Ever since the original Jurassic Park rolled out onto the big screen back in 1993, there’s been a huge uptick of interest in the dinosaur scene. Whether that be due to human nature and the thirst for knowledge, or our undying love for chaos, it’s a theme that has continued to grow over the years. That’s been built on by subsequent films, books and, with the arrival of Jurassic World Evolution on PC and console in 2017, games.
The culmination of all this has been in the creation of Jurassic World Evolution 2, a game that took the original blueprint and built on it, seeing Frontier Developments create a wonderful park builder that had some serious depth.
Now, with the introduction of the Early Cretaceous Pack, that depth has got ever deeper with the arrival of new species of dinosaurs that fans and onlookers will want to have placed in their park.
The Jurassic World Evolution 2: Early Cretaceous Pack is a fairly simple piece of content that helps build out the base game of Evolution 2 pretty well. It’s priced low – a mere £5.99 in fact – but manages to just about provide enough content to ensure it is worth the outlay.
It focuses on the dinosaurs, giving players the opportunity to add a wider variety of species to their game. With the Story Campaign present, the Chaos Theory ‘what if’ scenarios, through the Challenge Mode and the main Sandbox which lets you experiment beyond all imagination, all in place, there’s certainly plenty to go at here.
There are however just four additions, and on the face of it that will seem a little low in value for anyone other than a hardcore fan of Jurassic World Evolution 2. If you fit that criteria though, and have no issue paying up £1.50 per new dinosaur, you’ll want to fill your boots here.
Included are a couple of land dwelling creatures in the form of the cute little Minmi and the more grounded, pretty lethal-when-it-wants-to-be Wuerhosaurus. Honestly, these are two creatures that we’d never come across in our daily lives, and whilst they certainly wouldn’t be seen as essential additions to anyone’s Evolution 2 park, they fit nicely in the field. Both are well equipped to fight back against any potential predators too – bone plates on the back of the Minmi and a tasty tail spike for the Wuerhosaurus – and whilst we’d not really recommend chucking them in an enclosure with some of the more ferocious of dinosaurs, combining the two will work well; particularly if you fill that enclosure with plenty of ground leaf.
Also included in the Early Cretaceous Pack is a flyer – the Dsungaripterus (and yes, we don’t know how to pronounce it either). This little pterosaur is a delight though, looking a little like one of our park favourites, the Geosternbergia. A fish-eater with a cracking hooked bill, the Dsungaripterus needs a little bit of water in order to thrive, but provided you can cater for its needs will find that the guests will flood to view this graceful flyer in the flesh.
What needs more water – lots of water – is the Kronosaurus, an absolute beast of a pliosaur. The apex predator of the Early Creataceous era, there’s little that could ever compete with this marine reptile as it flows through the water, powered by paddle-like flippers in hunt of any, and pretty much all, prey. We think the Kronosaurus looks a bit like Flipper crossed with an alligator, but this is one that most definitely has a bit of a bite on it. If you do decide to add it to your park, make sure you’ve got the space it needs in order to survive.
What this means is that in the Jurassic World Evolution 2: Early Cretaceous Pack you are getting access to a couple of herbivores, a flying thing and a creature from the deep which will gobble up anything that comes near it. We’d personally have swapped out at least one of those for a land-based predator, if only to cover all the creature bases, but this is definitely a decent start to the building out of one of the finest park builders on the market. Next up? We want more buildings, and the chance to add in a larger variety of customisation to our parks. Whether Frontier have that in mind is anyone’s guess.
The low asking price of the Jurassic World Evolution 2: Early Cretaceous Pack means this should certainly be on the radar of any budding park ranger, but it would have been nice to see a little more in terms of content on offer. There’s no debating that the four new dinosaur additions are of a pretty high standard; whether you’re a fan of each creature or just looking to add some variety to your park, this is as good a place as any to let life continue to find a way.
The Jurassic World Evolution 2: Early Cretaceous Pack is over on the Xbox Store