With huge open-world games on the horizon like Hogwarts Legacy, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, and the untitled Star Wars game, we’ve started to wonder why Jurassic Park has never been given the same treatment. While brand-new ‘Park builder’ game Jurassic World: Evolution 2 allows players to manage dinosaur populations and turn a profit while doing so, it’s still not the sandbox experience we’re looking for.
It begs to question why such a game has never been done before. After all, the Jurassic Park franchise is a lucrative property, and the Jurassic World sequels alone have made almost $3 billion alone since their inception in 2015. And the Jurassic Park video games have also been very successful. Perhaps it’s inevitable, but right now, it feels like we stand a better chance of seeing real dinosaurs than an open-world Jurassic Park game!
Nevertheless, there are certain things fans would expect from such a game, and here they are…
7. Entire Island
First of all, we’d prefer to take things back to basics, and setting the game on Site B (the second island) would be the best move, as we love the idea of being trapped in a lost world where “something has survived.” Any other location, such as mainland America as seen in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom or the Jurassic World: Dominion preview, just wouldn’t work.
While you do have access to an entire island in the Evolution games, we want to be able to play a human character. We want to walk along rocky coasts, explore deep jungles, climb towering trees and cross wild rivers! Don’t go into the long grass, you say? Thanks for the advice, but we’d skip merrily through such an environment in an open-world Jurassic Park game!
6. Original Story
A great game usually comes armed with a compelling story, and there’s no reason why open-world Jurassic Park game should be any different than the movies. And seeing as we’ve used The Lost World as an example for our desired setting, it might help inspire the story too. In other words, an open-world Jurassic Park game would need two magic ingredients: discovery and survival.
Seeing a Park up and running before its inevitable demise has now been done twice in the films. And while you could argue that Site B has been given the same treatment (The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III), it’s still been 20 years since we’ve seen that second island, so it’s likely there would be a certain novelty in revisiting it.
5. Dinosaur A.I.
Perhaps the best thing about the Jurassic World: Evolution games is the dinosaur A.I. The humans themselves aren’t much to write home about, but the Park’s prehistoric inhabitants never fail to impress. Real mechanics have gone into making these animals believable, and the way in which they move is “wow enough”, as Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) would say!
The dinosaurs are programmed to do everything – eat, sleep, drink, fight, hunt, and so on! As for open-world games that already exists, Red Dead Redemption 2 is the best example of one with an impressive and vast ecosystem – so it can be done! But the human non-playable characters would need to sell their performances too (it all really hinges on their running and screaming abilities).
4. Weather Systems
Part of what makes the original Jurassic Park film so atmospheric is the thunderstorm, whose downpour lashes the tour vehicles while they’re stranded outside the tyrannosaur paddock. So the weather definitely plays a huge part in Jurassic Park, and even in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. But it’s an art that has sadly been lost in all the sequels (among many other things).
But we’re not just talking about tropical thunderstorms, because we want it all! Everything that could help make being stranded on a jungle island feel as realistic as possible – sunshine, showers, storms, the lot. This is another feature other open-world games usually manage well, and it also allows players to feel like they’re moving through time.
3. Other Characters
The idea of exploring an abandoned Park on your own sounds thrilling at first, and is a great recipe for some tension-building and jump-scares. But after a while, it could get boring – and lonely! Having other characters in the game would keep things interesting, and it would be pretty neat to build a network or a team of dinosaur fodder – er, we mean survivors – as you go.
And as we’ve already mentioned, the A.I. would have to be as good as the dinosaurs. We’ve all played games that have fallen short of being perfect because the non-playable characters just aren’t believable. But seeing as an open-world Jurassic Park game wouldn’t really need that many people, it might be easier for the developers to create some impressive humans.
2. Original Aesthetics
Before the Jurassic Park franchise is ‘repackaged’ as Jurassic World, the movies have a visually-pleasing safari adventure aesthetic, which has since become a huge trigger for nostalgia. Jurassic World even recognizes this, when Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) discover the old Visitor Center and reunite us with many things, including an actual pair of nostalgia goggles!
While it wouldn’t matter whether a Park in the game is open or not (but preferably abandoned, as we’ve already mentioned), what would matter is its overall design. We’d much rather explore the remnants of Jurassic Park (or a Site B facility) than Jurassic World – we just think it looks so much better. And besides, who wouldn’t want to revisit the ’90s?!
1. Problem Solving
Problem-solving is a huge part of the first Jurassic Park film, whether characters are trying to restore power or navigating dark maintenance sheds with remote assistance. It’s fair to say that most characters in the Jurassic Park movies rely on their skills to survive, and there are many examples of this throughout the series, from computer hacking to gymnastics!
But being stranded on a jungle island inhabited by dinosaurs would bring with it all sorts of problems, so you’d need to become good at pretty much everything! For starters, you’d have to figure out where you’re going to source food (an old bunker, perhaps, to which you’d have to find the keycode), where you’d live, and ultimately, how you’re going to escape the island!
Will we ever get an open-world Jurassic Park game? Let’s hope that Jurassic World: Dominion goes on to inspire such a title – even if it’s set on mainland America (at this rate, we’ll take anything). In the meantime, check out the Jurassic World: Dominion preview online.
What would you want from an open-world Jurassic Park game?