Kotaku wants a dinosaur game. I don’t blame them; we need a good one.
Jurassic Park brought dinosaurs mainstream, and as a child I could appreciate the influx of realistic, lifelike dinosaur toys it brought to the market. Before Jurassic Park, dinosaur toys were bulky, cartoony approximations that had no paleontological authenticity; they did little to spur the imagination. Similarly, Jurassic Park ushered in an era of dinosaurs in video games, but most of those were pretty terrible (as Kotaku asserted). They fail to mention a couple of dinosaur games I would have, including Dino Crisis (I’m currently playing Dino Crisis 2 on the Vita, and it’s okay), Jurassic Park II: The Chaos Continues on SNES (one of the most difficult games I’ve ever played in my life), Dinosaur Safari on PC (a modern remake of this would be excellent), and Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis (a decent-enough park building sim). There was also Turok, a series that was never as good as it could have been (although I loved me some Turok 2 back in the day). There are some good games here, but not great ones. What we need is an open-world dinosaur adventure game; one that doesn’t suck.
For the same reason man enjoys hiking and trekking into the wilderness, exploring the unknown and experiencing breathtaking and unusual sights, man has created the idea of open-world video games. These offer a semblance of wonder and empowerment, to a far lesser degree than reality. But if the “highs” are less “high,” the “lows” of experiencing these worlds virtually are also less “low.” One need not be concerned for his physical safety, even if he can suspend disbelief and wrap himself into the game world. He also need not worry about baser needs, as these games rarely see the player seeking shelter or relieving himself of waste or needing to eat.
And another benefit is that we can make game worlds that contain dinosaurs. And lots of them. And you can hunt them or flee from them or be them, or anything imaginable. And it can be fun.
Jurassic Park IV is slated to be released in June of 2014, despite having no cast or director. I have guarded anticipation. Even if Spielberg is involved in a large capacity, it could be as ridiculous as the last Indiana Jones movie. And there were rumors of JP4 involving man-dino hybrids, which could do battle for one of the worst film concepts (and likely executions) of all time. But with a new Jurassic Park means we may see a good new dinosaur game, and that’s enough for me.