It can happen in a matter of seconds. One minute you’re building an ice cream shop outside of the raptor paddock, and the next a group of hangry triceratops are stampeding towards your five-star hotel. While you scramble to open up the emergency bunkers for your guests and send a ranger team to tranquilize the trikes, your merchandise sales suddenly plummet and you begin hemorrhaging money. Moments later you’re dead broke - so poor you can’t even afford to fix the broken fence where the trikes got out. As your deficit skyrockets, there’s nothing to do but abandon the park and start over.
Major travesties like this happen in Jurassic World Evolution 2 from time to time, and if you’re as careless as I am about safety measures, they can happen quite frequently. There’s just a lot going on in Frontier’s dino-breeding park manager that it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Problems that seem small can spiral out of control quickly and if you don’t have much experience looking out for the warning signs, running your own Jurassic Park can be pretty punishing.
The first few times I went bankrupt, I got a little upset. Like, actually upset. I felt like I was doing my absolute best to monitor every single aspect of the park to ensure it remained profitable. I tuned every burger stand and toy store just right, adding accoutrements like interactive exhibits, water fountains, and self spots based on the needs of the specific clientele in that area of the park. I made sure my dinosaurs were always at 100 percent health and comfort by tweaking their enclosure’s environment down to the individual boulders. I researched unique genetic combinations to breed longer lives and more docility into my dinos, and I treated any injuries or illnesses they developed immediately. I was even good to my employees, making sure they took time off whenever they were exhausted.
And yet, despite my very best efforts, things inevitably went to shit. A powerful storm would come along and knock out power, allowing my dinos to escape and wreak havoc. An aggressive dino would endlessly terrorize its enclosure mates and pull my attention away from an otherwise avoidable disaster. A well-rested and well-paid employee would decide to sabotage my operation by poisoning an entire pen of dinosaurs. It was maddening, and it felt entirely out of my control.
After a particularly unfair disaster involving a freak storm and a hungry T-Rex, I nearly quit the game for good. Hours and hours of careful park curation had been lost to something that seemed completely out of my control, and I just felt fed up. Usually when a park starts to fall apart, I quickly scramble to sell off as many assets as I can to keep my head above water, but this time, full of defeat, I sat there and watched as the carnivore laid waste to all my hard work.
But then something beautiful happened. As the ‘rex terrorized my park goers, I suddenly stopped resenting the beast and turned my anger towards the real enemy: capitalism. After all, the tyrannosaurus was just doing what a tyrannosaurus is born to do. I’m the one that put him in a cage and built a rollercoaster around it so slack-jawed Americans could gawk. Suddenly I stopped feeling bad for myself and started rooting for the ‘rex. Every disgusting slob he gobbled up was a win for nature - a victory for chaos. I deleted all of the enclosure so that my dinosaurs could run free. They destroyed my park and killed countless visitors before turning on each other, and it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
I’m still playing Jurassic World Evolution 2 and I’m still trying to build the most profitable park I can - I’m still a filthy capitalist after all - but now I’m not as bothered when things inevitably fall apart. In fact, part of me has started to anticipate that moment where it all goes wrong. I don’t want to lose, but watching the dinosaur ruin all of my hard, money-grubbing work is pretty cathartic. I may not be the best Jurassic Park manager, but I certainly know how to take an L in style.
A feat only a true Dovahkiin could pull off.