Whenever the idea of a videogame being built around an existing film property is brought up, questions immediately arise around the necessity of the project. Will the game really add anything new to the story, or simply attempt to cash in on retreading past material? From this look at Jurassic Park, it seems to be the latter.
To be honest, TellTale could have played this fairly safe, giving players a chance to step into the narrative of one of the series' films, and satisfied a majority of the fans. Since Jurassic Park owes its origin to both Steven Spielberg's film and Michael Crichton's novel, there is a wealth of story opportunities for the developers to exploit, and they seem to be up to the challenge.
Since the various list of games bearing the name 'Jurassic Park' have almost all been forgettable, TellTale is taking a page out of the movie and book's... book. The dinosaurs were the exciting part of the films, but it was the characters that spent the majority of the time onscreen.
Rather than focusing on the prehistoric animals, TellTale's executive director Kevin Boyle emphasized that Jurassic Park will be bringing a cinematic presentation to their human story, familiar to anyone who spent time with Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain:
“While our story is more linear than Heavy Rain, actions the player takes are reflected in the way the story is told...The choices the players make result in changes to the details of the story. Players will know we are paying attention to the decisions they make.”
We've already given you a few details on the game's direction, but the new images show just what kind of look the game is going for. The areas will immediately feel familiar, but the brand new characters won't.
Have a look at what TellTale Games has in store:
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The game will follow the standard episodic release schedule of previous TellTale games, and will act as a direct sequel to the first movie, with some overlap. The game will not only introduce new characters and perspectives on the facility's downfall, but wrap up a few dangling plot lines from the film.
This will be a new take on Jurassic Park, but it will also be a new venture for the developers as well, who must turn their skills for adventure and interaction towards new levels of cinematic presentation, intensity, and suspense. According to Boyle the team is aware of the challenge, but is more than up to the task:
“As far as pacing goes, there are some things that are useful from the heritage of Telltale, but creating a new experience that pays off on both the slower-paced character building moments and high tension you expect from Jurassic Park is a new direction for Telltale,
"Story and character are a really important part of it. You are going to feel drama. You are going to feel tension. You’ll feel different kinds of emotions. There’s humor. Light moments. Downtime to get to like the characters. Certainly the wonder and awe of the island, and then everything breaks down to those moments of terror.”
The team has a few surprises up their sleeves, but are keeping the bigger secrets and plot points to themselves. They do hint that a new dinosaur enemy will be brought into the lore of JP, and the nocturnal creatures can be spotted in the above image by their trademark glowing eyes. The raptors will also be returning to pester players, but it's clear that the story variability and cinematic execution will be the elements that shine.
We really don't know what to expect from this latest adventure from TellTale, but they are saying all the right things at this point, and the images definitely look familiar enough to keep fans happy. More Jurassic Park is always a good thing, and crossing dinosaurs with Heavy Rain is the kind of cross-genre game design that we can absolutely get behind.
Barring any delays in development that unleash prehistoric killing machines upon the development team at TellTale, Jurassic Park is scheduled for an episodic release beginning in spring of 2011 for the PC and Mac.
Source: Game Informer