Frontier Developments has shared fresh details on its dino-park management sim sequel Jurassic World Evolution 2, talking up the likes of improved dinosaur behaviour, a new scientist role, habitant enhancements, and more in the first of a series of developer videos.
The original Jurassic World Evolution, which released in 2018, was an atmospheric, if ultimately rather shallow take on the classic theme park management sim formula, tasking players with building and maintaining their own dinosaur wonderland by laying out exhibits, tending to visitors needs, and researching new amenities - all while ensure the attractions didn't rampage.
Frontier has already teased a few of the new features coming to Jurassic World Evolution 2 later this year, but its inaugural developer diary video goes a little deeper into some of the elements its hoping will convince punters to delve into their wallets a second time around.
As far a modes go, Jurassic World Evolution will feature a new campaign - telling an original story that picks up after the events of 2018 movie Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - alongside the previously announced Chaos Theory mode, said to reimagine pivotal moments from the Jurassic World film franchise. There's also a Challenge mode to test players park-building skills and the self-explanatory Sandbox mode.
As for new gameplay elements, Jurassic World Evolution 2 will mix things up a little by introducing a range of different environments - from dense forests to scorched deserts - each bringing unique environmental challenges that players will need to account for when designing their parks, including bespoke weather such as sandstorms and snow.
Players will also have the opportunity to manage an expanded range of (now colour-customisable) dinosaurs, with flying and marine reptiles joining the first game's land-dwellers. Frontier says it's spent time adding new, "more authentic" dinosaur behaviours and interactions, including dynamic hunting and fighting systems, alongside more in-depth social and environmental behaviours.
Jurassic World Evolution 2 also aims to broaden its predecessor's management options with features such as the new scientist role. Scientists are responsible for all research and dinosaur creation in the park, the latter letting players manipulate dino DNA to impact the chances of certain traits (such as resilience to disease) appearing. Overworked scientists will gradually become more stressed until they snap and sabotage the park.
Additionally, there's some added complexity to dinosaur enclosures. A new dynamic territory system can, for instance, cause certain dinosaurs to fight over resources within a shared habitat (while others might be perfectly happy together), and players will need to be aware of each creature's shifting territory to ensure their needs are met.
That's said to work in conjunction with a new feeding system that will see herbivores chowing down on their surroundings instead of using the troughs of old. As such, players are now required to make use of the sequel's new paleobotany options and decorate enclosures with the prehistoric plants each dinosaur type will need.
Elsewhere, looking after visitors becomes a little more convoluted as guests are now placed into one of four interest groups - general, adventure, nature, and luxury - and players can earn more money by providing the types of attractions that best suit each group's tastes.
And finally for now, those that love to tinker with their park's aesthetics will no longer be lumbered with the uninspiring concrete-slab facilities that permeated the first game. Each building in Jurassic World Evolution 2 will feature a range of different selectable models, as well as an adjustable colour palette. Additionally, the sequel introduces placeable scenery items and paintable surface textures to further customise parks.
Whether any of this stuff can bring some sorely needed depth to the original game's flimsy management action remains to be seen, but Frontier will no doubt share more as Jurassic World Evolution 2's late-2021 release on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC draws nearer.