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Jurassic World Evolution 2

Jurassic World Evolution 2 review: "a detailed and finely tuned machine of chaos and carnivores"

(Image: © Frontier Developments)

Our Verdict

Jurassic World Evolution 2 is chaotic, delightful proof that managing dinosaurs is no walk in the Jurassic park.

Pros

  • Chaos Mode is a cracking homage to the movies
  • More dinosaurs to play with
  • Jeff Goldblum is always a good thing

Cons

  • Campaign can move at a prehistoric pace

GamesRadar+ Verdict

Jurassic World Evolution 2 is chaotic, delightful proof that managing dinosaurs is no walk in the Jurassic park.

Pros

  • + Chaos Mode is a cracking homage to the movies
  • + More dinosaurs to play with
  • + Jeff Goldblum is always a good thing

Cons

  • - Campaign can move at a prehistoric pace

Dinosaurs are undeniably cool. Jurassic World Evolution 2 also proves that they are an absolute bugger to manage when you're trying to make money in the tourist industry. This theme park management sim takes all the mechanics that made the original addictive and then adds the cretaceous cherry on top with new modes, new species of prehistoric pets, and smart tweaks to the original's more annoying mechanics. 

FAST FACTS

Jurassic World Evolution 2 tips

(Image credit: Frontier)

Release Date: Out now
Platform(s): PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X
Developer: Frontier Developments
Publisher: Frontier Developments

Dinosaurs are undeniably cool. Jurassic World Evolution 2 also proves that they are an absolute bugger to manage when you're trying to make money in the tourist industry. This theme park management sim takes all the mechanics that made the original addictive and then adds the cretaceous cherry on top with new modes, new species of prehistoric pets, and smart tweaks to the original's more annoying mechanics. 

The main campaign follows the story set out by 2018's Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. If pandemic trauma pushed the plot out of your brain, that was when various shady shenanigans resulted in dinosaurs roaming the US, and humanity is forced to reckon with a new "neo-Jurassic Age." That means this time around you'll need to find, capture and contain dinosaurs on American soil, all while Jeff Goldblum, Bryce Dallas Howard, and a really bad Chris Pratt impressionist talk you through this brave new world. 

Softly softly capture Allosarus-y

Jurassic World Evolution 2

(Image credit: Frontier Developments)

Don't judge the game by its first couple of hours in campaign mode. Clearly determined to try and help you learn the ropes as much as possible, it goes way too helicopter parent - scrubbing at your face with a spit-soaked tissue level - and slows things to an absolute crawl. Be prepared to complete one objective after the other where some interesting part of the menu will be off-limits, and you start wondering when you'll ever get to start fondling fossils or genetically modifying a velociraptor. Even then, there are some great moments, photographing dinosaurs in the wild from a helicopter to earn extra cash, tracking and tranquilizing terrible lizards that could pose a threat to the human population. It could all just do with letting you get through the basics of infrastructure a bit faster, especially if you spent any time in the original game. 

For me, it's really all about Chaos Mode. It's so much fun it makes the campaign feel too staid, and the sandbox feel too gentle. The best levels in Chaos mode are the ones where you're cleaning up the aftermath of a scenario from one of the movies. Think busted fences, escaped carnivores, and herbivores going at it while you desperately drive around your ranger cart trying to tranquilize and contain them. You think a 12-meter tall roaming brachiosaur would be easy to find in a park, you would be wrong. This isn't a mode for the anxious or neurotic though, the scenarios are designed to be a bit mad and stressful - the clue is in the name - so things will go wrong. Storms, injured dinosaurs, overworked scientists trying to sabotage you, but some smart saves and a zen disposition will help you lean into the drama.  There are five levels, one for each movie, with simple scenarios like constructing the very first Jurassic Park, to rescuing a Spinyosaurus from Isla Sorna. Chaos Mode is the star attraction in this Jurassic jaunt. 

Maybe it says something about my love of life's hottest messes, but the parts I found most tedious were the more realistic sim features. Getting my tour route for the park to fit around my haphazard exhibit planning, hooking up pylons in to make sure everything was getting power, remembering to refuel power stations, and disinfect carnivore feeding posts. Honestly, I probably don't pay my rangers enough. This is especially true of parts in the campaign and Chaos Mode where you're reappropriating an old park or structure, trying to get things done financially and aesthetically efficiently while velociraptors are trying to make an appetizer out of your employees. It turns out that maybe I don't want a theme park management sim, I want a man-eating disaster sim. 

"Clever girl"

Jurassic World Evolution 2

(Image credit: Frontier Developments)

Apparently, along with upgrades to staff management and options for the buildings and amenities in your parks, even the dinosaurs have had some work done. There are new species - especially of the flying and swimming variety - bringing the total number of dinosaur types to 75, and they've all been to school for better AI. Honestly, I have no frame of reference beyond Jurassic Park and The Land Before Time for how realistically a dinosaur is behaving, but the big ones definitely tried to eat the little ones, and they all moved pretty fast if a tornado ripped a hole in the fence. More complicated dinosaurs mean they need more complicated care, so there's a new Paleo-Medical Facility you'll become very familiar with as your dinosaurs get sick or injured. You can use a mobile vet to treat basic issues, but anything serious means knocking them out and transporting them to the facility. 

Guests have more complex needs too, there are now four types - General, Adventure, Nature, and Luxury - all who are looking for different things from your park. For instance, Adventure guests want to see the big dangerous exhibits, Luxury guests want amenities like a spa. The game doesn't do a great job of walking you through this or pointing out how it can be key to financial stability, so make sure you get familiar with your options before you invest in that ridiculously sized aviary exhibit. Between the exhibits and the visitors, expect to spend a lot more time tweaking the little details and checking statuses. Few things feel as bad as a bunch of pteranodons kicking the bucket because you were trying to add some nice decorative features to the path around your new hotel. 

If you really just want to make a pretty park with perfectly aligned sushi restaurants and ankylosaurus exhibits then sandbox mode is for you. Set your parameters and boom, you've got a toybox of cash and docile dinosaurs to play house with for as long as you want. There is a catch which is that you need to hit certain milestones in the campaign mode to unlock the really interesting stuff, so if you want your serene haven from disaster to have more sparkle than a super-sized roadside attraction, you're going to need to play at least some of the other modes. 

Whether you love the movies, were the kid who couldn't tear their eyes away from dinosaur books, or just want a management sim that offers something beyond the usual civic planning or financial fiddling, Jurassic World Evolution 2 is a detailed and finely tuned machine of chaos and carnivores, and you'll be playing it for months. 

The Verdict
4

4 out of 5

Jurassic World Evolution 2

Jurassic World Evolution 2 is chaotic, delightful proof that managing dinosaurs is no walk in the Jurassic park.

More info

Available platformsPC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
GenreSim
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Rachel Weber

Between Official PlayStation Magazine, GamesIndustry.biz and Rolling Stone I've picked up a wide range of experience, from how to handle the madness of E3 to making easy conversation with CEOs and executives of game companies over seafood buffets. At GamesRadar+ I'm proud of the impact I've had on the way we write news, and now - as managing editor in the US - the huge traffic successes we're seeing. Most of all I'm proud of my team, who have continued to kick ass through the uncertainty of 2020 and into 2021, and are what makes GamesRadar+ so special.