10 Reasons Why We Need A Survival-Horror Jurassic Park Game
The Jurassic Park franchise has an opportunity to potentially create a great survival-horror video game. Here are some reasons why.
The survival-horror gaming genre experienced some of its biggest booms in mainstream popularity with the likes of Resident Evil back in the '90s. As a genre, it's obviously synonymous with zombies, monsters, and demons, but there's still potential for games to venture out further in terms of thematic setting.
Jurassic Park could offer such a premise, with the dinosaur theme being something that could potentially fit a survival-horror game like a glove. There's plenty of timeline to work with to tell inventive, yet isolated stories without stepping on any movies and different ways to approach the genre (first/third-person), so here's 10 reasons why need a survival-horror Jurassic Park game.
10 - The Extinction Of Dino Crisis
Capcom, as of now, still seems dead-set on refusing to acknowledge the '90s cult classic Resident Evil clone Dino Crisis. There have been rumors with a trademark filing in 2019 for the series and Capcom saying they intend to revive older IPs, but nothing is remotely concrete yet.
Should Dino Crisis continue to remain extinct, a Jurassic Park survival-horror game could easily fill that void as long as it's handled with care. The core dinosaur theme is already there, so as long as it's rated appropriately and developed by a team with a strong vision for making survival-horror games, this could be forgiven--at least in part--by fans of the forgotten series.
9 - Survival-Horror Resurgence
With Silent Hill being out of commission under Konami's stranglehold for ages now, the aforementioned RE franchise takes the lion's share of the spoils in that mainstream market. Given Resident Evil 6 proved to be a big disappointment and shook up faith in the series and Capcom, it took Resident Evil 7 and a series of remakes to redeem their name.
Along with other smaller games, RE and Capcom's overall redemption arc have helped push the genre back into the mainstream. With that said, perhaps now is as good a time as any to capitalize on the rise in popularity with survival-horror but expand with a separate IP, whether Capcom publishes/develops it or not.
8 - Jurassic Park As A Brand
While there are other IPs out there in the mainstream that are definitely more popular, the Jurassic Park brand isn't exactly a slouch. Though Fallen Kingdom disappointed critically, it still made a killing at the box office. If nothing else, it shows that it's still a big blockbuster brand name, and will at least hold onto the nostalgic legacy of the critically-acclaimed 1993 original.
Even though gaming is a different medium altogether, should a publisher and developer take on a licensed triple-A horror game with the rights of the IP, it'll still have some hefty name recognition going behind its hype--coupled with the fact it'd be exploring a new frontier in terms of genre.
7 - Alien: Isolation, But With Raptors
Alien: Isolation proved to be a surprise critical hit given that the IP has been used for gaming before but to little fanfare. It particularly did well critically with general audiences, as it provided one of the most harrowing experiences for a modern survival-horror game. The game succeeded in giving players an engrossing, terrifying, claustrophobic, and tense experience in being actively hunted by an apex predator in its element.
That game alone provides an excellent blueprint for a Jurassic Park game. The world's Velociraptors would make prime choices as ever-present hunters stalking the player character. Other dinosaurs should be included, but the intelligence, lethality (and popularity) would make perfect replacements for what the Xenomorph gave to Isolation.
6 - Current-Gen Hardware
With the current generation only recently having begun, the capabilities at developers' disposal are great. The PS5, XSX, and the new RTX GPUs are capable of incredible graphical and mechanical feats, increasing the possibilities of a game like this. Given what was possible with last gen's Resident Evil games on PS4/XBO, the potential here has a much higher ceiling.
Especially so if a JP game were to be developed and be exclusive to current-gen hardware since it wouldn't need to compensate for a last-gen version of a hypothetical game. The haptic button features on PS5 controls could make for fun features on a horror game like this. Accessibility is currently a major issue of this hardware for the general public, but over time something like this could be executed well.
5 - Indie Developers
While handing this off to Capcom's dev teams who've made themselves partly synonymous with the biggest horror titles, tackling this genre with a different franchise could benefit from looking for some indie outfits to take a stab at what would essentially be an "experimental" project.
Indie developers and publishers have put out a variety of cult-hit horror games, with some of them ending up becoming popular in the mainstream as well. For instance, Frictional Games were responsible for successes like Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Soma. Those proved to be blood-curdling for players, and while they don't necessarily need to do this kind of game, it's definitely an example of the capabilities the indie scene has.
4 - Good JP & Dinosaur Games Are Hard To Come By
Though dinosaurs are a seemingly endlessly relevant topic in pop culture despite being extinct for ~65 million years, it isn't reflected in gaming so much. Good Jurassic Park--and just dinosaur-themed games in general--are rare to nonexistent. There are some games in the indie department, but are mostly buggy or waiting their turn in Steam Early Access.
Prehistoric Kingdom is coming up on Early Access and hopefully turns out well, but it's an indie Park Simulator game, not horror. Injecting a dose of excitement in this scarcely-tapped genre could be done with a new twist on the formula through survival-horror and a widely-recognized franchise name, bringing their representation in gaming out of extinction.
3 - Use Novel Lore
The franchise started with author Michael Crichton's original novel, but also got The Lost World as a sequel. Despite Spielberg seemingly peer-pressuring him into writing a second book, the second movie hardly used it for reference, and, believe it or not, the books together actually have a good bit of lore to them. In their canon, there are five islands, known as the "Cinco Muertes" (Five Deaths) that were used in some fashion during the lead-up to building Jurassic Park in dinosaur cloning.
The five theatrical adaptations only acknowledged all five in an easter egg--and only ever using Nublar and Sorna as settings--so a game could theoretically craft an isolated story in between events of the movies that still expands the world the movies brought to the screen. It could prove exciting, opening up opportunities for unique environments and not-yet-seen species.
2 - Movie Scenes Show How It's Done
While the movies themselves aren't horror and--particularly with the last two--lean more into sci-fi action-thriller, the first two certainly demonstrated elements of horror. Perhaps the most iconic scenes being Tim and Lex hiding from the Velociraptors in the kitchen and the T-Rex breakout from the original, but even The Lost World: Jurassic Park had its moments.
The Raptors streaking through the tall grass and picking people off looked great, and the ones hiding from the T-Rex behind a waterfall, only for one to get snatched up and leave a bloody waterfall behind are also memorable. Those scenes can basically be a proof of concept for how a horror JP game could work.
1 - T-Rex "Mr. X/Nemesis"
While Raptors would make thrilling equivalents of the Xenomorph, should a game like this go more in the Resident Evil direction--or really just Dino Crisis--the T-Rex could be used as an equivalent for Mr. X and Nemesis in the remakes of RE2 and 3. The original Dino Crisis did something similar on the PS1, but a modern-day version of this would be anxiety-inducing in the best possible way within the context of survival horror.
It could be an insurmountable foe that makes both scripted and spontaneous appearances hunting the player through jungles. Players would need to hide and make high-stake escapes--and including nocturnal and jungle rain settings would add to the thrill.