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Jurassic World: Operation Genesis – Dinosaur or Still Worth Playing?

Jurassic Park

Like the velociraptors it saw being brought back to life, there’s no doubt that the 2015 film Jurassic World did exactly the same thing for the big lizard franchise which had lain dormant since 2001 when the third film in the series had been released. And what an awakening it was. Almost immediately, it started breaking box office records eventually going on to gross $1.672 billion worldwide, all from a budget of $150 million.

Now the fifth film in the series, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, is slated for release in June 2018, again starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and P.D. Wong, as well as welcoming back Jeff Goldblum.

Naturally, there’s a video game to accompany the new movie. It’s called Jurassic World: Evolution and its launch was announced and its first trailer was released at GamesCom 2017 in October. Just like the earlier game, in Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, the overall objective is to build and run the theme park, populate it with dinosaurs and keep the inevitable chaos that ensues under control.

So this seems like the perfect time to take a look back at its predecessor, which was released in 2003 for Windows, PlayStation 2 and Xbox.

This was already just one of many different kinds of merchandise that’s been generated by the series, ranging from the inevitable Lego models to a Jurassic Park videoslot game – which keeps the feeling of suspense and danger from the movies by featuring a T-Rex Alert Mode – and was enthusiastically received by players and reviewers alike.

Lego Jurassic Park
241/365 – Jurassic Park” (CC BY 2.0) by puuikibeach

As already mentioned, the whole aim of JP:OG was to first breed the dinosaurs for the park, then build the park and, eventually, keep everything running smoothly. A key challenge along the way was the need to grow enough fodder for the herbivorous dinosaurs while keeping the carnivores well-fed with meat.

There were ten mission stages in all, although it had previously been mooted that there were going to be 12, and one of the first of these was to mine enough fossils and amber to obtain the DNA needed for dinosaur generation.

Once this had been achieved it was time to start creating the attractions to draw in the crowds and in this respect the game had a fair amount in common with other games like Theme Park World and Roller Coaster Tycoon.

Once all 10 missions had been successfully completed players had the chance to move on to Site B – an island where no humans were allowed and on which hatcheries for new dinosaurs could be established.

This all added up to a game which had reviewers enthusing about it. For example, Gamezilla called it “visually and aurally stunning” and G4TV said it was “a very addictive game that continues to surprise and delight the more that you play”. Metacritic also scored it at 75% for the PlayStation version. Sales were also impressive, earning it a silver award for over 100,000 copies sold.

It’s still a firm favourite with retro gamers everywhere but even the most determined of them must surely now be looking forward to seeing what the next generation of JP game has to offer – and there’s not very long to wait.

Feature image credit – “Data East Jurassic Park Pinball Cabinet” (CC BY 2.0) by dean.franklin

Carl Williams

It is time gaming journalism takes its rightful place as proper sources and not fanboys giving free advertising. If you wish to support writers like Carl please use the links below.

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