Jurassic Park: The Game Preview

What happened to Dennis Nedry's can of stolen dino science? Telltale's Jurassic Park adventure has your answers.

If you ever wondered what happened to that Barbasol can full of stolen dinosaur embryos, Telltale has just the adventure game for you. Jurassic Park: The Game picks up after Dennis Nedry gets a face full of Dilophosaurus spit (also, eaten) and drops the can, which, it turns out, has a locating device inside. So the plot of the game runs partly parallel to the 1993 movie; at one point, for instance, you'll see the last chopper out of Isla Nublar flying Dr. Grant et al to safety.

Frills and spills.

It also deals with what happens to the park after the events of the film (fans might recall the second film takes place on a different island). Except for Gerry Harding, the park's chief veterinarian and a minor part in the first movie, all of the characters are original. As the game begins, we join Miles, who had been waiting for Nedry to deliver the embryos, and Nima, a former Isla Nublar native hired as a guide, as they arrive at the site of Nedry's abandoned jeep, which is balanced on a ledge in Dilophosaurus territory.

The game takes the form of a point-and-click-style adventure in 3D environments, laced with cutscenes and dialogue options. It combines slower, puzzle-based sections and quick-time-like action in the same vein as cinematic adventure Heavy Rain. Mark Darin, one of the lead designers, says Heavy Rain had "a lot of influence" on Telltale's approach to Jurassic Park: The Game. "I like the way they told a story," he says, though notes he found it occasionally "tedious in the controls."

The can is nowhere to be found around the jeep, leaving Nima, a tracker and smuggler by trade, to decipher clues left in the shape of footprints, broken glass, a gnawed corpse, and the like. There's no direct steering of a character around the environment; instead, you select the area you want to investigate and then find and examine the items within.

The clue finding is followed by an action sequence; when they are inevitably attacked by dinosaurs, Nima has to get into the jeep, start it, and drive off before being spat on or chewed up. This is accomplished via quick-time prompts, with a combination of left bumper press and analog stick twirl, for instance. The scene plays out differently according to player skill, with allowances for greater or lesser degrees of success, though the player character can also die. In that case, he or she will be respawned a few steps back in the sequence.

There's no place like dome.

With the likeable Back to the Future game recently under its belt, Telltale should be comfortable adapting another much-loved sci-fi flick. Alan Johnson, Telltale's head of PR and social media, says the studio isn't about cheap cash-ins based on popular non-game properties (there's a Walking Dead tie-in game in the works, too). "We're not just slapping logos on things," he says. Jurassic Park: The Game will draw on the movie's original soundtrack and iconic sound effects, such as the T. rex roar and Dilophosaurus screech.

It'll also flesh out areas of the island that get only fleeting mentions in the film, such as the park rides and a marine facility for water dinos. The game is coming to the PC and Mac in episodic downloadable form from November 15, with the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 releases to follow. Though Johnson says Telltale is still "very committed to episodic games," the Xbox 360 will be receiving a full retail version; that is, all four episodes, each a few hours long, on the same disc.

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Discussion

29 comments
vsnake48
vsnake48

I wasn't too sure about this point and click gameplay but after seeing some of the vids for Jurassic Park I'm really impressed! I can't wait for this

psxboy3
psxboy3

I had... and i think still have the SNES version of JP loved it as a kid and hoping this game doesn't disappoint.

GreyFox1980
GreyFox1980

I purchased the Telltale Games Back to the Future series bundle on PSN and was greatly disappointed with the "point and click" gameplay. I will not be making the same mistake twice. While the story of Back to the Future was decent the controls felt awkward and sluggish. If a Jurassic Park game is going to succeed, it needs to have an Uncharted-like approach to puzzles and environment design and a Metal Gear Solid feel for stealth and strategy (not to mention a huge budget and a couple years development). Unfortunately for this release none of these attributes are Telltale Games' forte. I love Jurassic Park but cinematic cut-scenes are not enough for this to translate well.

GODSPEEDseven
GODSPEEDseven

I'm seriously hoping they will get this game right. I've always been a fan of Jurassic Park. The movies made it feel as though there really was this dino park on these Costa Rican Islands; while it could appeal to kids, it was serious enough and had enough 'mature' humor to entertain older ones as well.. I hope they've given this video game that same 'touch'.

MrAWESOME7
MrAWESOME7

Please be good! Let's keep our fingers crossed!

DAMSOG
DAMSOG

The cash register will be the determining factor if/when this game succeeds, a point and click would scarcely get a mention if not for the likes of Heavy Rain.

TheTenth10
TheTenth10

we need to get back to story driven games, FPS and racers with their fast paced unforgiving gameplay killed the fun and atmosphere in games

gamer_x_99
gamer_x_99

movie games tend to suck lets see if this can change that trend.

Hoops0123
Hoops0123

@yoda101280, dude i remember that game to i loved it. glad you brought that up those are some good memories with that old sega

Crash_WL
Crash_WL

He looks like Cole McGrath...?

yoda101280
yoda101280

Heh, I remember the old JP games back on Sega. I was just a kid then, didn't have a sega but my uncle did and I used to play his all the time whenever I went to visit. :)

RDrayMan101
RDrayMan101

"We're not just slapping logos on things".... suuuuuuure... what was your previous game based on? another financially successful film series? yeahhhh..... and i agree that the guy looks like cole from infamous.

covenan
covenan

This is Jurrasic Park Games..and i have all of JP game since Genesis Era(where that -rex head says SEGaa rrrrr)^^,MUST BUY for me

SWATMAN4
SWATMAN4

Has anyone else noticed that the guy in the first picture looks like Cole from Infamous?

ezjohny
ezjohny

I don't like the "game mechanics", it's going to be interesting on what people say when they play Jurassic Park, It's based on the push button theory, besides that the game looks good, this is my opinion!

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

Very much looking forward to this. Finally, we have what looks like a good JP game.

chechak7
chechak7

it's seems great story game and i like 1993 movie

smwat
smwat

Hope its fun, I loved the movies/books and past games have been Meh But This looks like the first one that Might be done right.

Nikore
Nikore

"We're not just slapping logos on things." Finally, SOMEONE gets it!

Dreammosaic
Dreammosaic

I am eager to try this game but the story is making no sense. They tracked the can to the jeep, with the locator inside, but then have to spend time searching for clues? Why not just use the locator again? If it is broken, then how did they get right to the jeep?! Hopefully the article left out a few steps in the process. Maybe I am over-thinking things.

metallic
metallic

Back to the future was good. I hope telltale keeps up with this trend of movies peope know and love turned into adventure games. Jurassic Park is one of my favorite movies of all time and I'm really looking forward to this game.

endorbr
endorbr

Well Back to the Future turned out to be a pretty good game so fingers crossed on this one.

PcGamingRig
PcGamingRig

im skeptical about this, but im hoping it is awesome. gaming needs more dinosaurs.