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Jurassic Park The Game: Review thread - post your impressions here!

posted by waroftheworlds01 on - last edited - Viewed by 19.9K users

The release date for the game is finally here and I'm sure everyone will be dieing to voice their opinions on the game as well as post reviews from other websites. Instead of having thousands of post with different reviews, I figured it would be easier to have one thread dedicated to Jurassic Park reviews.

I haven't been able to play it yet but I will be posting seperate reviews for each episode here as I finish them.

So if anyone wants to share their opinon after finally getting to play the game, or want to share links to reviews of the game from other website here's a great thread to do it.

And, of course, try to use those Spoiler tabs when needed!!!

432 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • So, I just finished the game and want to share my thoughts.
    (to clarify: I am both: huge fan of the franchise (especially Crichton's novels) and a gamer too.)


    First of all I was very excited about this game and share most of the other fan's opinion, that Jurassic Park is a franchise which has been neglected by the video game industry during the last decade for reason's I don't get.
    This IP would provide so much possibilites for video games to deal with but unfortunately it has just been ignored.
    At least TTG came up and the way they approached it felt very fresh and promising. Especially because of their goal to catch the movie's feel and look and probably most important for me was the fact that they wanted to stay true to the source material and focus on good storytelling.

    The final result I just played was without a doubt disappointing.
    And this in several aspects.

    IMMERSION
    I wan't to talk about that topic first because this is also what the first moments of Jurassic Park: The Game aim at: To catch the players attention and drag him into the game.

    First of all (because it's the first thing you'll notice) the optics. For the Telltale Tool (T³) it's really a huge step forward, especially when you compare it to previous games done with the same engine.
    But I have to say that when you wan't to provide a cinematic experience and transport feelings of fear, suspense or shock the optics play a huge role. Models and sets that have the style of plastic figures can kill a lot of atmosphere.
    This can be minimized by great use of camera movements and angles. In this case JP:TG does a very good job. Focus and set up of the scenes is very well done. Of course the game uses the same style as the movie and this is a real benefit.
    Optical weaknesses can also be concealed with great and fluid animations. Unfortunately this is a point where the game fails very often. There are some scenes where it's really impressive to look at the dinosaurs moving, especially because a lot of the models are actually very well done. But too often the transitions between different animations are roughly done. This already was a common issue in BTTF and is becoming a really severe issue in a cinematic presentation. Furthermore in JP:TG people often moved stiffly and unnatural.
    The use of sound and music is also essential for immersion. While JP:TG used the great original sounds for the dinosaurs, voice acting is mediocre and the music that played such a big role in the movie is rather irrelevant in the game. It's just too often a background support and although it uses some elements of the original score there's not a single scene in which the music dominates and evokes the same feelings as in the movie.
    But what's worst is the flawed use of sound. Very often there's just no sound at all, allthough you should hear the environment, or steps, or breathing or the movement of the clothes. Mixing is also badly done. You can't hear what people are talking, effects are much too low and so on.

    In general video and audio presentation of Jurassic Park: The Game are both flawed. It just feels roughly done overall with bad transitions between scenes where music is cut or essential happenings that would provide a fluent cinematic feeling are just left out.

    STORY
    TTG always pointed out that they focus on storytelling. Jurassic Park: The Game actually has more of a story than the third film but that's it. For me it basically lacks of interesting characters that provide more than the standard "bad father who neglected his daughter", "the reticent super muscular mercenary", "the native that believes in natural religion" and "the former hippie that became scientist and just acts ethical". They are just too stereotype and skimmed over.
    Even worse are confrontations between the people and how they magically turn their opinions. Why should Jess be so happy to see Nima again, when she acutally hold a gun into her face earlier?
    I also thought that TTG actually didn't really manage to stay away from their cartooney way of displaying characters or dialogues. Oskar is such a goofy sidekick that doesn't fit into the Jurassic Park universe at all.
    Then there are story decisions that do not make any sense: How was Dr. Sorkins able to get control of the JP:OS? What's the control room for when she can edit the tour program from her lab? How did Explorer 02 come to the trike pen without hitting Explorer 05? If the marine was meant to be opened in phase B, why did the tour voice mention it?
    Why is the geothermal power-plant so far away from the maintenance-shed?
    On the other hand I liked the implementation of the ethic topic how to deal with scientific discoveries, what there's about the dependence of lysine.

    THE SOURCE MATERIAL
    TTG really tried to stay very close to the universe the movie has established. I liked how they listened also to the fans here in the forum and "Nedry's clearing" was one of the best locations in the game. Little details like his glasses, or the stick he was throwing at the Dilophosaur proved their careful treatment of the license.
    Same goes for the ID badge, the numbers on the jeeps, the visitor center and the rotunda.
    And of course the dinosaurs. TTG really showed them like they had been displayed and characterized in Jurassic Park. Great work here.
    The first episode really caught the spirit of the movie and was a nice parallel story to the film.
    I can forgive minor flaws like Sorkin's ability to have control over the JP:OS, the tour car 02 that managed to go past Explorer 05 and get Harding, Jess and Nima from the trike pen.
    Episode 2 was a complete letdown by introducing these strange mercenaries especially Oskar. Also Dr. Sorkin's lab was designed totally different than all the other structures. Maybe TTG should have taken a closer look to the making-of book which showed nice sketches and drawings of the visitor center compound, labs and so on.
    The bone-shaker sequence was completely irrelevant IMO because it doesn't really provide anything to the story and the topic of using the park for amusement wasn't well portrayed. And why is this structure so far away from the visitor area and nearly isolated in the jungle?
    Herrerasaur's implementation was also only ineffectual.
    Episode 3 tended to get better again but I think that the T-Rex has already been overused. He showed up much too often and seemed to be always hungry.
    The geothermal power plant was a nice location although beeing so far away contradicted the maintenance shed of the movie.
    The troodons were actually a very nice invention of TTG. They really felt very creepy and dangerous. I especially liked their sound design.
    Episode 4 was then getting a lot better by revisiting a portion of the tour road and the marine facility. A lot of the scenes there felt as if they have been influenced by another Crichton novel: Sphere (which was IMO one of his best).
    The only thing I didn't like was the whole design of the facility. It was poorly done by using the typical font but the overal architectural design just didn't feel like part of the park. I actually like this drawning much more: jurassic park aquarium
    So finally it was nice (and right) to spot new locations of the park. We all new that there were a lot constructions that haven't been in the movie. Locations that tell us more about the park layout and how it works.
    But this game did too much to feel separated from the movie. I mean if it takes place during the actions of the film why aren't there more references than just the East Dock, Nedry's clearing and a short part at the Visitor's center?
    What about the T-Rex paddock, the raptor pen, the maintenance shed, the control room, the embryonic cold storage, the auditorium, the restaurant and the kitchen? The control room is a mess (as Harding said) but we didn't get glimpse of it. Why?

    GAMEPLAY
    Well, I think when TTG mentioned Heavy Rain as an inspiration they actually missed one essential thing about that game:
    It was about the consequences of decisions.
    And that's also basically what interaction is about.
    Jurassic Park: The Game isn't in fact a real game at all. I assumed that it's the evolution of the famous game books where the reader could affect the story. But it's not even that. There are only two possibilities at every button promt: fail or continue.
    Fail or continue. Fail or continue. The whole game long.
    So it's not really much more like a movie where you have to press buttons to indicate that you really watch it.
    The puzzle parts aren't real puzzles too. It's just about finding the triggers for the next cutscene.
    The dialogue trees indicate consequences too. But they don't provide them.
    So basically the game just fakes interaction.
    The only time where you really decide something with consequences is at the very end.
    But that's it.

    CONCLUSION
    Despite all these rather negative aspects I also enjoyed the game.
    It had some memorable moments, locations and comments.

    For us JP fans it was the first time since 2003 to get into the Jurassic Park universe again.
    But the whole situation for us is like this game's concept:
    We have no choice. Fail or Continue. Have this game or have none.
    So a lot of people said that they are happy with this game.
    I guess because there's simply no alternative.

    Of course Telltale Games could have done worse.
    The whole license could have been handled much worse.
    Nothing could have ruined the JP IP more than a brainless shooter.

    On the other hand I think this huge famous license that been brought to life by Michael Crichton deserves a worthier realization than this game.
    I know that Telltale Games put all their effort into this game and I am sure they tried the best they could.
    I have the feeling that for their studio size they have made several wrong design decisions that finally led to a "game" that isn't really good in any of these points: immersion, story, gameplay.
    They are all mediocre at best.

    I could forgive this story and bad gameplay if the immersion is outstanding with breathtaking optics and sound, or I could also forgive mediocre graphics if the story is top notch, or if both immersion and story are just mediocre but the gameplay is really innovative and interesting I would be pleased too.

    But in this case I got several hours of mediocre entertainment within the world of Jurassic Park.

    If I have to give a rating it would be like 6/10

  • I absolutely loved the game. (Well lets face it not really a game but an interactive movie) And then I saw the ending and it sucked hard. What do you mean they blow up the whole island??? I think the best part of the movie was that they skipped that part because it was cruel and unnecessary. Lets face it the dinosaurs wouldn't be able to survive in today's ecosystem anyway so they might as well stay on the island. Hopefully we'll see a sequel set on Site B. Hopefully telltale won't decide to nuke that as well.

  • Cannot agree with this more. Shows what happens when you blindly buy a game from a company without researching exactly what the gameplay will be like. I expected an adventure game; I got an animated movie.

    I've enjoyed all Telltale games a great deal, but this is just a crappy movie where you have to randomly push buttons or you get your face eaten off. They test your reaction time to push a directional button in less than .1 seconds, and when you can't do it, you fail and have to do it again. I've had much better success by just randomly pushing all the directional keys during these sequences.

    The most difficult puzzle I've found so far is organizing roller coaster cars, and that took me less then 2 minutes to figure out. Not much of a challenge there. But I was rewarded by getting to randomly push buttons for another 5 minutes afterwards.

    Bottom line: If you wanted to make an animated movie, make an animated movie; don't try to pass one off as a game.

    @VittoOuWan said: Sorry to say this time you really blew it.
    I only did some of it but could not stand it and stopped.

    It is not a game, there are no real challenges, you don't have to solve riddles or else.

    Rather it's like a mini-movie in which, to pretend it's a game, now and then you get instructions to push buttons. "Push up then push left". What's the challenge in that?

    I'm sorry there's no "Satisfied or your money back" policy because, for as much I loved your other games, this one is a joke, I will not play further, and I really would like to give it back for a refund.


    I do hope your next one will be back on track. Please!! You were good, get back there. Return to games that DO challenge the player. I like good games, and you were one of my favorite sources.

    Let's make this a once in a lifetime slip never to be repeated again. Thank you.

  • Bottom line: If you wanted to make an animated movie, make an animated movie; don't try to pass one off as a game.

    But they can't. Would be the worst animated movie ever.

  • I enjoyed this game way, way more than I was expecting. I don't have a problem with the game essentially being a well-paced, interactive film; who's to say what the video game medium can and can't be?

    It does have glitches and hiccups here and there that I really hope are ironed out in a patch (it definitely made a lousy first impression when the very first scene in which Gerry and his daughter are introduced has lines of dialogue repeating), but I found the game to be very immersive and fun to watch and play - it simply doesn't need to be a traditional game. I didn't have any issues with the quicktime events at all since I'm a pretty hardcore game geek, but a difficulty option should really be added for the more casual audience (who I believe this game is directed at to begin with). Given the pacing, this is a game that should challenge you just enough that anyone should be able to get through the areas without being frustrated, but not at the expense of the excitement.

    Edit: I should also mention that the best way to play this game, for me, seems to be on a good PC with a 360 controller. Mouse controls feels wonky, and in videos of the console releases I noticed "hiccups" where the game paused when inputs were being entered that ruined the flow of the action sequences. Although I had some odd glitches sometimes, I didn't have that issue on the PC - the action generally flowed really well.

  • I am quite satisfied with the turnout of the game. I have never experienced a game with this type of gameplay, so it was a bit hard to get used to at first. However, the gameplay is not what got me to fall in love with the game, it was the story! Great job guys on making such an interesting side story for fans of JP like myself.

    Also i am aware that TellTale only had rights to the movies, however i couldnt help but wonder if they had put a few references to things that are in the book. The first thing I noticed was in episode 1, when you are in the first scene with the Hardings and you get to investigate the overview. There is a utility shed by the river and Jerry just says its a utility shed. however it reminded me of the utility shed from the book that Grant and the kids stayed in. But I havent read the book in awhile and I may be confused, but I thought it was right along the river.

  • I see no one has responded with my 2 most important comments that
    1-It didnt have the feel of jurassic park
    and
    2-That T-Rex seriously eats too much

  • Ars Technica just posted their review: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/reviews/2011/11/better-to-watch-than-to-play-jurassic-park-the-game.ars

    [quote]There are some thrilling scenes in the game, but this style of gameplay ultimately robs them of any actual emotion or scares. You can't even fully enjoy watching the game, as you're forced to keep your eyes on the button prompts.

    Even worse are the scenes that feel like an adventure game. The few puzzles you'll come across are ultimately too simple to be challenging, while the investigation sequences don't give you much to explore. You just look at stuff and then the story progresses. You don't even have an inventory or any items to find and use. It's all simplified to the point that the actual "game" aspects feel out of place. This an experience that's more fun to watch than it is to play.

    Verdict: Skip[/quote]

  • Disappointed, money wasted.
    Back to the Future already felt like it wasn't made with much love and just rushed up, but it was somehow acceptable.
    But this is no fun to play at all IMHO. The graphics being from like 2004 sure also doesn't exactly help it.

  • it's pretty crappy so far. hurts me to say so cause i've been telling anyone who will listen how great telltalegames is. i hate the interface. i expected an adventure game not some distant retarded cousin of dragon's lair. what a waste of a great opportunity. i'll definitely be more wary next time telltale releases a game.

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