Jurassic Park: The Game PC Review

viernes, 18 de noviembre de 2011 , Posted by admin at 9:19

Jurassic Park: The Game PC Review

Strong storytelling bushwhacked by poor controls.


Telltale Games is making a big multiplatform push with Jurassic Park: The Game, simultaneously launching on Windows, Mac, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and iOS. After playing through the four-episode, roughly 10-hour adventure on PC, one thing stood out: Jurassic Park feels like a game meant to be played on another platform -- specifically the touchscreen-controlled iPad. It's well written, ties in perfectly with the film franchise, and offers some truly frantic T-Rex-infused moments, but clunky controls and a few annoying bugs derail the interactive cinematic experience on PC.

In Jurassic Park: The Game, players return to the ill-fated Isla Nublar to experience the events portrayed in Steven Spielberg's 1993 film from the perspective of a handful of new characters. Remember that dino-embryo-packed Barbasol can Newman (actor Wayne Knight playing Biosyn spy Dennis Nedry) tried to escape the island with? You're still trying to get it as Newman's back-up plan, a merc named Nima. You'll also play as a park vet, Harding, and his teenage daughter, Jess -- both who want nothing more than to get the hell off of Isla Nublar -- as well as two security team members from the mainland sent to rescue InGen employees left stranded at the park.

Pretty standard, right? To my delight, these seemingly cookie-cutter digital characters rapidly evolve into fully-realized people. The greatest strength of Jurassic Park: The Game is its writing, and Telltale has outdone itself with characters that develop along with the Lombard Street-like twists and turns of the storyline. Every character in the game has traits that are good, bad, and somewhere in-between, and they all come out as you fight for your lives on an island filled with dinosaurs hell-bent on making you lunch.

Good guy park vet Harding? He's got a failed marriage and is guilty of ignoring his children. Perky teenager Jess? She's a klepto that's got a rap sheet for shoplifting. Cold-blooded mercenary Nima? She's got old ties to the island and her motivation for snatching that Barbasol can runs deep. The two light-hearted security team members? Harcore killers. The franchise's famous T-Rex? Poor guy's got a family to feed.

I kid, I kid.

With the solid setup, characters and writing (supplemented by top-notch voice acting), Jurassic Park: The Game has the potential to be an intelligent, interactive thrill-ride. It often goes off the tracks on PC because of its less-than-perfect controls. Equal parts point-and-click adventure, puzzle solver, and holy-shit-run quick-time event, you'll spend a good chunk of time looking left-right-up-and-down for clues and items hidden in the jungle and the park's facilities. Simple puzzles will challenge you to put the info and items to good use, and you'd better figure things out quick, because the park's extinct residents are hungry. The quick-time events come fast and furious, and you'll be pushing keys rapid fire as your characters jump, duck, dive, run, and fight for their lives. If you're not a fan of QTEs, Jurassic Park: The Game definitely isn't for you.

Unfortunately, mouse and keyboard controls are imprecise, frequently making the QTEs a teeth-grinding exercise in repetition because the game has a habit for not properly reading your inputs. The errors lead to a city morgue's worth of corpses, and Telltale doesn't shy away from the gore, with characters getting eaten, crushed, electrocuted, stabbed, shot, you name it. Because the screams-of-horror-filled deaths happen so often and are so brutal, you can't help but laugh at the unintentional comedy. Not good for the game's sense of immersion.

Playing with a gamepad is an option, and it is an upgrade, but a handful of bugs also burrowed their way into the code, with random crashes and a disappearing controller arrow (tough to click on things without it) at the top of the list. Combined, the control issues and bugs make Jurassic Park a game that flip flops between exhilaration and frustration, immersion and aggravation.

While I've yet to sample Jurassic Park on the iPad, I've got a feeling touchscreen controls will go a long way in alleviating the issues I encountered on PC. Jurassic Park just feels like an iOS title, and it suffers on the PC because of it.

Jurassic Park: The Game Videos

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