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iPad  header logo

Jurassic Park: The Game 2 HD


For: iPad

65 million years and a month in the making

Product: Jurassic Park: The Game 2 HD | Developer: Telltale Games | Publisher: Telltale Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Action, Adventure, Film/ TV tie- in | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Jurassic Park: The Game 2 HD iPad, thumbnail 1
One of the advantages of splitting a game up into separate episodes is that you can listen to fan feedback between releases, tweaking things that players liked and fixing bits that critics hated.

It's like the TV show Lost. At the beginning of season three the show-runners jarringly introduced a pair of unlikeable, self-stereotyping jerks called Nikki and Paulo. Fans detested the duo, and made their feelings known with venomous comments and reduced viewer numbers.

The show's creators heard the ruckus online and quickly did something about it. Seven episodes later the couple was killed off - in a brutal buried-alive double murder, no less. Perhaps as a "we heard you"-style wink to the audience.

Triassic

It would be great if Telltale could listen to our complaints about its disappointing take on dino movie Jurassic Park, and introduce some changes in the following three chapters. But sadly that isn't the case: all four games are done and dusted (you can play them right now on Xbox 360), and we're just waiting from them to drop on iOS.

So episode two's action scenes are still barely-interactive movies, which occasionally need to be nudged in the right direction with a tap, a scribble, or a gesture. You'll watch characters run from dinosaurs and wrestle with a falling helicopter and get into a knife fight with a feisty pendejo, and all you need do is tap along to the on-screen prompts.

And the intervening moments are still about eyeballing your surroundings and tapping on every available hotspot until you hit pay-dirt, which will let you move on to the next scene. These sections don't require puzzle-solving finesse per se - just the patience to find the button that will push the adventure along.

Jurassic

There's only one bit that actually counts as an intuitive, logical puzzle. The sort of problem-solving cleverness that we play Telltale games for. In this episode you've got to fix up a busted rollercoaster to ride it to safety. It's actually about thinking what to do, and tapping on buttons for logical reasons. 

And then it's back to another inane and prompted action sequence. Fitting that it would be on a rollercoaster, though, as you have absolutely no choice in the direction or consequences of the scene (other than dying and being forced to start again).

It's certainly a tense and enjoyable set-piece, but at the end of the day it's about as passive as a CGI cut-scene.

Cretaceous

The reason we're back on Isla Nublar, though, is to advance the story from episode one. We left off with Gerry and daughter Jess being held at gunpoint, and now we step into the size nine boots of a mercenary group who are swooping in on a chopper to rescue the pair.

The story is generally a strong point of the game. The dialogue is often quite well-written, though better in the moments of downtime, when we learn more about the characters, than the silly overwrought action mush. The voice acting is strong, too. At least when it's not being drowned out by the sound of a helicopter rotor.

And the presentation is also impressive. Characters - both of the human and extinct lizard variety - look great, and the swelling orchestral score never fails to give the odd goosebump. Typical Telltale problems rear their ugly head though - it often suffers from stutters and freezes, even on the iPad 2.

Extinct

Much like before, Jurassic Park's second episode uses this presentation, some nods to the movie trilogy, and many tense action sequences to create an exciting dinosaur thrill-ride. But with only the occasional button-prompt and too few puzzle sequences, you're getting a very hollow, passive experience that demands very little.

Casual gamers who just want to watch dinosaurs chase people without having to think too hard might find a little enjoyment in this hour and twenty minute app (we timed it). But if you're looking for anything of substance, you won't find it here.
 
Jurassic Park: The Game 2 HD
Reviewer photo
Mark Brown | 22 December 2011
While episode two has some better puzzles than before, Jurassic Park is still a barely-interactive rollercoaster ride that's more about watching pretty cutscenes than actually playing a game. With its premium price tag, it's very tough to recommend it
 
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