Release Date: 2011
Developer / Publisher: Telltale Games
You’ve probably lost track of the number of Jurassic Park, Lost World or Jurassic World films released and so have I. Jurassic Park: The Game takes place between the first two films (I think) and is based on the well liked franchise of island theme parks populated by dinosaurs cloned from fossil DNA. This great idea popularised by Michael Crichton’s original novel does sound great on paper but usually goes awry in practice (dinosaurs eating unsuspecting visitors and clueless staff). Jurassic Park: the Game follows the tribulations of a group of dinosaur embryo thieves, a dinosaur vet and his daughter, dinosaur scientists and dinosaur mercenaries. As expected, some of the characters will not make it off the island…
Playability: Quick fingers needed
Jurassic Park: The Uneven Gameplay is divided between lulls where mind numbing puzzles have to be solved in sequential order and frantic keyboard fingering to fill up quick time meters or to achieve quick time combos. While the puzzles are as obvious as opening and closing gates, the timed keyboard combinations are barely playable. Left arrow flashes on screen, please press the left arrow. Right, right, up, up, down, down, please repeat exactly as shown. Missing a single key stroke in a long succession of dramatic taps is rewarded by prompt death of your character and immediate dispatch to the last checkpoint.
Annoyance: Irrelevant quick time events
Jurassic Park: The Game is packed to the brims with quick time events (usually a combination of the arrow keys pressed in rapid succession). QTE to dodge, QTE to run, QTE to crawl, QTE to pull a pack of tissues from your pocket, QTE to pull the tissue out of the pack, QTE to blow your nose. Fail to properly time the successive keyboard inputs, face a gory death and even worse, you’ll have to start over from scratch and watch the whole sequence again.
Beauty: Good dinosaurs, nice dinosaurs
The stars of Jurassic Park are the dinosaurs: Dilophosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, Pteranodon, Herrerasaurus, Parasaurolophus, Troodon, Tylausorus, Mosasaur and a few others. The human characters form small insignificant tribes of mammals that babble about and wave helplessly as they get eaten. The human chatter is unfortunately only occasionally interrupted by the roars of the majestic beasts. It would have been great to play the dinosaurs rather than the ugly looking humans.
The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: Don’t move unless you’re a palaeontologist 5/10
Jurassic Park’s human characters are so feebly fleshed out that it’s a wonder the dinosaurs would find them tasty morsels. The lengthy story seems agonisingly endless and soon taxes your patience despite the magnificent mastodons roaming the park. Obtrusive quick time events distract from the main plot and you’ll soon want to rush for the exits too. Unless you’re a hardcore palaeontologist, it’s better to wait for the virtual reality version of Jurassic Park: The Visit.