Jurassic World Aftermath Review
The Park Is Open Once Again
Video game adaptations of blockbuster films can be hit or miss, but one of the stronger narrative elements of Jurassic World Aftermath is that it reveals more of what happened between the events of Jurassic World and Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom. Hiding and running from dinosaurs in virtual reality is as terrifying as you might expect, but there are frustrating elements of this game that break the immersion. Still, Jurassic Park fans will find plenty to love about Jurassic World Aftermath, from seeing impressively large dinosaurs up close to some fan-favorite voice cameos. Keep reading to check out our full Jurassic World Aftermath review and see if this Jurassic Park Oculus Quest game is worth the investment.
There's a Fine Line Between Stealth & Tediousness
Right off the cuff, Jurassic World Aftermath markets itself as a stealth game. This is very important to keep in mind as the majority of the gameplay is designed around navigating through semi-destroyed labs while hiding from dinosaurs, namely velociraptors. When caught, you can try to make a beeline for a locker or a ventilation shaft where you'll be safe, but the raptors are unbelievably fast, and you'll only be able to sprint for a short time. Staying hidden is the best choice, but this can lead to literal minutes of just hiding under a table while a raptor paces back and forth. At times, you can activate a radio or an alarm to serve as a distraction, but you need to be sure to scope these out. It's gratifying when you are able to move forward, but it slows down the game to a grinding halt, making these sequences a bit more frustrating than they need to be.
In between stealthily moving from one area to another, you'll be solving puzzles and listening to recordings as your contact, Dr. Mia Everett (voiced by Laura Bailey) guides you to where to go via radio. Though the stealth mechanics of this game can be a detriment to the pacing, there is one aspect of Jurassic World Aftermath that is incredible: the sound design. The audio in this game is some of the best I've ever listened to in a VR experience.
Hear Every Dinosaur Vocalization in Jurassic World Aftermath
Directional audio has become more and more important when selling the immersive factor of video games, and Jurassic World Aftermath brilliantly uses sound to bring this world to life. Whether it's the distant footsteps of a velociraptor pacing a couple of rooms over or the breath of a dinosaur just around the corner, there are countless moments where the audio is just as important as the visual when it comes to world-building. If you've always wondered what it's like to be stalked and chased by hungry dinosaurs, Jurassic World Aftermath definitely delivers.
If you happen to be a fan of John William's original score, you'll be pleased that much of the music in Jurassic World Aftermath is taken directly from the original Jurassic Park films. The score is brilliant and does a great job of highlighting some of the key narrative scenes in the game. While Dr. Mia Everett is telling you about her work as a geneticist on Isla Nublar or revealing new information to you, the music will often pick up, giving you the authentic Jurassic Park experience that so many of us grew up with.
How Many Dinosaurs Are In Jurassic World Aftermath?
Though Jurassic World Aftermath Part 1 has a limited number of dinosaurs, Part 2 opens up the world even more and allows you to come in contact with everything from a triceratops to even the famous tyrannosaurus rex. The watercolor art style of this game is a far cry from the tone of the films, but once you put the headset on, the dinosaurs become a very logical extension of this world. Though the exact number of dinosaurs is still limited from what you might see in a feature film, there's a nice mix of longnecks, prehistoric birds, and hunting carnivores to keep any dino fan pleased.
The Voice Cast Gives Jurassic World Aftermath a Cinematic Feel
The best parts of this game are definitely the audio, and the impressive voice cast is part of that. Laura Bailey, who was famously the voice of Abby in 2020's The Last of Us Part II, is Dr. Mia Everett, a fellow survivor of a plane crash that occurred as you're arriving at Isla Nublar. Jeff Goldblum himself reprises the role of Dr. Ian Malcolm, educating you on the hubris of mankind and the nature of chaos in a series of audiotapes. Jurassic Park film veteran BD Wong also returns to voice his role of Dr. Henry Wu, and Steve Ward and Ian O'Donnell also offer their voice talents to the cast of Jurassic World Aftermath.
In a game where you're often hiding from velociraptors or running to the next area, it's a pleasant change of pace when you can relax and listen to the story as Dr. Everett talks to you and reveals more information about what's really going on in the Isla Nublar labs. A radio personality narrator can make or break a video game if it's not done well, and Laura Bailey brings wonderful range to her character that makes you feel right at home in the dinosaur-infested halls of Jurassic World Aftermath.
Is Jurassic World Aftermath Worth the Investment?
Despite its hangups, Jurassic World Aftermath has some incredible scenery and really fun elements that are worth exploring. The virtual reality headset especially lends a unique point of view when exploring pitch-dark tunnels with a flickering flashlight or keeping your head on a literal swivel as you lookout for the next velociraptor attack. Additional narrative scenes including Jurassic Park acting legends Jeff Goldblum and BD Wong help to further flesh out the universe of Jurassic Park, making this a great game for fans of that franchise. The game does get a bit repetitive and fetch quests will artificially inflate the runtime of what could be a more compact and tightly written story, but for those with some patience, this is a great title to play on Oculus Quest, especially if you want a game that you can quickly jump into and out of without committing an entire afternoon to it.