Jurassic World Evolution 2’s new features and gameplay improvements make it better than the original if a bit overwhelming.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 is the highly-anticipated sequel to Frontier’s Jurassic World Evolution. Just like what a proper sequel should be, Jurassic World Evolution 2 aims to surpass its predecessor by building upon its core mechanics while introducing new features, dinosaur behavior, and loads of customization options.
In many ways, Jurassic World Evolution 2 achieved this goal, given that it delivers a bigger and better experience that will satisfy its two core audiences: park simulator enthusiasts and fans of the iconic film franchise. However, all the customization options, game modes, and new features found in Jurassic World Evolution 2 come with a steep learning curve that beginner players may find overwhelming.
One thing that players will first notice upon booting up Jurassic World Evolution 2 is its stellar graphics. Each of the dinosaurs in the game is heavily detailed, and players can even customize their look through various skins. While the realistic-looking dinosaurs and buildings are pleasant to look at, the game’s aesthetics really shine through its environment. Every area in Jurassic World Evolution 2 feels vibrant and alive, especially when exploring using land and aerial vehicles, which plays a significant role in specific game modes.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 features four game modes, each offering a unique way to experience the game. While having four game modes accessible right from the get-go may be too much, it all boils down to what players want to get out of the game. Returning players and management sim enthusiasts will enjoy the Challenge and Sandbox modes, as those tests players’ management skills while also allowing them to build the park of their dreams. In contrast, movie fans who crave an original Jurassic World story will enjoy the Story Campaign and Chaos Theory modes, even if the brief campaign is basically a tutorial in all but name. However, its short length is a good thing, given that it puts the spotlight on Jurassic World Evolution 2’s brand new game mode: Chaos Theory.
In Chaos Theory, players revisit all five Jurassic movies by putting them in pivotal moments that result in “What if…?” scenarios. Players get the chance to rewrite history, starting from John Hammond asking players to build the first Jurassic Park, all the way to the events leading to the escape of dinosaurs in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Those who only prefer to explore certain movies will be happy to know that Chaos Theory doesn’t require players to meet certain conditions to access each film, as all five are unlocked right at the beginning.
One of the most exciting things about Jurassic World Evolution 2 are the quality of life improvements available. The game features over 75 species of dinosaur, including new marine and flying types, which are more vibrant compared to the first game. These creatures are highly detailed and can be customized through different skins. In addition, emphasis is given to the behavior of dinosaurs that now have a bit more life than the first game, and players can now add Ranger posts inside enclosures, making it easier to check on dinosaurs and resupply their feeders.
However, it is worth pointing out that the improved dinosaur realism also means that players need to pay more attention to them. Each creature is prone to injuries and various diseases, which means players need to tranquilize and transport them to the new medical facility immediately. Additionally, dinosaur care requires a lot of micromanaging to ensure that they live long and happy. Mixing two or more species of dinosaurs requires players to pay careful attention so that all their environmental needs are met without having them fight for resources and territory.
The same concept applies to the management aspect of the game. It is evident that Frontier did its due diligence and implemented most of the requested features from fans, such as the ability to manipulate time, which is a convenient feature when doing tasks that take a while to complete. Jurassic World Evolution 2 also offers an easier way to fulfill power requirements. Instead of putting up substations that must be connected with powerlines, players can now power their parks via a backup generator. The generator eliminates the need for powerlines, allowing players to design their parks without ruining the overall aesthetic. But it is still possible to do it the old way since backup generators do have their drawbacks.
Dinosaur creation also features a new mechanic to achieve a more profound management experience. Players must now manually hire scientists, and each candidate will have different skills, specialties, and salary ranges that players must balance for the benefit of the park. For example, one scientist can speed up egg incubation, while another can strike a better deal for fossil acquisition. Overall, these changes make the game better and far superior to its predecessor.
However, similar to dinosaur care, all these changes add to the number of things players must manage to ensure their park runs smoothly. The new generator that is supposed to make it easier to power a park runs on fuel that must be resupplied regularly. Failing to do so would result in a power outage, which means electrified fences will stop working.
It is also worth noting that the scientists’ players hire cannot work around the clock. After doing a certain amount of tasks and expeditions, these scientists need to rest, and every time they do so costs players money. The same concept applies to guests, which are now grouped into four categories that have different needs. All these guest needs must be met, and their safety should be taken with the highest priority to achieve a high park rating.
While all these micromanaging can easily overwhelm players, the game balances it with many customization options. When starting a park in Sandbox mode, players can choose from various options concerning dinosaur care, such as dinosaur health, temperament, needs, and more. The game also allows players to eliminate power requirements, generate unlimited cash, manipulate weather patterns, and other beneficial modifiers.
While the park-building aspect of Jurassic World Evolution 2 bears many similarities to its predecessor, it offers a higher level of personalization. Shops and other buildings can now be customized from their design, architecture, and coloring, making it easy for builders to achieve their preferred park aesthetic. A wide variety of decorations is also available, such as outdoor seating for a restaurant. Also, players will get to choose the interior modules of each establishment, whether they want it to have an aquarium, arcade, or fish tank. Each of these interior modules would lure certain types of guests, so players must mix and match to ensure that everyone is happy.
Overall, Jurassic World Evolution 2 delivers on its promise of surpassing its predecessor thanks to improved dinosaurs, deeper management simulation mechanics, and game modes catering to different players. While Chaos Theory lets players visit and rewrite iconic moments in the film franchise, Sandbox Mode is undoubtedly the heart and soul of Jurassic World Evolution 2 for the way it highlights all of the new features and improvements.
The only downside of having a game packed with tons of features and gameplay mechanics is that it is easy to get overwhelmed. Not to mention, Jurassic World Evolution 2’s in-depth user interface and menu system can also get confusing, especially for beginners. However, all these minor issues wash away with the practice, and the customization options allow players to tone down the difficulty to their liking. In the end, Jurassic World Evolution 2 is an excellent sequel to the first game. Not only did Frontier manage to implement fan feedback, but it also introduced new features that make managing a dinosaur park a rewarding experience