GAME NAME: Jurassic Park: The Game
DEVELOPER(S): Telltale Games
RELEASE DATE(S): 24 February 2012
There have been some really bad games over the past two decades. Games that are filled with bugs that make the game unplayable and storylines that make the entire experience drag on to the point that the player wants to end his own life. For the most part these games (unless they are movie tie-ins) are kept to the bargain bin without ever being seen by the mainstream public. Jurassic Park: The Game does not allow the player to play through any of the plot lines found in any of the movies. Rather the plot of the game runs parallel to the first movie. Unlike other tie-in games Jurassic Park is not riding on the hype of the franchise just after the release of a movie but instead hopes to entice die-hard fans of the series… and that is why it should be burnt.
Long-time fans of the books and movies will no doubt look at this title as a means to experience the excitement, wonder and terror that captivated audiences but any hope of that is lost within the first few minutes of game play. Quicktime events and basic point-and-click gameplay reduce this game to something less than a B-grade film. In a film the viewer is taken on a rollercoaster ride but in JP:TG the rollercoaster keeps braking and you, the player, are expected to release the brakes to get to the next story point.
What JP:TG should have been is something closely resembling Resident Evil. A game that combines a bit of puzzle solving with brief bouts of action but ultimately it’s your brain that makes the tension tangible. Instead you get a game that has characters as deep as a bucket and a plot line that resembles a piece of Swiss cheese. The plot of the game just doesn’t link up to anything revealed in the movie and books. Where were all these workers when the events of the first movie were happening? The heroes in the first movie called for one chopper and unless Bell’s JetRangers are now akin to the TARDIS with more space on the inside then according to that movie the workers left behind were expected to die. How those poor souls get off the island is part of the story and we won’t give that away but some tie-in would have been nice.
The quality of the game is also appalling. Graphical anomalies such as textures intersecting and character models failing to interact correctly with the environment turn this game into an eye-sore. There are continuity errors in the visuals that make one wonder how many coffee breaks the development team took. At one point Doctor Harding (he was the guy treating the sick Triceratops in the first movie) loads a dart gun with a dart but in the next scene he pulls back the bolt and an empty shell casing falls out of the rifle. A few scenes later and one of the electric vehicles featured in the first movie magically avoids a steel gate that lies in its path and covers its power rail.
There are the odd moments in this game when your heart leaps in your chest but they are few and far between. The basic point-and-click adventuring in this title is an insult to the fans of this franchise (who are all grown up by now) and who really want a deep story line and controls that allow you to control the character. If you like games or you like Jurassic Park then avoid this title at all costs.