For months, Telltale has been teasing fans about the nature of Jurassic Park: The Game‘s mechanics. They didn’t say much, but they made clear that it wasn’t going to follow the standard point-and-click formula. We got some time with the first episode, and one thing’s apparent: the developers were definitely inspired by the cinematic quick-time-event gameplay of Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain. As always, though, Telltale’s focus is on story.
“What we really wanted to do was to take players back to the experience of the original films, especially that first film,” said designer Joe Pinney. “”It’s got the intimate moments of wonder and awe, it’s got a real story with real characters, and it’s got intense, awesome, carefully-choreographed action sequences.”
The year’s biggest game to date, L.A. Noire, also borrowed a lot from the Heavy Rain, but they’re not the same things. Noire felt in many ways like the investigative scenes of Norman Jayden. Jurassic Park went total-action, using buttons to indicate decision choices and having players hit buttons repeatedly or quickly input sequences to build up tension. Unlike both other games, though, JP has clear success and failure, and you have to try again until you get it right.
So how does the game’s story tie into the film’s? It’s a tough thing when all the threads are largely tied up, so the team did a little digging. The episodes follow the story of the can of Barbasol with the stolen embryos, and the first episode focuses on hired smuggler Nima and her handler, Miles. (The action shifts to other characters in later installments, though the story threads continue.)
There’s clearly a cinematic focus, with cameras being largely static for dramatic effect, and cut-scenes at every turn. Even the PC demo was being run with a 360 controller, so it’s much less about pointing and clicking, and may work out better as a console title than on PC, a first for the company.
The five-episode run begins this fall.