When I first heard about Jurassic Park: The Game being developed from Telltale Games, I couldn’t tell you how excited I was to play. Since I have seen every Jurassic Park movie that has come out and have been a long time fan of them, I had no doubts that this game would be just as good. Unfortunately, Jurassic Park: The Game hasn’t quite lived up to my expectations. The game sort of reminds me of an interactive story book with the way the game is designed. You have to push the buttons while matching it to the reaction test, which is similar to the system they use in Back to the Future game.
Jurassic Park: The Game takes place during the middle of the first Jurassic Park movie on Isla Nublar. It is almost like a parallel story to the movie when looking at it from our point, it is the untold events. The story starts around the events where the dinosaur embryos hidden in a fake shaving cream can were stolen by the IT guy known as Dennis Nedry.
By chapter two, we are introduced the Costa Rican thief-for-hire, Nima who has a something against Hammond’s In-gen corporation. It is her job to retrieve the stolen can from Dennis Nedry for her employer. Earlier in chapter one, we met the specialist dinosaur veterinarian Gerry Harding who brought his teenage daughter Jessi along to the island to assist him and of course to steer her away from trouble back at home. Later on as you start to progress through the chapter, you go on meeting the scientist Dr. Sorkin who wants to ensure the ethical practices towards the dinosaurs. You think this would kind of conflict with the story huh. If he is there to ensure these practices then why did he allow cloning of them in the first place?
Needless to for us to say, but same thing happens in the movie. They all get stuck on the island when the dinosaurs escape and are being rescued by a group of mercenaries sent in to get the survivors. When coming to the game play, all you really have to do is look around with the camera around locations and looking for things. It isn’t that hard to spot anything of interest as there is a big question mark that marks them. Which turns into a magnifying glass so you can click on it, there isn’t anything to manage for your inventories. So all you’re really doing is triggering information about the environment or telling your characters to open the only doors or areas available. For me, Jurassic Park: The Game looks like a game but I do not feel like it is meant to be like one.
Like most other games, there are puzzles or mysteries you have to figure out. In this game, it is very limited in both numbers and scope. The puzzling one is in Episode two which you have to remove maintenance trolleys and mount the three cards unto the rollercoaster tracks in the correct order. There are other challenges that are more sequences with buttons and actions that must be in a specific order. Not much of a mental challenge when coming to this game.
When coming to dialogue scenes, it is pretty much the same concept when conversing with the characters. I would say the attempts at drama for the characters are very poor but more realistic then the usual Telltale approach.
As the action starts to roll, the game does have its moments and some returns from the first film. I have to say the dinosaurs do move and react a lot like the films. When the dinosaurs attach such as the T-Rex or Raptor, the QTE approach seems to struggle a bit. Sometimes there is a time limit, other times it demands an instant response without reason, which gives you no time to react when it happens.
I would have to say this game does offer some flexibility, but if you mess up a sequence and you cannot make it to next section easier then getting it right the first time, you may just end up being dinosaur food. I find it frustrating to tell which actions are crucial and which ones are not when playing in the episodes later in the game. When choosing an action, there are two courses usually that end up in a pre-designed end point. You do have the option to go back and replay any scene you want, but there isn’t any point or reason to do so.
Telltale does get an A for effort by trying something different, but Jurassic Park doesn’t meet the expectations or even comes close to when coming to many games these days. Each episode takes approximately an hour to finish so if you count time as a factor. Then they definitely aced that category. If you’re a fan of Jurassic Park or Telltale, give the game a chance. I wouldn’t say to expect it to be great but definitely a different aspect to movies.