REVIEW: ‘Jurassic World Evolution 2’ is More Park and More Fun (PC)

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Jurassic World Evolution 2

I came into the Jurassic World Evolution franchise when the Jurassic Park DLC was released and I never looked back. If you’re unfamiliar, Jurassic World Evolution is a park management simulator published and developed by Frontier Developments where the player creates parks and research facilities within the world of the Jurassic Park franchise. And that’s its charm, play with dinosaurs, do science, and do it all within the canon of one of the most iconic franchises. Now, with Jurassic World Evolution 2 we’re jumping into a world shaped by the shattering events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which is dinosaurs everywhere.

For the campaign, which comes in at about 6-7 hours depending on how many times you delay a dinosaur being transported to your facility, you play a cinematic and original story where you join Cabot Finch, Claire Dearing (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard) and Dr. Ian Malcolm (voiced by Jeff Goldblum) as you help lead the efforts of the DFW (Department of Fish and Wildlife) across the continental U.S., working to establish new facilities across a range of locations in order to control, contain, and conserve wild dinosaurs. And well, I should mention, the CIA. Which just feels weird. That said, the campaign tackles elements of poaching, resources, and even confronting government elements that don’t have the dinosaur’s best interest in mind as you create care facilities. always focused on the best interest of the dinosaurs you create facilities across the United States with no climate or weather events really the same throughout them all. This diversity of setting plays extremely well into the increased management elements.

At first, I assumed that Jurassic World Evolution 2 wouldn’t be much of a mechanics change but just running through the campaign revealed changes to the gameplay that helped make it a much different endeavor than the one before it. First small changes like integrating herbivore food sources directly into the flora you choose instead of feeders push you to not only design something that is pleasing to look at but is directly impacting the welfare of your dinosaurs. Additionally, other elements of the landscaping of dinosaur pins are more akin to Frontier Development’s other animal sim game Planet Zoo and it’s for the better. When you add that in with a change of pace towards science and not just park entertainment like the last one, Jurassic World Evolution 2 easily becomes a sequel that is well worth picking up even if you’ve pumped hundreds of hours into the first game. 

Jurassic World Evolution 2 features 75 prehistoric species, including flying and marine reptiles which were sorely missing from the first base game. In addition to bringing new dinosaurs to the game, there are also brand-new behaviors that come through social interactions. This is fun to watch, but it also makes building enclosures a little more difficult with new fights for dominance and new intelligent behaviors that showcase how far dinosaurs have evolved in the existing Jurassic Park franchise. And of course, you can use bioengineering, and customize dinosaurs with bold new colors and patterns and alter their genomes to discover new traits to unlock in your quest to create the ultimate dinosaur park destination.

But that isn’t it. Jurassic World Evolution 2’s most intriguing and exciting game mode is called “Chaos Theory.” This mode puts players into the heart of pivotal moments from all five movies – yes, even Jurassic Park III which was exciting for me, a staunch defender. This mode allows you to work through a range of “what if” scenarios that are both nostalgic and innovative at the same time.

Whether realizing John Hammond’s dream of an operational Jurassic Park, showcasing a T. rex in the San Diego Amphitheatre, or building and running your own Jurassic World with the support of iconic characters such as Dr. Henry Wu (voiced by BD Wong), there is honestly no shortage of things to play through. With so much to love just in this one game mode, it’s the ultimate fan service made functional. The Chaos Theory mini-campaigns are completely different from each other and honestly, after playing each one, I usually turned on the movie it correlated with (if not while I was playing). Even if it’s been a long time since you’ve seen any of the films, Jurassic World Evolution 2 touches on moments that will make you rediscover the magic in a way I really didn’t expect from a simulation game.

Jurassic World Evolution 2

All of that said though, Jurassic World Evolution 2 is relatively simple and easy to progress through, especially the campaign. While this may be an issue for sim players who come to the genre for the challenge, Frontier Developments also baked a Challenge Mode into the game that pushes the player. You can choose different difficulties that put your management skills to the test in a way that bridges difficulty and enjoyment well. And of course, you can forgo everything I just talked about and play in Sandbox Mode which allows you to use a wealth of new construction and customization options at your fingertips enabling you to create your dream dinosaur destination in this open-ended gameplay experience. Truly making the game what you want it to be from every element.

Now, there are some hiccups when it comes to Jurassic World Evolution 2, particularly on the PC. First, the game’s specs will push older computers hard. Even with the graphics setting set to low I still experienced crashing issues and visual glitches that ranged from frame rate dropping to texture issues. While it’s exciting to have Jurassic World Evolution 2 running at such high specs (even compared to Planet Zoo), my four-year-old computer struggled, and with the prices and availability of graphics cards in flux, make sure you check the settings.

Outside of hardware specs though, the game’s campaign requires you to drive and that’s perhaps the least fleshed out area of the game. With the driving itself being a little testy overall, the mobility elements make it hard to enjoy those moments. Whether it’s capturing a dinosaur because of a story requirement or driving into an exhibit to observe, there are issues that come to navigate the environment. While there may seem to be a wide-open space between trees, you can’t pass through them and this happens seemingly with no rhyme or reason.

Overall though, Jurassic World Evolution 2 is well worth the money. It’s an expansive game that has a little bit of everything for everyone without skipping a beat. There is nostalgia, challenge, and just pure fun. You get science and you get entertainment park, and a lot more. I can say, having put nearly 100 hours into Jurassic World Evolution, picking up the sequel feels like a new experience.

Jurassic World Evolution 2 is available now for PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store, PlayStation5Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation4 and Xbox One.


Jurassic World Evolution 2
  • 8.5/10
    Rating - 8.5/10
8.5/10

TL;DR

Overall though, Jurassic World Evolution 2 is well worth the money. It’s an expansive game that has a little bit of everything for everyone without skipping a beat. There is nostalgia, challenge, and just pure fun. You get science and you get entertainment park, and a lot more. I can say, having put nearly 100 hours into Jurassic World Evolution, picking up the sequel feels like a new experience.