The very first impression I had when I began playing Jurassic Park was something really peculiar. It’s a game from Telltake Games so what could possibly go wrong? Having loved some of the games the studio has released in the past, like Sam and Max, I expected to play a fairly decent game. Unfortunately, the game offers nothing more than an interactive movie experience, and I’m finding it hard to even call it a videogame.
Jurassic Park will welcome players to Isla Nublar once again. The story runs parallel to the events of the first movie, starting soon after Nedry runs with the dilophosaurus. The player will have to guide many characters to their goals whilst also trying to escape the threats in the island.
Telltale Games took an interesting approach to the Jurassic Park story throwing players right into the events of the first movie, but managing to keep the game interesting. Characters are well developed and you will actually care for the lives of each one, which you will have in your hands with every decision you make in the game.
Jurassic Park will offer the player unique gameplay. You will be responsible for every action you take, guiding the characters to safety or to the mouths of hungry dinosaurs. Even if you can’t move your character freely or decide how to attack your foes, the game does manage to make you feel that you take part in the situation. The experience will never get to be as good as one would expect it to be, but for Jurassic Park fans, this game will offer something great.
The game will occasionally break and the engine the game offers is far from solid. To make things worse, the game is way too linear and will not let you control most situations, making the game feel more like an interactive movie rather than a game. Unlike what has been said about the game, they won’t let you make your own Jurassic Park adventure.
Not so interesting design…
Visually, the game fails to stand out as well. Telltale failed to give life to a rich story with dull animations and environments. Although the locations are taken from the movie, they all fail to deliver a true Jurassic Park experience. The lack of life in the visuals makes the game’s few good scenes lose their appeal quite fast. Most of the areas you will visit will be torn into 3 to 4 camera angles, leaving room for no exploration whatsoever. All rooms can and will be solved by point and clicking every possible magnifying glass on screen. The game never offers a real clue of what you’re supposed to do next, even if you do know what you’re looking for.
Failure in Consistency
The game will have you control several characters at a time, but some of these changes will happen quite fast, breaking the game’s consistency. This also becomes a major issue when having dialog between two main characters, since you will have to decide for both of them, causing conflicts.
Audio in the game and lip synching are far from good. Characters mouths will move crazily out of sync with the dialog almost all the time and sometimes they won’t even move even though the characters are speaking. Audio will break several times, causing the experience to fade dramatically especially during the moments your escaping from dinosaurs or encounter them.
UI is not good.
The interface will be a total nightmare. Some of the icons on screen will be difficult to read and you will have a terrible time deciphering what to do next. During escape sequences these icons will appear on screen, and they will be larger this time but unfortunately, the game will have constant freezes and bugs making your escape way harder than it should be.
Rewards!? Thanks, but no thanks.
Jurassic Park also has few good ideas that failed to deliver because of the overall experience; this could be perfectly exampled with medals. Whenever you finish a stage, you will be rewarded with a medal, which goes from bronze to gold. This is a good idea for adding replayability to the game, but when you have a game that plays the exact same way every time, you won’t really spend the time to go back to earn the medals. A little variety would have been welcome here. During the first few chapters of the game you will most likely screw up one or two clicks and so, but if you die or restart the chapter, you will notice that nothing will change here and the element of surprise will be lost.
TellTale Games’ effort in Jurassic Park fails to stand out as a good game. The game never keeps the pace developers wanted it to have and the overall enjoyment you get out of the game gets lost as soon as the game starts glitching and freezing up on you. In Jurassic Park, you will never be offered more than the passenger’s seat along the way, giving the players little to no replay values. I would find it hard to recommend this to anyone that is not a Jurassic Park fan, because you won’t find anything here worth your money.
[Editor’s Note: Jurassic Park: The Game was reviewed on the PlayStation 3 hardware. The game was provided to us by the publisher for review purposes.]Jurassic Park: The Game Review,