Jurassic Park: The Game – First Impressions

After some humming and hawing, I decided to go pick up the Xbox 360 version of Telltale’s Jurassic Park: The Game. I’ve never played their Wallace and Grommit titles, because…well I don’t really care for it, but I did give the first couple episodes of Back to the Future a whirl. While I did enjoy them, they were on PC and frankly my PC sucks for games, even non-demanding games like the point and click genre.

So after seeing Jurassic Park on TV the night before, I decided it was a sign to give it a go and see what it was like. The game is available for the PS3, PC, and the 360, although the 360 is the only version that is available at retail, at least as far as I know, and the PC and PS3 versions are only available through download. Also the 360 version includes all 4 episodes, while the PC and PS3 versions are released in separate episodes.

I played through the first episode and I was honestly surprised at the type of gameplay that was involved. It’s not your typical point and click game that I was expecting. The game takes on a more Quick Time Event approach along the lines of Heavy Rain or Indigo Prophecy. When you are in a particular area, you can hit the button prompts given to look at certain objects and in action sequences you pound on a button repeatedly or hit a series of buttons in a row to avoid death. If you mess it up, it’s not always an immediate death, but you do get a lower rating and when the chapter finishes, you’ll be awarded with a medal ranging from bronze to gold.

Gameplayisms aside, the game is great for those who loved the Jurassic Park movie. (The first one, screw the other ones.) The game takes place partially along side the events in the movie, although there is a time during the last half of the first episode where the end of the movie and the game merge. You play the role of a woman who is sent to the island of Isla Nublar to help retrieve the Barbasol can full of dino embryos that Dennis Nedry stole during the movie. If you recall, during his escape, he dropped the can and before realizing it, had his face melted off. Not to get into any specifics and venture any game spoilers, you also take the roles of Gerry Harding – a vet on the island- and his daughter Jessie as they try to flee from the roaming dinos.

The first episode introduced some puzzle solving mechanics, some dialogue sections that may turn out differently depending on the responses given, but that’ll take another playthrough or two to be sure of. It’s hard to say how the game is or isn’t after only playing one episode that was roughly 90 minutes or so, but for what it’s worth, I am certainly looking forward to the other three episodes. If you’re curious, you can watch my playthrough of the first episode here on Twitch.tv. I’ll post up a review of the full game once I’m finished and let you know how it turns out in the end.