Frontier's Jurassic World Evolution has had a bit of a rocky reception at times. It's a lot of fun, but some players have criticised the game's content, saying that it felt half-finished. Frontier have done a lot of work to improve it with new free updates and paid content packs. But some players still question whether these DLC packs should be paid for, or whether they contain content which should have been in the game to start with. This debate seems to have kicked off again today with the announcement of the Jurassic World Evolution: Raptor Squad Skin Collection. The skin collection introduces lookalike skins of the four distinctive Velociraptors from the Jurassic World movies: Charlie, Delta, Echo and Blue, and is available in the Microsoft Store for $1.99 as a 10.09 MB download.
It's a surprise to some players that Blue has appeared in the game at all, as DLC or otherwise, given Frontier's earlier statement that Blue wouldn't be in the game, giving a strange narrative-related reason for the unique movie character's absence:
As Blue the character is not in Jurassic World Evolution that skin is not planned to be available for any other raptor...The Indominus and Indoraptor aren't quite the same. Whilst only one of each feature in the films they themselves are representatives of the species. Blue on the other hand is a unique specimen of the Velociraptor species and is individually singled out as a character.
On its own, each DLC pack doesn't really cost that much – the Raptor Squad Skin is only $1.99. But its addition brings the total price for all of Evolution's DLC to around $60. Players seem divided on whether they should be paid for. The game is Jurassic World, after all, like the movie franchise, with content themed around the movies or launching alongide them. Given that the Velociraptor pack headed by Blue were such distinctive characters in the movie, some players seem to feel that they should have been included in the game to start with, like the Indominus Rex and the Indoraptor – despite Frontier's awkward reasoning for the exclusion. The narrative excuse also doesn't explain why Indominus Rex's camouflage power – exclusive to the specific Rex shown in the movie – was added as part of a paid DLC pack later down the line.
Some free updates have been welcome, though players were frustrated that the features weren't in the game at launch. Update 1.8, which came out in June, brought a much-requested feature: terrain tools. Initially, the game did have a few terrain tools, but these were limited; just grass, water, and trees. There was no option for individual trees or plants, or for other terrain types such as sand, dirt, and rock, and this severely limited the customisation and replayability aspects of the game. Players couldn't really make unique parks, just different variations on a similar theme. Update 1.8 went a long way towards satisfying this request. It wasn't hugely expansive, but it did include new terrain types and a few choices of different individual rocks and trees. Plus, it was free.
On the other hand, players were also asking for customisabilty for buildings and visitor facilities in general, and Frontier have only provided a little of this via paid DLC's – The Secrets of Dr Wu and Claire's Sanctuary. Both paid expansion packs include just the one new building. The upcoming paid DLC, Return to Jurassic Park, has several more new buildings included; a Visitor Centre, Aviary, and new Main Gates, plus a new Jurassic Park Tour. Yet these come as a small part of a paid DLC.
The pricing model is simply all over the place. Content packs such as the Herbivore and Carnivore packs were also paid additions, and included new dinosaurs which had been requested by fans. Yet some dinosaurs, such as the Nasutoceratops, have since been added for free, making some players question whether the paid dinosaur packs should have cost anything to begin with.
What do you think? Are you willing to spend more than the cost of the base game to get all of its expansions? Is this content which should have been included to begin with, or is it worth paying for?
This game was featured in our Best Xbox One Simulation Games Available in 2019 article. Why not check it out to see what else made the cut?