Review by Emporer_Kazbar

Reviewed: 01/07/13

The most disappointing JP game since Trespasser

Jurassic Park: The Game is extremely befitting to the franchise it is based on. Much like John Hammond's venture in the series itself, the idea had huge potential, and great care was obviously taken in its production, and yet the result turned out to be a mess of a situation that shouldn't have ever come to fruition. The disappointment this turned out to be for gamers and fans of the series alike is one that must be combed over and brought to light, lest others attempt something similar and recreate it in the future.

Jurassic Park: The Game is produced by Telltale Games, makers of great series such as the Sam and Max and Back to the Future games. The aforementioned games, while not heavy on gameplay or difficulty, were enjoyed by many for their great storytelling. So when combining that with the universe of Jurassic Park, it seems like a match made in heaven; and for a while, this seems true. The graphics, while not photorealistic by any means, are good enough, and the models on the dinosaurs are very well done. Also, the story, in its beginning stages, is entertaining. The game gives you no real control over your character's motions; instead, you point and click at objects you want to investigate, and the character acts accordingly. During action scenes the game essentially becomes a prolonged quick time-event, which will hit with some and miss with others. The main characters are Gerry Harding (Jurassic Park’s vet, and a minor character in the original story) and his adolescent daughter, as well as a few mercenary characters and a scientist. Some might be disappointed to find that none of the main characters from the original work appear in the game, but this is excusable.

The first major flaw with the game bases itself in the gameplay mentioned; because the game is mostly quick time events, the player seems to have no true influence over the game itself. Yes, if you fail a QTE, you'll fail and have to try again, but this never effects the story going forward. You either succeed, or fail and keep trying until success is met. With the exception of the end of the game, player's choices are close to meaningless, with dialogue having a trivial effect on the game going forward at best, changing lines ever so slightly. The difficulty of the gameplay, both in finding the correct solution or succeeding at a QTE, is non-existent; Telltale games were never hard, but at least most of them require a little thinking, unlike anything presented here.

As the game progresses, its other problems become more apparent. The music, while borrowing from the original soundtrack, is extremely repetitive. The dinosaurs have been weakened, in some cases severely, in transfer from the big screen to the game in physical ability. As well, the predators, especially the T-Rex, have become little more than ravenous eating machines that interrupt whatever you were doing every five minutes, as if they have a personal vendetta against the human characters. Them in mind, the character's depths range from little to none, mostly filling generic roles or just not being interesting altogether (if not both), which really hinders the story as it progresses and they do more important things. The script is bland, with most attempts at exposition or drama coming as forced, and most attempts at humor coming as dull, or worthy of rolling your eyes. This isn’t helped by the voice-acting’s mediocrity, though I wouldn’t be surprised if this was in part due to the lackluster writing.

All of these points end up being contributing factors to the main problem with this game: after a while, the story becomes a tedious march that you only want to get over to see it end, and you stop caring about most of the in-between. When the game’s premise is entirely built around the idea that Jurassic Park: The Game is essentially a long movie that requires an intermediate amount of “player” input to continue, it becomes an all-but fatal problem that cannot be remanded, let alone looked over.

Coming in, as a fan of Telltale, Jurassic Park and games in general, I really wanted this game to be as good as all factors said it should have been. On paper, any person who meets one of those three criteria has to at least have a positive outlook. Yet despite this, the game disappoints in every facet possible. Is it one of the worst ever made? Of course not. But to say it was at all satisfying would be a bold faced lie. If you're interested in the gameplay, you're better off picking something else. If you're interested in the story, you're better off reading a synopsis. And if you're interested in spending money on Jurassic Park: The Game after reading all of these negatives, then I have a couple of timeshares with your name on them.

Rating:   2.0 - Poor

Product Release: Jurassic Park: The Game (US, 11/15/11)

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