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Jurassic World Evolution: Complete Edition Game review

Game review 11 November 2020, 11:11

author: Adam Zechenter

Jurassic World Evolution: Complete Edition Review - Dinotopia on Couch

There's nothing better than a little boring game that hits Switch. While on a PC or PS4 I wouldn't reach for Jurassic World Evolution, this game is perfect for short sessions.

The review is based on the Switch version.

PROS:
  1. the game looks so-so, but it runs smoothly, and the occasional frame dips don't spoil the impression;
  2. includes all the content released during the game's development, also paid;
  3. Complete Edition means dozens of hours with dinosaurs;
  4. a bit monotonous gameplay in Jurassic World Evolution is ideal for short sessions, and thus also for Switch.
CONS:
  1. low resolution means you can't see much sometimes;
  2. ugly graphics spoil the charm of the game, which partly comes down to admiring the dinosaurs – but this is a subjective matter.

Boring games are a great diversion. From time to time, I like to reach for a game that doesn't require complete engagement, allowing me to listen to podcasts, or watch a TV show. The thing is, I mostly like these games on the Switch, a console that can be taken to any corner of the house, turned on and off on the fly, rather than PC, where I'm distracted by social media and tons of other things.

Jurassic World Evolution is a simple strategy game that's perfect for just that kind of frivolous fun. It doesn't require any special creativity from us, nor does it pose any significant challenges. So I'm even happier it was released on Nintendo. I deflected off it on the PC; on the Switch, though, I finally found the motivation to give it a chance.

WHAT'S THE SCORE ABOUT?

The rating you see above the review concerns the quality of the port of Jurassic World Evolution to Nintendo Switch. It's not the score of the game itself – you can read more about the impressions below, but that's not what the score is about.

Back to the past

The fascination with dinosaurs, one of the most fascinating creatures that walked the Earth, continues for another decade – and the regular returns of Hollywood blockbusters about Jurassic Parks devastated by giant lizards are proof of this. It's no different in games. You will find more than 60 games about dinosaurs in our encyclopedia, and that's not even all of them.

Games based on popular franchises are rarely magnificent works, unfortunately. But prehistoric reptiles do not have to be ashamed of their appearance in Jurassic World Evolution, because this is one of the best productions with dinosaurs – and certainly in recent years. The work of Frontier Developments has several drawbacks, but on the switch they can even become... advantages.

JURASSIC WORLD EVOLUTION – MINIREVIEW

In this review, we are not evaluating Jurassic World Evolution; we are focusing on the quality of port on the Switch. If you do not know if the game is worth reaching for, read the few words below.

Jurassic World Evolution is a dream come true for probably all the kids in the 90s. – in the game, we run a zoo with dinosaurs. Our duties include searching for fossils that contain the DNA of new dinos (and there are 68 of them in the Complete Edition), designing attractions for guests, taking care of the welfare of lizards, or discovering new tourist attractions.

Unlike Frontier Developments' previous game, Planet Coaster, which focused on the visual design of the park, Jurassic World Evolution focuses on dinosaurs. The reptiles have their needs, demand not only food or suitable terrain, but also don't like to spend time alone in the catwalks, and you need to distribute them reasonably (so that the larger ones don't eat the smaller ones). If we don't please our lizards, they'll run off and terrorize visitors to the park. It is a pity, however, that such accidents only slightly affect the gameplay, not posing any real challenge.

The JWE campaign takes us to subsequent islands where we have to develop Jurassic parks – which usually comes down to the same thing. True, the further we get, the more challenging it becomes, but the storms and other such obstacles aren't genuine threat. We don't have to worry about the profits either, because there's no shortage of cash. So the mainstay of the game is discovering new dinosaurs, buildings and admiring your parks.

The biggest advantage of the game is the atmosphere. The dialogs recorded by actors known from Jurassic World and beautiful animations of dinosaurs will especially hit home for people in love with dinosaurs and the original franchise. The biggest drawback is the fairly repetitive gameplay – at the same time, there's low level of difficulty.

My rating: 7/10

Diplodocus in 540p

Remember the Switcher, or the Witcher 3 for Switch? It pretty much looks like the game running in potato mode. It's similar with Jurassic World Evolution on the Switch. Porting a game to Nintendo required trimming the graphics and lowering the resolution. And this is good news, because it makes JWE run verty efficiently on the console. Occasional frame dips will make life difficult for quality lovers, but Switch owners have long been accustomed to compromises. The technical blemishes don't make it unplayable, though, because the game isn't very dynamic.

Unfortunately, the graphical downgrade is significant. The result? In a game, in which one of the most fun activities is following the majestic animals, it's just hard to it. The low resolution doesn't help, which makes most objects simply not very readable. Does it spoil the game? For me – not really. Sometimes, I just had to zoom-in to recognize the icon above the building, but that's more of a detail. This will be a different size of an issue for different players. Some of you won't mind, and other's will find it annoying. Graphical bells and whistles on hand-held consoles are a song of the future, either with increased hardware capabilities, or wide-spread, high-bandwidth streaming.

Jurassic World Evolution has fantastic controls – which should not be surprising, because the port on the consoles two years ago was already great in this respect. Controls using the pad are intuitive and convenient.

Boredomsaurus

Jurassic World Evolution was released on the Switch two years after the release of the game on PCs and stationary consoles. In the meantime, the developers supported their game not only with updates, but also with paid add-ons. The Complete Edition, as the Nintendo release is called, basically says it all. In the game you will find all the additional content, including the cherished DLC Return to Jurassic Park, in which we have a quest to rebuild the iconic, eponymous park from Spielberg's movies.

The question is: is it worth buying Jurassic World Evolution on the Switch? I briefly played the game on PC after the release, but I bounced off. The gameplay was a little too monotonous for me, and I was never a big dinosaur fan either. On the Nintendo console, however, the disadvantages of the game bother me less. So if you like relaxed gameplay, and you count dinosaurs instead of sheep when going to sleep, then yes, it's worth it. Otherwise, wait for a discount.

Adam Zechenter | Gamepressure.com

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