There is no film, or any piece of media for that matter, more informative to my childhood than Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. In one masterstroke, Spielberg ushered in a new area of special effects and invented the Summer Blockbuster.
Between it and its sequel, the completely underrated Lost World (to hell with all y’all, I love that film to dino-bits), I’ve clocked over a hundred viewings of dino crises. I’ve even amounted to a dozen sitdowns with Jurassic Park III despite it being –as Malcolm would so eloquently put it – one big pile of shit.
I love all things Jurassic Park. I love dinosaurs. I especially love Spielberg’s key storytelling signature in which ordinary people are thrown into an extraordinary situation. That signature may be what makes the Jurassic Park movies so successful, even over Crichton’s source material – though the concept is rooted in a scientific ‘What If,’ Spielberg knew to place a heavier emphasis on the characters rather than the dino-jargon.
So I was Trepidation Rex when it came to another sequel, especially from a relatively untested director. JP3 had me convinced one of the most integral components to a good Jurassic Park film is parking Stevie’s magical beard behind the camera. Jurassic World has softened that opinion.
Game Pitch #486: Spiritual successor to Jaws Unleashed in which you control the Indominous Rex let loose in Jurassic World. You win the game when you eat every other dinosaur in the park, a weekend’s worth of tourists, and, as a bonus, Fat Pratt from Parks & Rec circa Season 1.
Life Finds a Way in Jurassic Park: Aftermath
One Fan’s Tinkering with CryEngine Brings Us Attractions So Astounding, the Whole World Will Want to Play It
The screens above are not from an official Jurassic Park game. It’s a painful truth, and, oh, how I wish it weren’t the case.
What you’re seeing is the one man effort of an intrepid modder that goes by “cindercrash.” What began in March 2013 as a way of familiarizing themselves with CryEngine spawned into a two year journey to recreate one of the most famous locales in movie history.
“Pet project” is better coined here than “full-on game,” however, since cindercrash’s goal is to only recreate a chunk of the environment and allow players to explore it. There are dangers, as anyone should expect to find on an island lousy with untamed and unleashed prehistoric creatures, but it’s not a shooter. You won’t be mowing down raptors.
But they can harm you. Just as in the original film, there’s an underlying horror to the grand adventure and it’ll be enough to keep you on your toes as you search the park grounds, now left abandoned, on Isla Numblar. We’ve covered fan projects attempting to virtually rebuild Jurassic Park before, but none have looked so enticing.
Despite 22 years of gaming tech, exactly one developer has ever thought to make an open-world Jurassic Park game (that was Trespasser, by the by, a PC game still supported by the modding community to this very day even though it released in 1998). But who knows? It’s a new era and we actually have a new film to look forward to this Summer. The cogs must be turning somewhere behind the scenes and, hopefully, today’s devs look to Aftermath for some inspiration.
Unfortunately for us, there’s no clear timeline on when the world at large will get a taste of Jurassic Park: Aftermath, either. It is the efforts of one modder’s spare time we’re talking about, after all. Feel free to check on its progress right here. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep dreaming of taking a stroll through the park.
Never mind this isn’t about video games. Put your eyes to this trailer. Then replay it endlessly until June 12.
Jurassic World SDCC Print/Online Variant
by Mark Englert
Artist’s Notes: “Nobody could’ve predicted that I’d have collaborated directly with a studio and movie director on a teaser poster for a Jurassic Park film. That’s, that’s chaos theory.”