Telltale Games, the folk behind the ongoing, multi-part Back to the Future game serial, are also busy at work on a new Jurassic Park spin-off. The first details of the game have been revealed in the latest Game Informer, and while they haven't been published online, I've read the article, looked at the screenshots it contained, and can tell you what I saw.
Firstly, it's a surprise that the game is not a point-and-click adventure like the rest of Telltale's output. The game has an action engine, which seems apt for this particular license, with all of the running and hiding and chasing. They promise that they'll capitalise on both slower and more action-packed possibilities.
Worryingly, though, the article seems to suggest that the action sequences will be realised as Quick Time Events. Oops. I hope they can make it work well, because QTE games normally leave me very, very cold.
The second big surprise of the article is just how the game will fit into movie continuity:
Some of the game takes place at the same time as the first film, but [Telltale's Kevin] Boyle says you'll experience these moments through the eyes of new characters. "We'll see our characters kind of cobbling it all together and asking 'What the hell went down here?'"
The game won't feature the movie's main characters. Though they do exist in the story, they'll just stay (nice and cheaply) off-screen. The park's chief vet, Gerry Harding, will turn up, however. I guess movie producer Gerard Molen, who was just cameoing in the film, proved less expensive to sign-up than Jeff Goldblum and co.
The player character appears to be a member of the park's staff from his uniform. Judging from his face and hair I'd say he's supposed to be in his 40s. He's quite generic looking. If Spielberg was directing this as a movie, Clooney would be the obvious choice to play the role, I guess.
This is neat: one of the key dinosaurs in the game wasn't in the film at all. The article doesn't reveal what it is exactly, but there is a teasing screenshot of eyes glinting in the dark. What they reveal is that this particular beast is nocturnal, and seems to have been included for some creepy, night-time scenes. I can see how this conceit could be milked for suspense and scares, those beady little eyes shining in the shadows.
There are old favourites, of course: one image shows a T-Rex attacking a Triceratops, and another set-piece semms to involve getting to Dennis Nedry's jeep past a group of Velociraptors.
The graphical style is striving for a pretty realistic look, as opposed to the stylisation of, say, Back to the Future. Again, it seems to be what gamers would expect from Jurassic Park.
The game is scheduled for a Mac and PC release in five installments starting this spring with some console port-overs possible, but not confirmed, for later along the way.