When I was growing up in the early 1980s, if we’d be taught that dinosaurs were feathered beasts, there would be a chance our teacher would have been struck off.
Back then dinosaurs were all about the muscle, the sheer size and the armoured scales. In fact, as kids, we never even considered that dinosaurs could be diminutive feathered little souls.
But as years have passed, technology has improved and science has come to the fore as more and more dinosaurs are now thought to have had some kind of plumage; not necessarily for flight, but for warmth, for colouration.
It’s those feathered varieties which have been thrust to the fore in the latest paid expansion for Jurassic World: Evolution 2 as Frontier Developments push the Feathered Species Pack to the world. Honestly, if you’re looking for unique, for – dare I say it – cute animals to add to your park, this is going to cover all the bases.
Dropping alongside a variety of new free features via a download that all Jurassic World: Evolution 2 park rangers can enjoy – the promise of two new Log Viewing and Dome Viewing galleries, as well as a cinematic camera mode – the Feathered Species Pack is certainly one of the smaller expansions that have arrived in game.
For instance, it’s nowhere near as content rich as the Dominion Biosyn expansion, foregoing any further story beats to instead focus efforts on four feathered dinosaurs. For the £5.99 asking price, you’re going to have to consider whether each new dino is worth the £1.50.
We’d guess that if you’re interested in this Feathered Species Pack for Jurassic World: Evolution 2, then you’d have spent a decent bit of time with the base game already. And you should therefore already be in a place where you are either sold – or not – on more content. After a good couple of years since first release though, this one is starting to wane a little, but thankfully, the joy that some of these feathered beasts bring just about makes up for the dampening of enthusiasm.
If you want to fill your park with something a bit different to the norm, you are well sorted here. Honestly, we can’t get over how delightful some of these additions to Jurassic World Evolution 2 are.
So what do we have? Well, in a word, four feathered souls who cover omnivore, insectivore and carnivore scenarios in the Yutyrannus, the Jeholopterus; the Deinocheirus and the bushy-tailed, Sinosauropteryx.
We’re going to start with that of our new favourite animal in the whole of Jurassic World: Evolution 2 – the diminutive Jeholopterus. An anurognathid pterosaur, this little guy is about as close as you are going to get to a modern-day bat; dark colourings, big wide ears and a wingspan of just short of a metre in length. That may seem fairly big, but in the grand scheme of Jurassic World Evolution 2, that’s teeny tiny, particularly when you put Jeholopterus up against bigger animals.
You won’t want to do that though as this one is quite happy flying around, feeding off insects and getting on with his day. Once you’ve got Jeholopterus in your park, you won’t ever look back.
The same could be said for Deinocheirus. Coming in at near 4 metres in height, some 11 metres in length and weighing in on the scales – if you have scales beefy enough – at 6-odd tonnes, this omnivore is a beast.
Powerful claws are front and centre, and we’re guessing this would be mostly used for defence purposes, as working through flora and fauna for food requires little effort. Out of the four dinosaurs included in the Feathered Species pack, Deinocherirus is probably our least favourite, but that’s due more to the quality of competition more than anything else.
See, rounding off the pack are a couple of carnivorous species – the Sinosauropteryx and the Yutyrannus.
As the name alludes to, the latter is a fearsome predator; a distant cousin of the most famous T-rex. But don’t think for a minute that because this one has some fluffy features running down its back and tail, it is any less fearsome. Happily working pack hunts, stick a group of Yutyrannus anywhere in your park and you’ll be in for some serious control work.
Finally we have Sinosauropteryx and whilst we can group this one with Yutyrannus, in reality, they are very different ends of the carnivore spectrum. Preferring to live off small lizards, these speedy little bushy-tailed guys are probably the best suited to the Feathered Species pack, as it was their discovery back in 1996 that started the whole ‘Did dinosaurs have feathers?’ debate. Seems fitting that Frontier have included these beauties in the collection.
We’re not sure how much longer Jurassic World Evolution 2 can continue providing gamers with new park additions, but if the Feathered Species pack proves to be the final expansion, it goes down as a good one. There’s not too much to get involved in here, focusing fully on feathered dinos, but when they are as varied as this bunch, there’s not too much to dislike. If anything, the Jurassic World Evolution 2: Feathered Species Pack should be picked up on sheer cuteness overload alone.