Jurassic Park: The Game

Just a quickie here. Got this cheap from the Steam Summer Sale. If you like Telltale’s Walking Dead game, and you like Jurassic Park, this is a no-brainer. Gameplay is pretty much the same (timed button presses) although I have yet to have any real decision making troubles. Part of what makes TWD so awesome is knowing that the way you treat people and the decisions you make are going to affect gameplay later. As far as I can tell, there is none of that here… at least not enough to really matter. However, the story is pretty good so far (I’ve finished one episode), and it is a parallel story to the original movie, that follows the head vet and a chick that went to the island to find Nedry’s lost Barbasol can. It even throws the classic “Dodgson! We got Dodgson here! Nobody cares” line. There’s a girl, your daughter (unlike the “adopted” daughter Clem in TWD), that you are trying to protect, and I can see some semblance of story telling and character progression here, but it’s still early. I have so far wrestled with Dilophosaurs, watched a T Rex and Trike battle it out, been ambushed by the T Rex in the Visitor’s Center (after watching the movie survivors’ helicopter fly overhead), and I’ve been in about four car accidents. 

EDIT: And… done. Well, a couple days ago anyway. In all, I’ve put six hours into the game. I can’t tell you how much of that is replaying parts where I died or where it jumped me back to the beginning of a part because of where I quit the game. There are some very common flaws that are extremely annoying to me but obviously very few other people since they happen ALL THE TIME. For example… I consider myself a pretty smart person… but I don’t know everything! There is a geneticist… a hippie geneticist at that… who works with the dinos. At some point, she also knows enough about the geothermal power plant to know how to vent the steam and work the electrical system… even though there are no instructions. As someone who has worked on power plants, I can tell you… it’s not that easy! Really? ONE valve in the entire plant? Which brings us to #2. Does nobody learn “Righty tighty, leftie loosey” anymore? Three men get on a big ol’ valve to vent the steam… and turn it right! That’s shut! If you’re trying to VENT steam, you need to open a valve to let the pressure out. Open would be loosey. The doctor knows enough about the plant (after emphasizing that only a handful of people actually know how to operate it… so why would she be one?) to know that it was “going to explode” from steam pressure (wha?) and to know that that valve is not only the one they need to turn, but also that it is motor operated from downstairs, but she doesn’t know it needs to be turned left? That’s the other thing. Every motor-operated valve I’ve turned had a lever for a disconnect. You don’t have to physically pull the motor away from the valve… but at least the motor actually looked like one.

Anyway… it got a little confusing when you are essentially having conversations with yourself since you switch between controlling every one of the characters. I think they figured out this wasn’t the best plan, which is why you have Lee in TWD. The story is decent, but a little forced. A long dialogue with Nima reveals not only the Western aggression of forcing people off their land in the pursuit of cash, but also how Nima’s relationship with her father is the same as Gerry’s with Jess! Wow! A little coming of age drama where the dad learns to trust the kid, some neo-hippie environmentalist stuff, and an ethics argument about whether dinos have a right to live when the doc makes a major decision. Raptors, Parasaurs, Pteranodons, Troodons, Dilaphosaurs, a Mosasaur, and a T Rex who can’t get enough screen time, a vet and his daughter, a couple mercs, a displaced villager turned merc, and the hippie geneticist, and the ensemble is complete.

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