A brand new content pack for Jurassic World Evolution, Claire’s Sanctuary follows a similar pattern to the previously released Secrets of Dr. Wu. Here are our impressions on the new content, which is available on every Jurassic World Evolution platform out there – we checked it out on a PC.
Besides new story content, the latest expansion also features new buildings for you to construct and a trio of new dinosaurs: the Albertosaurus, Euoplocephalus and Ouranosaurus join the roster. There’s also an RV you can use to get around, but it doesn’t radically change the gameplay – you’re still using the same tracks you were when you had that gyrosphere thing from the movies.
There are interesting new plantlife mechanics in the expansion as well, which allow for a more tailored experience towards certain species – allowing them to lead longer and healthier lives. It’s a cool idea, but feels needlessly limited at times, like when you’re only allowed a certain number of plant types instead of massively expanding your biodiversity when it comes to plantlife.
But obviously, the biggest draw here is the new mini campaign, which has a neat setup to kick things off – bringing echoes of the recent movie sequel with it. A volcano that’s about to erupt is threatening the dinosaurs on the island, and you’re in a race against time to try and save them. In this case, “you” is Claire Dearing, the operations manager from the movie – a role that Bryce Dallas Howard is assuming once again for this videogame adaptation.
Miss Howard does a fine job with her voiceover work, but I couldn’t help shake the feeling that her presence doesn’t have the same kind of appeal that the two veterans of the 1993 film have to fans – this is especially true for Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm but also for the mysterious Dr. Wu and his role in the franchise.
The story campaign also struggles a little with its pacing – it hits the ground running with its volcano-related drama, but after your initial rescue it quickly turns to business as usual, as you’re constructing another park for your rescues. As such, the amount of new story content is on the light side of things for Claire’s Sanctuary.
If you’ve yet to invest in any post-release content for Jurassic World Evolution, then I’d pick Secrets of Dr. Wu over this one – but if you’re already an avid player then you’ll still be happy with the expansion, even though it’s mostly just “more of the same” and doesn’t quite live up to the premise. It’ll be interesting to see where Frontier takes Planet Zoo, having no doubt learned a lot from their dinosaur experiences.