I enjoyed playing the original Jurassic World Evolution, and I was ecstatic to get a chance to play Jurassic World Evolution 2. Despite its initial lukewarm reception, I’ve spent a good amount of time with the dino park simulator and while its sequel is mostly just more of the same, there are some changes and additions that make the sequel picking up for those who want to see if they can succeed where InGen failed.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 building and management game where your task is to create a park or research facility and fill it with dinosaurs. Instead of (only) dealing with the logistical issues of park visitors and amenities, you also have to worry about the dinosaurs, their comfort requirements, and the realities of keeping them in their enclosures so they can’t nom on your scientists and parkgoers. Jurassic World Evolution 2 isn’t a huge step forward from Jurassic World Evolution—but it does have some additions that make this sequel compelling.
While Jurassic World Evolution 2 has multiple modes to start, most will probably jump into the campaign mode. This mode follows the events of the last Jurassic World film, with dinosaurs actively roaming the United States. The campaign follows Owen Grady and Claire Dearing as they establish research outposts and containment facilities across the US. While Chris Pratt nor Bryce Dallas Howard reprised their roles, but Jeff Goldblum reprised his role as idiosyncratic chaos theory mathematician Ian Malcolm. While the campaign does serve as a sort of tutorial for the “rest” of the game, it’s far too short and far too easy.
The campaign isn’t the only way to play Jurassic World Evolution 2, however—you can also jump into Challenge mode, Chaos theory mode, and Sandbox mode—but be warned, locations in Sandbox mode are only unlocked through playing the other modes, so if you want to make a park on Isla Nublar (for example) you’ll have to first play that specific Chaos Theory mission to unlock it. Challenge Mode has you race against time to build a five star park, while Chaos Theory has you revisit moments from the various films, with the goal of doing it better than your movie counterparts.
While creating dinos from DNA, or even capturing rampaging groups of carnivores from the US countryside might sound complicated, you have the top people and spared no expense—most of the really difficult logistics are left to button presses. Most of what you do, as “park manager” (so to speak) is to design the facility, create enclosures with all of the proper amenities, and clean up after anything that goes wrong. None of this is very difficult, with money being your biggest obstacle. In the campaign mode, I never once even came close to hitting a zero dollar amount—but through the challenges and Chaos Theory levels, there are some interesting scenarios to work your way out of. While most of your work is done from a long-view, isometric perspective, you can get in on the ground as part of a capture, response, or medical team—though your participation isn’t really necessary outside of a full compulsory moments during the campaign. While it may be fun to take control of a helicopter to attempt to tranquilize dinosaurs from the air, I found that the AI was a tad more efficient at it—at least enough that I could trust them to it while I focused my attention elsewhere. If you want to get up close and personal with your dinos, there’s an excuse to, however: photo mode lets you take shots of your dinosaurs, and supplement your income at the same time.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a gorgeous game, with both environments and the dinosaurs looking fantastic. Each environment is breathtaking, though I wish you were given more buildable area in each to make truly sprawling parks. The dinosaurs all look great, with fantastic animations. The sheer amount of dinosaurs available to capture or hatch is astounding, too—with paid DLC that adds even more. The dinosaurs range from those that walk the land to those that swim and fly—both of which require special enclosures. If you love looking at dinosaurs, Jurassic World Evolution 2 is the best game to do it. There’s even a huge in-game database with all of the dinosaurs, different possible ailments, buildings, and even paleobotany.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 isn’t really a disappointment; it just wasn’t the sequel I was hoping for. But I can’t really complain, because it’s more of what made the first game great with more dinos, more options for enclosures, and better graphics. However, it does feel like it treads water a bit, and is more of an elaborate DLC than a full game, especially with the incredibly short and disappointing campaign mode. The Chaos Theory mode makes up for it a bit, but it still feels like it needs more content—and not just in the form of paid DLCs.
A Steam key was provided to us for this review.