspect of Jurassic World Evolution is excellent. It’s like creating a lawless piece of land where your guests can wander aimlessly while you continue to neglect their needs for a restroom and instead build gift shops that make 500% profit. A fun and challenging enough simulator where your creations can eat people, both new and old fans of the Jurassic Park franchise will find this game very enjoyable.
***Nintendo Switch review code provided by the publisher.***
- Good amount of strategy keeps players engaged
- Different modes offer a variety of challenges
- Lots of dinosaurs!
- Quality on handheld is diminished
- Lack of tutorial