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Jurassic Park: The Game

Score: 72%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Telltale Games
Developer: Telltale Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Jurassic Park: The Game attempts to take the events from the original motion picture and show a story that didn't appear on the silver screen or in Michael Crichton's novel. While I feel like the developers did a really good job pulling off the look and feel of Isla Nublar and its revived wildlife, how the game tells that story isn't quite to my liking.

Like I said though, the look and feel of the game is great. While the human characters don't quite fall into that Uncanny Valley death trap, they still look good. For the most part, you won't find any of the film's characters in Jurassic Park: The Game, the exceptions being the park's veterinarian, Gerry Harding and the body of Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight), though you don't actually see his face - and considering the condition he was in when we last see him in the film, that's probably a good thing.

Sound seems to hit the target as well. The game features good and well-acted dialogue, but of course, when you think of Jurassic Park, you can't help but think about the classic theme song and the sounds of the roars the dinosaurs make. I don't know how many of the creatures' vocals had to be created anew and how many were pulled from the films' audio, but what is in Jurassic Park: The Game is good.


Jurassic Park: The Game starts off with a team sent by Dodgson to pick up Nedry having to go into the island and look for him and his canister when he doesn't show up at the dock. At first, you mainly play as Nima Cruz, a Costa Rican woman who is some hired muscle to help get Miles Chadwick, the man on the phone when Nedry calls the docks, to the shaving cream canister. When Nima finds out what the island has on it though, she realizes just what InGen has done and that the stolen embryos can bring her the money she needs in order to provide a good life for her and her child. Unfortunately, Nedry's meddling with the security system leaves her seriously wounded.

Meanwhile, Dr. Harding is heading to the docks with his daughter when they get side-tracked by Nima and her injuries. As a result, the father/daughter team also miss the boat and they are among the last few people left on Isla Nublar when the main characters from the film take off in the helicopter.

That's really only the start of the game as a paramilitary force is sent onto the island to look for the remaining survivors while Nima, the Hardings and a few other people they pick up along the way work on finding a way off the island.

The story itself is good; while it isn't as compelling as the main story that follows Hamilton, Grant, Sattler, Malcom and the kids, it still does a good job of plugging some of the holes left in the original text. Where Jurassic Park: The Game fumbles the ball a bit is in the gameplay itself.

Where Telltale excels in the standard adventure-genre, this game feels more like an interactive movie where your only control is quick-time events. There were many times when I felt like I was playing an older laserdisc based game like Dragon's Lair or Space Ace.

More times than not, the game has you responding to a series of on-screen key commands in order to do everything from dodge enemy dinos to cut your way through thick jungle brush. When you aren't performing quick-time button presses, you are clicking the on-screen icons that show you exactly where you need to go and what you need to do in each location. From start to finish, you never really feel like you are playing a game, just coaxing the movie to keep playing out.


While there is some basic problem-solving to be had in Jurassic Park: The Game, even those puzzles are laid out in front of you. Part of it is the fact that the game shows you everywhere you can look and everything you can interact with, and part of it is the simplicity of the puzzles themselves.

Quite frankly though, even those puzzles are spaced rather far apart. Many lengthy segments involving you tapping the correct keyboard keys in order to dodge or maneuver your characters just the right way in order to avoid whatever peril they find themselves in. As a result, while Jurassic Park's story is compelling enough to keep me involved, the gameplay makes the overall experience feel a bit cheap and easy.

Game Mechanics:

I'm a fan of Telltale Games. I'm a fan of Jurassic Park. When I first learned that the two would come together, I was excited. When I saw the first bit of gameplay, my enthusiasm waned a bit because the gameplay wasn't anything like I had expected, but I had hope that the whole game wasn't like what I saw. Unfortunately, it looks like Jurassic Park: The Game is all about the quick-time events with no real exploration or puzzle-solving. As a result, I feel quite a bit of disappointment in the overall experience. As a story in the Jurassic Park universe, it's not bad, but as a game, it's not up to snuff by any means.

This is a hard game to recommend and even the biggest Telltale or Jurassic Park fans will find this to be a tough purchase to justify.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP Service Pack 3/Vista/Windows , 1.8 GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent processor, 2 GB RAM, 2 GB Hard Disk Space, ATI or NVidia Video Card with 256 MB RAM, DirectX 9.0c, DirectX 8.1 compatible Sound Device

Test System:

Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel i7 X980 3.33GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated