Jurassic Park: The Game Preview
Wanna know how old I am? Here’s a hint: “Jurassic Park” was big when I was in high school, and I even remember playing the theme in band one time. …oh, shut up. Anyway, the reason we all remember that movie – especially the first one – is because of the combined sense of awe and fear. We had quite literally never seen anything like that before but soon, anxiety and foreboding added to our amazement, and the epic picture became ingrained in our brains. They’ve tried to turn these films into video games before, but the results have been mediocre at best. This is why we’re always leery when we hear about another “Jurassic Park” game. But you know, maybe Telltale Games can pull it off; they seem to do just fine with movie licenses – Back to the Future seems to be very good – and all indications are that Jurassic Park: The Game will turn out very well.
The game will act like a direct sequel to the first movie, when that chubby thief Dennis Nedry stole some dinosaur embryos and died trying to get them off the island. But whatever happened to those embryos…? That and many other questions will be answered in this new adventure, which appears to have a heavy emphasis on story and atmosphere. There will be many dinosaurs in the game and while not all are deadly, the ones that are can end your life quickly and violently. In fact, based on the information we have, along with that teaser trailer below, dying in this game will be downright nasty. You might get crushed or mangled, or maybe you’ll just get eaten. It seems Telltale will implement a style of gameplay found in Heavy Rain and other blockbuster titles: those button prompts that test your reaction time and knowledge of the controller. When being chased, you might hit the wrong button…and then you might be dinner.
It’s going to be that great atmosphere and environment that should draw us in; it’s about crouching somewhere in the darkness, knowing that death is nigh. Telltale is taking the chaotic situation briefly depicted at the end of the original film and running with it: the main characters and the kids just barely escape, but they leave behind an island with no security and dinosaurs running amok. And that’s where we’ll find ourselves at the start of The Game. Will it be all about escape or are we somehow supposed to stop the rampage? Well, the latter possibility doesn’t really seem realistic, now does it? How do you stop a T-Rex? A gun? Doubtful. We’re willing to bet the environments themselves won’t be especially large (this is a downloadable quest, after all) so we’re not expecting much in the way of free-roaming, but we’ll gladly sacrifice that for a captivating story and white knuckles.
The key to immersion in this sort of game involves ours surroundings, and the visuals and sound seem to be capable of delivering the goods. Over the years, downloadable efforts have become more and more impressive in terms of technical competence, and we’re hoping Telltale will continue to raise the bar. Perhaps it’s best that Jurassic Park: The Game isn’t a full big-budget production; this might end up being a worthwhile experience for something like twenty or thirty bucks. Finally, here’s a snippet from the press release:
“… a desperate smuggler infiltrates Isla Nublar, hunting the canister and its precious cargo. She collides – literally – with park staff trying to evacuate. They are trapped together as the park collapses, left behind with the newly-freed dinosaurs. When InGen launches a perilous rescue operation, mercenaries, saboteurs, and survivors are thrown together in the struggle to escape the island. They confront T. Rex, Velociraptors and other dinosaurs in spectacular showdowns. As human agendas clash, secrets of the park are exposed, and a new threat emerges: an eerie, nocturnal predator stalking the group, hunting them relentlessly across the island.”
2/21/2011 Ben Dutka