There have been an unusual amount of games based on dinosaurs both announced and releasing in 2021 and 2022. Probably thanks to the success of the Jurassic franchise, and with developers being stuck at home thanks to COVID the last 18 months or more. Some of these titles have been released recently or have demos you can play now on Steam. Predominantly these are indie titles, but of course there are AAA ones as well. Everything from survival horror, to strategy and shooters, there’s going to be a dinosaur game for every type of player.
Jurassic World Evolution 2
A follow up to the original, Jurassic World Evolution 2 evolves the gameplay just a bit. Instead of building a theme park (although that is included in Chaos Theory game mode), the campaign for Jurassic World Evolution 2 has you managing loose dinosaurs. As part of the US Fish & Wildlife service, you are tracking down and containing loose dinosaurs roaming throughout the United States. Less of a zoo feel and more of an animal rescue feel. If you like taking direct control like me, you’ll appreciate the new dinosaur veterinary unit that you can take to address the health issues of dinosaurs in captivity. Like swallowing cell phones when they eat the staff. The Chaos Theory mode lets you find out what happens if YOU were in charge of Jurassic Park. This what-if scenario puts you in the role of park director, and lets you try to contain the chaos.
Full disclosure, I was provided a copy of Jurassic World Evolution 2 by the developer.
Instinction lets you follow a story exploring a mysterious island of dinosaurs. A lot of screenshots show multiple dark environments, which matches what developer Hashbane Interactive describes as an “action-adventure game with combat and exploration”. The graphics look really impressive from the video and shots on their Steam page, but a solid gameplay video is still needed. Only a brief teaser trailer is available right now video-wise. There’s still a lot of missing information that I’d like to know, but we do know they have plans to release on console and PC.
I’ve actually gotten to play a little Primal Dominion in its ongoing multiplayer playtest through steam. The game itself will have a story campaign that is both singleplayer and co op, as well as multiplayer PvP game modes. The campaign teases dinosaur horror, which is really something I’d love to explore. During the multiplayer test, you can battle it out as Rangers, Mercenaries, or dinosaurs. The actual environment looks incredible. When playing the dinos, you start with smaller dinosaurs and work can unlock a Tyrannosaurus Rex if you get a small killstreak going. The mercenaries and rangers are carbon copies currently, but it is still in development. The test is still going on now if you want to check it out.
Age of Jura
For strategy fans out there, Age of Jura is a colony builder sim with dinosaurs. Developer Mystic Era Games puts you in charge of your tribe of humans, and you must build in a world where dinosaurs, and other monsters, roam free. It’s top down perspective, RTS gameplay across multiple islands, though there isn’t much more to determine how many islands or if it’s all part of a campaign. One development video shows a mosasaurus, implying sea travel and gameplay, which harkens back to the good old Warcraft II days. Age of Jura is slated to release in 2022.
Project Ferocious takes place on a mysterious island in the pacific, filled with dinosaurs. From indie developer OMYOG, it looks to be a dinosaur survival shooter. The promise of destructible environments is all I needed to see. What would you destroy? Ruins? Modern structures? Blow giant craters in the ground for dinosaur-trench warfare? OMYOG mentions vehicles for land and sea, which means the map is going to be massive. No real details or release date on this one yet.
Dinos Reborn looks very much like ARK: Survival Evolved. It’s a singleplayer open world dinosaur survival game, but the graphics have a more realistic feel to them. There’s also a strong emphasis on the process of hunting. The developer HardCodeWay mentions analyzing tracks, observing habits, etc. Dinos Reborn is looking at a 2022 release, with not much information available right now. Their Steam page promises new survival mechanics, unique campaign assistance, and a surprising view of the world. An evolution on ARK would make for a nice game, though I do hope for some multiplayer.
One of the titles I am most looking forward to is Fossilfuel, a co op dinosaur horror shooter. There is a demo on Steam that I haven’t checked out yet, but it looks like an open world game filled with dinosaurs and human mercenaries in what the developers describe as “Jurassic Park meets Half-Life”. There is VR support for it, as well as a more horror focused Raptor Isolation DLC. No doubt a reference to Alien Isolation. Sitting at Mostly Positive, developer DangerousBob Studio might have a sleeper hit on their hands.
The variety is a big draw in Raptor Territory. There are so many different game modes, and being able to play with up to 52 players really makes this game appealing. Not to mention the gameplay and various mechanics in game are actually kind of science based. For example, when teams are eliminated, the players are divided up amongst the remaining teams, akin to more successful packs absorbing less successful ones. Another game mode has you laying nests to claim territory, and destroying nests to challenge your opponents. It all seems very cleverly implemented, and enhances the gameplay for those that like scientific accuracy. RedClaw Productions is off to a great start with Raptor Territory.
Full disclosure, I was provided a copy of Raptor Territory by the developer.
Being a big fan of multiplayer, this is probably the one I look forward to the most. Deathgrounds is a co op dinosaur horror survival game, and that hits all the right buzz words for me. It’s you and your team of hunters and survivalists battling AI powered dinosaurs for riches. There will be weather effects, dynamic objectives, and random spawn and extraction points to keep things fresh from game to game. The trailers gives it a very Aliens type experience. No word from the developer, Jaw Drop Games, on a release date yet.
This is a great time for gamers like me that are also dinosaur fans. The most reassuring part is the expansion into different genres, specifically the co op horror stuff. Dinosaurs are amazing creatures, and I think they have so much potential in a horror genre. I’m thrilled to see indie developers giving them a chance. Now I just need a tactical shooter with dinosaurs. Maybe an Operation Harsh Doorstop mod?
Which of these games are you excited about? Have I missed any other dinosaur titles? Drop me a line below.