Point and Quick.
With the recent release of the Jurassic Park series on Bluray, it seems everyone wants to get a piece of the dinosaur action. Telltale have stepped in to provide an interactive Dino adventure for iPad that promises much.
Looking at screenshots, you would be understandably excited by the premise of a good looking Jurassic Park game. Unfortunately, it’s clear from the beginning that this hasn’t been polished enough to provide a decent experience. The iPad 2 has a lot of grunt behind it, so it’s odd that this game doesn’t seem able to cope with the hardware well.
The game is set on the Isla Nublar island from the films, but with the movie’s characters no where to be seen. Instead we have a Palaeontologist/Vet and his daughter, a woman with a shady past sent on a secret mission and a supporting cast of characters who make up the usual bunch of stereotypes (hard nut, coward etc).
Despite Telltale’s pedigree of Point and Click games, this is actually more of a quicktime event driven title with the odd decision making scene and a few logical puzzles thrown in. Right from the start you’ll be avoiding dinosaurs in a flash-forward from later in the game that serves as an introduction to the controls. From there it’s on with the story and in to a mix of puzzle events.
The tasks are certainly varied, but the quicktime style jars with the more traditional adventure. That’s not to say they aren’t welcome, in fact they’re pretty exciting at times, helped by the fact that you’re often being chased by giant dinosaurs. The issue is that there should be more of them rather than the less interactive movie elements. But it’s the puzzle elements that let the side down here, often being insultingly easy. They feel like an excuse to move the story on.
I did find the story fairly engaging, the characters are interesting enough to stick with throughout the game, helped by some fairly good voice acting and, of course, the dinosaurs that so often steal the show. It’s this, more than anything, that has seen me through to the end.
So it’s a disappointment to report that parts of of the game are fundamentally broken. Initially I waited for a fix from Telltale (which is why the game is being reviewed now, rather than when it was released) but although we’re now on version 1.2, the game is still too shaky to be played for any length of time before it either freezes, crashes or the scenes slow down enough to make the game unplayable. There have been some improvements and it’s not quite as bad as before, but it’s still something that needs to be fixed before Jurassic Park can show off its true power properly.
Still, I have a quandary with reviewing Jurassic Park. The parts that Telltale get right; the quicktime events and the odd puzzle, plus the decent storyline, are all well worth experiencing. The iPad 2 technical issues and puzzle elements that don’t work hinder the better parts of the game enough to raise caution for anyone looking to buy this on Apple’s tablet. If you love the series then you might be able to overlook these issues, if not it’s a game change
- Sound: 10
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 5
- Longevity: 4
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