Possibly the most dangerous business sim around, Jurassic World Evolution 2 is now out and about. We consulted Rich Newbold, the game’s director at Frontier Developments, to find out more about it.
What sort of pressure comes with working on such a popular franchise?
There’s always pressure being part of such an amazing universe. A great Jurassic game has to respect that universe and give players an authentic experience. We’ve worked closely with Universal to make sure that the game as a whole, and our original story, fit into the Jurassic canon. It’s a huge part of what makes Jurassic World Evolution 2 feel like a true extension of the movies.
The campaign mode is set right after events of the last movie, Fallen Kingdom. Where have you taken the story?
It’s been really exciting to create a story where dinosaurs are no longer confined to Isla Nublar. This allows players to experience being amongst dinosaurs in the wild, as they work to control, conserve and contain them. They’ll face exciting new challenges as they encounter the dangerous situations that freedom now creates.
Which characters/actors that we know from the movies feature in this sequel?
In Campaign mode, players will work alongside iconic characters including Dr Ian Malcolm (voiced by Jeff Goldblum), Claire Dearing (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard), and Owen Grady (voiced by AJ Locascio).
In Chaos Theory mode, players will run their own Jurassic World with the support of iconic characters such as Dr Henry Wu (voiced by BD Wong) and Simon Masrani (voiced by Aaron Neil) and realise the original dream of Jurassic Park with Dr John Hammond (Mackenzie Grey). They’ll be joined by both familiar and new faces exclusive to the Jurassic World Evolution games.
Please tell us more about the ‘Chaos Theory’ mode…
Chaos Theory mode offers a reimagined take on pivotal moments from the Jurassic World and Jurassic Park film franchise, letting players play through key moments of their favourite films. These ‘what if’ scenarios are each set across eras and locations from all five movies, allowing players to immerse themselves in the Jurassic World franchise and see how things turn out when they’re put at the helm of managing new challenges with unpredictable outcomes.
“Our prehistoric species feel more alive than ever…”
How has the AI been improved since the first outing?
Our prehistoric species feel more alive than ever as they preside over territory, displaying brand-new social behaviours when encountering one another, fighting for dominance and reacting intelligently to the world around them. The new dinosaur territory system provides players with a dynamic representation of the area they patrol, which will change and adapt over time based on dinosaur needs. Players must ensure they’ve placed the correct feeders, paleobotany plants or water sources in their enclosures to prevent their dinosaurs from looking elsewhere. These territories can overlap too, which is safe for species that can cohabit, but presents the potential for conflict for those that cannot.
What’s your personal favourite in-game creature, and why?
One of the new prehistoric species that we’ve added that I really love is the Amargasaurus. It’s a sauropod with tall neural spines along the dinosaur’s neck and upper back. These spines were bifurcated, meaning they form a double row. It’s such an incredible visual.
What do you personally think is the coolest new feature?
I really like the time control feature. With the touch of a button players can now pause the game or speed it up, giving them more control whilst managing these huge dinosaur parks.
What’s your top tip for running a successful Jurassic Park or World in this new iteration?
For me, it’s making sure that your guests can see your dinosaurs. With territory being dynamic, players may find that their prehistoric species move away from their viewing galleries, meaning that although they were once visible, that they aren’t anymore.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 is available now on PS5, Xbox and PS4.