Jurassic Park: The Game – PC Review

Are you any good at running from the jaws of a T-Rex? Well, if not, you are going to have to learn. Telltale Games bring us a new title in their collection of adventure-style games. This time round, however, is different from what you normally expect from their usual point-and-click style adventures. If you are a fan of the Jurassic Park films, then you will most likely be very happy and really enjoy this game. Telltale Games have the managed to grab the licencing agreement needed from Universal Studios to allow them to bring the Dinosaurs back.

So, the opening sequence to this game is pretty much like watching a very detailed animated version of a new Jurassic Park movie. The plot of the game takes place during, and sometime after, the plot of the first movie, though none of the game characters meet the main cast of the movie. The game starts with Gerry Harding, the park’s chief veterinarian, who is showing his daughter Jess around the park. At this time, Dennis Nedry puts his plan into motion to shut down the park and escape with the stolen dinosaur embryos. Later, his two contacts, Miles Chadwick and Nima Cruz, realize he’s late to meet them at the boat to take them off the island. They head into the park and find Nedry’s body. They manage to find the embryos as well, but are attacked by the Dilophosaurus that killed Nedry. Miles is killed and Nima barley manages to escape, but not before being bitten by an unknown dinosaur.

The graphics are, as we’ve come to expect from Telltale, very pretty and detailed. However, they have not gone for the usual cartoon style look they normally adopt. This time round, we have more of a serious look. The detail in this game is really what hits you at first. That, alongside the famous soundtrack from the movies makes for a very intriguing intro to the game. The first thing I expected was to whip out my mouse and start solving puzzles, however, I was surprised to find a completely new system. Telltale have adopted a button combo bashing style of game play here. One that I can remember was used in Heavy Rain on the PlayStation 3.  It seems that Telltale have decided to try and adopt a more serious sort of game that adopts arcade-style gameplay with a very solid and enjoyable storyline. The whole game is like watching a movie. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, but I can tell you it involves some mercenaries, a spy and some innocent bystanders. The story loosely ties in with the first movie from the franchise. It has a few references to the film, and actually fills in a lot of gaps of the story line from the film that you otherwise would have missed.

The gameplay, as I said, is all done by moving between scenes and often just looking at objects and interacting with people until something happens. There are pretty much no real hard puzzles here. There are a few very basic ones that don’t take long to work out. However, there is a sort of medal system implemented to try and make you choose the right options in the correct order the first time round. There are Gold, Silver and Bronze medals for each different sequence. If you do well and press the buttons on screen in the correct order, you get a nice shiny Gold medal, the more you mess up either you die and you need to restart that sequence, or you lose points and drop down the medals. Luckily, the restart points are very close together. Often only a minute or so apart as some sequences would get annoying replaying them loads of times, because, like I said, this game is more like watching a movie. However, it’s a movie that you can interact with and decide the dialogue between characters and the game may have some replay value here, as you decide to maybe speak a bit more with people to gain more information about their backgrounds. This has no impact on the game however, you can just whiz through the game as quick as you like and you still have a fantastic main story.

The game is split into 4 different episodes, however it seems the game is only available this time as a complete download and not individual parts like we are used too from Telltale. This is pretty nice and buying individually can be more expensive. Although, having the cliff-hangers at the end of each episode is also sometimes great, and leaves you desperate for more. The only bad point, apart from the button mashing sequences, that can sometimes become a bit annoying is you don’t really get attached to any character too much. So much that you don’t really care when a main character gets picked off by a hungry Raptor.

I can’t help but feel that Telltale are trying their hands at a more serious game, against their usual comic style games.  Maybe they are trying to broaden their market to reach more gamers against solely appealing to adventure gamers. This is a risky move for any studio that are known for one genre of games. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. As long as you aren’t looking for a puzzle game, and want more of an enjoyable easy to play story-driven game, this game is for you. Fans of the movies will love the game and the storyline; I would recommend it to anyone that is a fan.

Score: 8/10 – Very Good

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