I remember seeing ‘Jurassic Park’ back when it first came out. We saw it at our closest multiplex, about a half-hour away, in the town of Olean in New York. The place was a dump. Movie was good, though.
Since then, there have been quite a few videogames based on that world. I think I’ve probably played them all. So how does Telltale Games’ foray into the franchise stack up?
We know that Telltale is capable of engaging, emotional storytelling. Their ‘Walking Dead’ games are phenomenal. I had high hopes for their ‘Jurassic Park’ game, at least in terms of story. And you know what? It’s not bad.
You play as a few different characters on the island. The events of the game happen, at least in the beginning, concurrently with the events in the movie. So if, like me, you’ve seen the movie a thousand times, you’ll get a kick out of that. The characters are mostly new creations; we are introduced to a vet named Harding, who, if it’s meant to be the same character, is far more central to this story than he was to the movie’s. He doesn’t seem like the same person, not to me. But whatever. You also play as Nima, who has been hired to find Nedry’s can of shaving cream. Remember that thing? Had the embryos in it? It’s worth a lot of money, apparently.
Gameplay consists of looking around your immediate area and interacting with objects and people, moving the story along by solving puzzles. The only action in the game consists of timed button presses, similar to the Quantic Dream games, ‘Fahrenheit’ and ‘Heavy Rain’ and ‘Beyond: Two Souls.’ In this game, though, the controls aren’t as easy to grasp. The timing is often too fast for my crap reflexes, and failing a move usually leads to getting eaten by a dinosaur. Ouch.
To answer my earlier question asking how this stacks up to previous games: I think it fits right in. Not perfect, but a fun diversion in the world of genetically-created dinosaurs. Among those early games, I have two favorites. The first was on the Sega Genesis, a platformer where you could play as Grant or a Raptor. The second was on the Sega CD, and was a point-and-click game with great music and full-motion video featuring Dr. Robert Bakker! This one is probably closest to Telltale’s entry, though far less dramatic.
Bonus mention: ‘Jurassic Park Interactive’ for the 3DO. This one featured FMV of the characters from the movie played by actors who vaguely resembled the ones from the film. That part was good for a chuckle, and the rest of the game was pretty fun.
Next week, I’ll be playing another game from my backlog. Join me, 7pm-ish on Twitter.