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Jurassic Park Survival is a game that I have frequently glimpsed in my dreams ever since I was a kid. An interactive experience where instead of letting us build theme parks or murder dinosaurs from the comfort of an arcade cabinet, we are instead thrust into the events of the legendary film with few means to defend ourselves.

Hiding away in the kitchen with velociraptors inching ever closer, praying stray ladles aren’t inches away from spelling your doom against the tile floor, or rushing out of the iconic gate to be greeted by a bloodthirsty T-Rex, knowing that a lack of movement and lit flare may be the only means of making it out alive. The trailer for Saber Interactive’s upcoming adventure was mostly horror-themed bits of fanservice from the original film, but damn does it do a nice job of selling exactly what this game might be, and why it already has me very excited.

Perhaps most importantly though, Survival immediately reminded me of Alien: Isolation from Creative Assembly. For years, I’ve been screaming from the rooftops that Jurassic Park is a perfect candidate for such a formula, swapping out the unstoppable Xenomorphs for a range of dinosaurs capable of hunting you down at every opportunity. Having few means of fighting back, and likely not being trained to handle firearms, you’d have no choice but to hide away and outsmart your scaled opponents while solving puzzles and figuring out how to escape.

A game like this writes itself, and I’m so glad Saber has decided to take up the mantle even if the finished product doesn’t lean all the way into survival horror. The official announcement describes it as an ‘action-adventure’, so there is a solid chance we’ll have weapons, or at the very least a means to defend ourselves against hordes of dinosaurs. The trailer doesn’t play into that element though, instead deciding to stress the isolation (wahey) and anxiety of now being alone on an island filled with dinosaurs who want nothing more than to eat your ass.

The only glimpse of actual gameplay footage we receive is right at the tail end of the trailer as protagonist Dr. Maya Joshi was left behind on Isla Nublar moments after Alan Grant and friends managed to flee the place. Fallen dinosaur bones in the visitor centre plaza show that events we committed to memory have already played out, with nothing left but this soaking wet banner flapping in the wind. Maya is also injured, clutching her side in pain as a flurry of dinosaurs begins stalking her. Some might be curious, while others have already marked her as prey. It’s ripe with fan service, but still tense in the classic Spielbergian means where you can’t help hanging on by the edge of your seat. Hopefully, the real thing delivers.

Survival is going to operate on the whims of nostalgia, although subverting the familiar from a film I have seen dozens of times could also act as one of its greatest strengths. An entire island to explore filled with familiar landmarks and intelligent dinosaurs, allowing you to treat doomed attractions as tenets of an immersive sim filled with dead employees, scribbled notes, or cool clues hinting towards a deeper narrative. Survival remains our main objective, but that won’t stop us from taking in the sights or moving slowly through the park in fear of being spotted.

No matter how much virtual tourism I allow myself, however, ultimately, I want to be thrust into situations where all I can do is sprint valiantly away from an unknown threat, aware that just one step in the wrong direction is all that separates me from the jaws of an apex predator. If it can combine that fear with a consistent sense of dread and oodles of fan service, then we could see so much more from Jurassic Park Survival than your typical licensed fare.

Source: https://www.thegamer.com/jurassic-park-survival-alien-isolation-survival-horror/

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Muhammad Azaan

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