With a certain inevitability, Frontier Developments have released the first batch of DLC for Jurassic World Evolution 2, and whilst it’s a little light on content compared to what they ultimately did for the first game, it’s the patch that came with it for the base game that actually makes it more interesting, and likely to be worth the low entry price. In the Early Cretaceous pack you’ll find four new dinosaurs that predate the core ones from the game: the Minmi and Wuerhosaurus which are both land dwelling; the Dsungaripterus for the aviary; and the Kronosaurus to place in your lagoon attraction. All come complete with the usual codex entry as well as snippets of audio within the game that the lead characters spit out when you first hatch a viable specimen. Having that makes them feel like an integral part of the offering, and will definitely help with the pronunciation guesswork, but the creatures use is a tad limited.
Each of the new Early Cretaceous arrivals can only be introduced to your parks in Sandbox mode, so dropping them into the main campaign or within Chaos Theory to add variety is a no-go. It also adds the complication that if you’ve not built a sandbox park there’s some work to do before you can access the dinosaurs. Couple this with the fact they’re land, sea and air based, and you may discover that lack of research or progress in Chaos Theory or Challenges modes locks Dsungaripterus and Kronosaurus out because they need the aviary and lagoon enclosures researching. It’s a decent prod to go and see what the rest of Jurassic World Evolution 2 has to offer and spend some time levelling up your skills, and likely only noticed by newer players picking up the pack with the base title. Those newcomers will also not realise some of the changes that have been made that returning players might have a bit of fun with.
The patch that landed about a month after launch brought the story mission maps to Sandbox mode, meaning that you can now build full parks within some of the more extreme environments that offered up, as well as letting them sprawl a bit further than the main campaign allowed. There’s also the weather effects that come with the regions, and playing the abandoned poachers site in Canada with the snowstorms makes for an interesting experience as everything gets covered and the response vehicles seize up. Quite why the Early Cretaceous dino’s don’t freeze in this environment I’m not sure, but it’s a pretty impressive sight to see. All of the new creatures also get the cohabiting stats and data that the core dinosaurs have, and they’ll fit nicely into most situations without the need for tweaking habitats too much. The Kronosaurus in particular is just hatch and go, as long as you’ve a plentiful fish supply to keep them happy.
At £5.99 for 4 dinosaurs which (if we’re brutally honest) are just cosmetics, it’ll feel like a steep price. However, given the re-treading of all the well known monsters in the core game modes, it’s nice to be able to create and release something different in these Early Cretaceous creatures. For the park creators that like the low level detail and hunger for building new zones for specific eras of dinosaurs, this is likely to be the first of a few DLC packs that’ll help realise those dreams, and the variety of habitat types is there to make the most of the new mechanics Jurassic World Evolution 2 introduced.
A PS5 code for the Jurassic World Evolution 2 Early Cretaceous DLC was provided by Frontier Develops PR team, and the pack is out now for around £5.99 on PlayStation, Xbox and PC.
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