video games

‘Jurassic World Evolution 2’ short review: Build the dinosaur park of your dreams

‘Jurassic World Evolution 2’ short review: Build the dinosaur park of your dreams

JURASSIC APPEAL. The dino park sim returns

Screenshots from the publisher

The game’s over 75 species of dinosaurs all look and feel alive with unique traits and behaviors

Jurassic World Evolution 2 was reviewed on PC, with a publisher-provided code. The game is also available now on PlayStation and Xbox. 

Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? Sure, they’re big and scary and can probably eat us whole if they walked the earth today. But this is largely why we love the Jurassic Park movies in the first place – dinosaurs are wonders to behold. And that’s not lost in Jurassic World Evolution 2, a management simulator that has you building your own park of prehistoric attractions. 

Set between the events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion, dinos are set loose across the United States and humanity has to wrangle them back into their cages. It’s a great setup for the fairly short and uneventful campaign, which mostly boils down to interconnected tutorial missions that give you a good grasp of the basics. I missed out on the first game, so I like that this mode kind of brought me up to speed on what I needed to know about starting my own park. 

Taking care of these fearsome reptiles is a pretty involved process, I must say, but it’s incredibly fun. 

You’ll have to make sure they’re comfortable in their enclosure, filling it with enough food, water, and rocks for their needs. You additionally have to consider what other dinos they’re sharing that enclosure with. The game features over 75 different dino species and each one has its own set of distinct traits and behavioral patterns. They’re territorial and they don’t all get along, so this is something you have to plan for as you progress – unless, of course, you just want to see them fight. 

Not to mention, dissatisfied dinos can destroy their enclosures, run free around your park, and eat guests – just like in the movies – which is never good for your park’s reputation. Because at the end of the day, you’re still managing a park. 

You ideally want your guests to go home happy…and alive. And you essentially do this by having a good variety of dinosaurs in your park, all of which should be safely enclosed and visible for viewing. Your guests also have different needs that you’ll have to satisfy if you want them to make return visits. For example, some guests want to see dangerous dinos while others want to take in the beauty of nature. There’s a lot of complex systems at play here, and, for the most part, it all works well enough to keep you hooked for hours on end. 

I also like how the game has three other modes on top of the campaign, which are all playable from the get-go. Chaos Theory mode has you progress through a new set of campaign missions, where each one is like a what-if scenario of the parks in the movie franchise. Challenge mode, meanwhile, throws you on a map, where you have to build a park and reach certain milestones. Last is Sandbox mode, where you’re free to set your own parameters and build the park of your dreams. 

Whether you’re a fan of dinos or management sims, there’s a lot in Jurassic World Evolution 2 that you’ll surely enjoy. You can easily lose track of time seeing how your collection of dinos interact with each other and their environments, which is a testament to how much care developer Frontier has put into making these now-extinct creatures look and feel as lifelike as possible. It’s not as robust or deep as others in its genre, but there’s nothing quite like building and managing your version of what is perhaps the most iconic theme park in movie history. –