Published on December 23rd, 2021 | by Richard Banks
Jurassic World Evolution 2: Early Cretaceous Pack Review
Summary: A good start in Evolution 2's journey to becoming the greatest dino-park sim of all time.
Another day, another DLC for the Jurassic World Evolution franchise. Granted, this is the first pack released for Jurassic World Evolution 2, but the first title had a plethora of dinosaur packs released over its life cycle, so the addition of a new dinosaur pack so soon after its sequel’s release isn’t surprising, and any respectable John Hammond-wannabe will struggle to turn their nose (or is it snout?) up at more dinosaurs. In Frontiers defence, their content packs are budget-friendly DLC and offer much more bang for your buck, especially when compared to the likes of more aggressive DLC tactics that have become so commonplace in the modern gaming industry. The real question is, are the dinosaurs here worth the money, or do they feel like re-skins of other, already in-game dinos?
And the answer is yes, they’re certainly worth it. The four new creatures, as the name suggests, are all from the Early Cretaceous period, with an additional dinosaur for your lagoons, one for your aviary, as well as two new land dinosaurs. Representing the water-based dinosaurs, the Kronosaurus is a long, terrifying pliosaur, while the Dsungaripterus is the DLC’s pterosaur, taking to the sky with its diminutive size and crested head. The two land dinosaurs, Minmi and Wuerhosaurus, are from the Ankylsoraus and Stegasourus families, respectively. All four dinosaurs are individual enough to warrant placing them in your park, with unique animations for each that make them stand out from their family counterparts. The Minmi, in particular, is, frankly, adorable, and quickly became a mainstay in all my parks, while the new rock resting aviary animations make winged beasts much more exciting to watch, perfectly timed to watch the tiny, bone-headed Dsungaripterus land up high following a meal.
Alongside the paid DLC, Jurassic World Evolution 2 has also received its first major free update, which goes a long way to correcting some of the games major issues. One of its most beneficial updates is a decent upgrade to the game’s Sandbox Mode, opening up campaign levels like Pennsylvania airport for play in the part of the game that most allows creativity. You can also now flatten Sandbox maps, which sounds like an insufficient perk, but it means that players that want to create their parks from scratch don’t have to first remove trees, hills and ditches before they get started.
The Early Cretaceous pack isn’t as vital as the free update is, but more dinosaurs is always a good thing when recreating your ideal prehistoric park. While the DLC may be light on new features, the inclusion of both a new flying reptile and a new sea critter enhance the otherwise smaller selection of these beasts, especially when compared to their land-dwelling counterparts. The two ground dinosaurs added with the pack are also fantastic additions in their own right, especially the adorable Minmi. The game has a fantastic community management team with Frontier who actively listen to their fanbase, so no doubt the future of Jurassic World Evolution 2 is solidified, thanks to the encouraging signs that the Early Cretaceous pack offers.