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SummaryMuch Underrated Game, a real sense of fear
The GoodThis game was ambitious, very ambitious, and that shows through. The concept of controlling an arm and picking objects up really does add to a sense of presence in the world. One that counts. The physics, when they work properly, add a great deal to the gameplay, after all there's nothing like pushing a car onto a dinosaur to kill it. The stereo sound is fantasic, sometimes the first hint you have of the dinosaur, is the sound of its breathing. Then you run, and without health packs to run to, it can get hairy, which is fantastic. Later games have ignored this, that in real life you don't get health packs, and this game reminds you.
This is backed upby the dinosaur AI, yes it has problems. However when it works, it really does, giving the feeling that the dinosaurs are indeed after your blood.
The BadOf course there are many faults with the game. I could list them, the funny AI (nothing like seeing a dinosaur run off a cliff in an act of sheer stupidity), the poor level design (really poor). These all add to create the effect of a game that began with high concepts, but did not get the time to realise them. Which is a shame, as the public looks at the game for the aesthetics first of all, which is where the game falls down on. Once you get past the poor elements, that game does have some magical moments, which cannot be recreated, due to the emergent nature of the dinosuars.
The most telling fault is the level design, really. There are sections are fiendishly complex, and the town level left me wandering backwards and forwards, only to be confronted with buildings which were out of scale with themselves and me. All problems which stem from an apparent rush job, which with more time the solid engine could overcome.
The most obvious flaw is the manipulation system, guns that can't reload, and which drop from the hand at the slightest touch, but hey, the game is an experiment in my view.
The Bottom LineThis game has to be used as a design example for the future. Only now (2003) are we seeing games truely looking to real physics engines again, this game was five years ahead of the pack. The sheer reality which the game gives is warrant of play, and many people gripe about it, but the game is an experiment in my view, and one that partially worked. It's a shame the engine was never used again (to my knowledge). So much work let down by last minute rushes, possibly due to the franchise nature of it being a Jurassic Park game. Which, it has almost nothing to do with, but never mind.
Play this game, for the experience, you may not be dissapointed. A classic game in my view for the sheer attempt of what it was trying to achieve.