Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis
by Universal Interactive
Now here's something you don't see everyday. An RTS on the PlayStation 2 and to add even more novelty to the mix it's all about controlling your very own dinosaur theme park. Of course those of you who've played Zoo Tycoon on your PC, will be aware this kind of thing has already been tackled with the Dinosaur Digs expansion pack. Whilst RTS games feel perfectly at home on a PC it can be a different story on a console. Usually the gamepad comes nowhere near the classic combination of keyboard and mouse. Let's take a look and see if Blue Tongue have come up trumps with Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis.
If ever you've played games like Theme Park or Rollercoaster Tycoon then you'll know what to expect here. Basically you build up your Jurassic Park with a suitable collection of dinosaurs and amenities for the public to enjoy whilst simultaneously carrying out research into all manners of things that will improve the efficiency and appeal of your park. You can send fossil hunters in search of fossils and amber so that your geneticists can use these to create new dinosaurs. As 'Theme Park' style games go, this one's actually quite enjoyable. The gameplay mechanics seem to be well balanced and as always the challenge is keeping your customers safe and happy, which is easier said than done.
In an effort to bring you closer to the action you can fly in the security helicopter around your park. Should one of your dinosaurs become too unsettled you might have to use the helicopter in order to fly in close and sedate the creature. Tasks such as this don't really add that much to the gameplay to be honest, but I suppose it's been handled well and it doesn't spoil the flow of the game.
The game comes with 12 missions to complete, along with an open ended Operation Genesis mode that will carry on for as long as you want it to. If you don't fancy the idea of an open ended game then you'll be disappointed to learn that the 12 missions are quite simply too easy and will be over in no time at all. The Operation Genesis mode is quite good though and it can prove challenging keeping a successful park running smoothly. It's a nice touch that random disasters (such as a T-Rex escaping it's enclosure) occur too which helps keep things interesting.
Whilst Operation Genesis looks OK it doesn't really push the graphical capabilities of the PlayStation 2. Despite this though it can appear at times that the console is struggling. All too often you'll experience jerkiness and 2 second delays between you pressing the button to place a building and it actually appearing. I don't know whether this is a limitation of the PlayStation 2 console (after all it is rather limited when it comes to memory). It would be interesting to see either the Xbox or PC version, to see how they perform.
Overall there are no problems for deaf gamers with Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis. The introduction isn't subtitled and the verbal introduction to the Operation Genesis mode isn't subtitled either. During the game you'll often receive a greeting when you look at the hatcheries or map etc., and these too are not subtitled. In the overall scheme of things though these omissions don't really affect the gameplay. The tutorial exercises are subtitled with static text in click-off dialogue boxes. A letter icon appears onscreen when you receive a message in the game and these messages are all given in text. In fact all the important information is given in text so as we've already said there is nothing to stop you enjoying the game.
If you're looking for a Theme Park style game for your PlayStation 2 then Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis is a good choice. The only real problems I could find with the game are the unsubtitled speech, the shortness of the missions (somewhat compensated for with the open ended mode) and the occasional stuttering which I'm pretty sure is more down to the lack of memory in the PlayStation 2 rather than a problem with the game.
Game Rating: 7.2/10