Tag Archives: Frontier Developments

Jurassic World Evolution review

Jurassic World Evolution is a park building management sim that allows you to recreate Jurassic Park, dealing with the dangers, costs and other challenges involved in building and maintaining a zoo attraction with highly dangerous and intractable dinosaurs. And indeed, it recreates many of the film’s troupes in a compelling, gamified way, providing an experience that’s challenging yet hugely satisfying in precisely the way you’d expect a management title to be.

Building and maintaining your parks across multiple islands is an involved process, you’ll be consumed by the building of paths and structures, powering these structures, designing enclosures that fit your dinosaur’s needs, tasking your rangers and asset containment units (ACUs) to deal with problems, as well researching new technologies, hatching new dinosaurs, and monitoring the park’s income and continuing to developed it into the best, safest and most profitable park it can be. Meanwhile, the entertainment, science and security divisions will each have missions for you to complete, furthering your reputation with them and unlocking even more buildings and dinosaur options. It’s a busy game, rarely giving you the opportunity to relax and simply enjoy the view.

And what a view it is, with some absolutely incredible animation and high quality textures bringing the extinct animals to life. Meanwhile, excellent terrain and weather details makes each island you’re tasked with building a park on a believable place. But the aspect of presentation that truly stands out is the audio, specifically the sounds of the dinosaurs. Hearing the Jurassic Park roar of a T-Rex never gets old, and its inclusion here adds to the authenticity of the experience in a big way.

However, what lets the experience down is the script. Each division head, as well as the CEO, frequently communicates with you, giving you missions, making comments on your management of the parks, and adding elements to the plot. It’s often terrible, with ridiculously clichéd and inane sentences coming from these characters. Even the dulcet tones of Jeff Goldblum fails to escape the poor writing, and it hurts the immersion each time one of these characters pipes up.

Fortunately, with a little selective hearing, you can overcome this obstacle and enjoy the management aspects. Jurassic World Evolution treads the thin line of micro-management, as such you won’t be engaging with staff hiring and firing for the many guest facilities on offer and you won’t be adjusting ticket prices, although you do have the option of adjusting individual prices at these guest facilities, such as the cost of food. Instead your attention will be focused on the dinosaurs and their care, building enclosures of the right size, with the right food sources included, with the right levels of forest, grassland and water, and the right mixture of species. Meanwhile, your rangers must be tasked with repairing structures, resupplying food dispensers, and treating illness and injury. Your ACU helicopters will need to be directed to tranquilise dinosaurs that have escaped or otherwise need moving, moving the dinosaurs from one location to another, and removing dead dinosaurs. All of these tasks must be manually assigned to rangers or ACU staff, where you can then either allow them to complete their task or you can take direct control and drive/fly around and perform them yourself.

You won’t find much time to get so personally involved, however, as managing the aforementioned aspects is quite the involved and challenging endeavour. You’ll need to dispatch dig crews to find fossils that are then used in the lab to extract DNA to support your cloning of these dinosaurs. Meanwhile, you’ll need to choose which dinosaurs to hatch and organise moving them to their enclosures, which you must build and prepare to meet that dinosaur’s needs. These needs can be studied from your control menu with InGen’s information for each dinosaur, but the majority of the data you need will come from actually having a live specimen in the park. Here you’ll learn what terrain best suits the dinosaur and how social they are with members their own species as well as others. If their comfort levels drop too low they’ll attack the fences, eventually breaking out and causing harm or death to your visitors.

Furthermore, power is a constant concern. Each building requires it, as well as the electrified fences – if you choose to use them – and a power failure not only prevents these structures from functioning but can spook your dinosaurs, or provide an all too tempting opportunity for the craftier ones, which can lead to fences being broken and your dinosaurs escaping. Add to that the threat of each division possibly sabotaging your buildings if they feel you’ve not been paying attention to their missions and the list of things you needs to manage quickly adds up.

However, this is the best part of Jurassic World Evolution, it recreates the kind of situations we’ve seen in the films in a clever, division mission-driven way, and the frequent need to scan your park and task your ranger and ACU staff to deal with issues keeps you busy between the actual building of the parks. It’s great and hugely engaging.

Moreover, the controller mapping is excellent. Moving and building within your park is simple and intuitive with camera controls for zooming on the triggers and panning and tilting on the analogue sticks, and menu navigation takes advantages of designated buttons for very quick and easy access to the frequently used rangers and ACU staff, as well as fossil extraction and selling.

Jurassic World Evolution isn’t the most unique title, 15 years ago Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis pulled off the dinosaur zoo management concept successfully and Jurassic World Evolution shares many of the same mechanics and features. However, it’s still an absolute treat to experience this kind of management title again, with hugely increased performance and visuals thanks to the marvels of modern hardware. Additionally, Frontier have done a tremendous job of weaving the Jurassic Park and Jurassic World film’s lore into the experience, making you feel like you are part of this world. And running a park with dinosaurs as the attraction is just superb fun, both when everything is going well and, possibly even more so, when the dinosaurs escape and it all goes wrong.

Thanks to Xbox and MAVERICK PR for supporting TiX

Jurassic World Evolution to get ‘film’ dinosaurs

Available now on Xbox One, PS4 and PC, you can now build your own dinosaur park with Jurassic World Evolution – something that both children and adults will enjoy, particularly if you ever played Theme Park.

It’s not just about building though, you are in charge of all operations, which includes bioengineering, there’s even one or two outbreaks that you need to contain – or your park’s guest may inadvertently become a dino’s next meal!

Morals and tactics ultimately lie at the heart of this game but it’s also a good bit of fun for those that want to create their own Jurassic Park. While the film is already out in the UK, the US won’t be able to experience the new film until June 22, at which point the game will receive some free DLC – adding several new dinosaurs from the film.

 “Jurassic World Evolution immerses players and fans of the movies in the Jurassic World universe,” said Jonny Watts, Frontier’s Chief Creative Officer. “With masses of rich franchise lore, iconic characters, incredible living dinosaurs and islands you can reshape and construct however you choose, Jurassic World Evolution brings the dream of building and running your own Isla Nublar to life. This is YOUR Jurassic World, and we can’t wait to see what players create.”

Elite Dangerous: Horizons landing on Xbox One

Frontier Development, makers of the game Elite Dangerous have announced that the long-awaited expansion Horizons will land on the Xbox One this Q2.

Elite Dangerous: Horizons is part of the new season of gameplay expansions coming to the game. This will expand the depth and playability of the epic space game by introducing new features like Loot and Crafting, Multicrew cooperative play and Planetary Landings.

The first expansion coming to Xbox One, Horizons, will give you the chance to go seamlessly from space to the surface of a planet or moon. Landing anywhere you choose you can then explore the surface in the all-terrain SRV Surface Recon Vehicle. Alongside this players will also be introduced to The Engineers.

The Engineers is a sweeping, game-changing update that brings even more personality and personalization to Elite Dangerous, putting a face to every mission and adding a range of customization and crafting options that will make every ship in the Elite Dangerous galaxy unique.

Elite Dangerous: Horizons Planetary Landing

Anyone who purchases this update will receive further updates as the season continues. Future gameplay updates will début for PC and Xbox One simultaneously, enriching the Elite Dangerous experience with new activities and new ways to play including:

  • Multicrew, allowing teams of players to assume roles aboard the same ship.
  • Commander Creation, giving a unique appearance to players’ in-game avatars.
  • Ship-Launched Fighters, allowing larger spacecraft to carry their own short range fighter craft for attack and defense.
  • And much more to be announced.

Elite Dangerous: Horizons for Xbox One will launch Q2 2016 (yes that’s like now), featuring both 2.0: Planetary Landings and the forthcoming 2.1: The Engineers expansions.

Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One


Breaking News – Frontier Developments has today announced that the epic multiplayer Elite: Dangerous is coming to the Xbox One this year.

For those of you who don’t know, Elite: Dangerous is the critically acclaimed third sequel to the genre-defining Elite, created in 1984 by David Braben and Ian Bell. Starting with only a few credits and a small spaceship, Elite takes you on a journey through a futuristic cutthroat galaxy, doing whatever it takes to earn the skill, knowledge, wealth and power to rise the ranks and become one of the Elite. Every twist and turn you make influences everyone’s playing experience. Toppling Governments, battles lost or won, your decisions reshape humanity, your decisions affect everyone.

Elite: Dangerous for Xbox One will include all the content added to the PC version by February’s Community Goals content update and March’s Wings content update. The Wings update unites players to cooperate and collaborate across the galaxy and share in the rewards together. Wings will allow players to help protect friends on a risky trade run, spread out to map systems or hunt prey, and work together to reshape the galaxy.

Elite: Dangerous for Xbox One plans to launch this year and this is a great piece of news for all Xbox One players, everyone here at TiX  is so excited about this announcement. It’s also another big slap in the face for PS4 in the ongoing space console war.

For more information on Elite: Dangerous coming to Xbox One and to subscribe to their mailing list you can click here.

ScreamRide mission details rolled out


Screamride, it’s one of those games that would appeal to the sadist in all of us. Build a super-fast, twisty, loopy, extreme rollercoaster, then smash it to bits mid-ride and scare the be-jeebers out of everyone on board.

Frontier Developments’ new thrill-seeker aims to do exactly that with a mixture of RollerCoaster Tycoon and the more destructive elements of Burnout.

As this comes out in a little over a month’s time, 6th of March if you didn’t know, Frontier have taken the time over on Xbox’s blog, Xbox Wire, to detail the 3 mission types that are coming in this thrillseeker.

Demolition Expert missions are what would in all probability appeal to most players. The chance to destroy the location by launching the different shaped ride pods into the environment, causing chain reactions and explosions in a sort of Angry Birds meets Alton Towers kind of way.

Engineer missions will pit your building skills against the constraints of space. Start off with a bit of finished ride and complete it in the coolest way you can.

ScreamRider missions will have you in control of the ride pod itself as it hurtles around the track. Lean the car, control the speed but don’t let the riders fall out or it’s game over. This mode will allow you to perform some two-wheel trick action for higher combo scores, with global and friends leaderboards available to chart your progress.

The construction elements are going to be incredibly detailed, with hundreds of pieces and a Minecraft style construction tool enabling the gamer to create many, many, wonderful things.

Don’t take my word for it though, have a quick look at the preview trailer with Major Nelson and ScreamRide’s Executive Producer Jorg Neumann for more info.

ScreamRide hits the shelves for Xbox One and Xbox 360 on the 6th of March.

Zoo Tycoon Xbox One Review

Zoo Tycoon Xbox One Logo

I’m a ‘Tycoon’ fan, I love this genre of games and Zoo Tycoon on the current generation of Xbox One hardware is simply superb. A magical game for children, teenagers, Tycoon fans and everyone in between. It emerges as one of the strongest launch titles from Microsoft albeit amongst over heavy weight likes Ryse and Forza Motorsport 5. It’s a bright game offering up a menagerie of superb animal game-play.

Zoo Tycoon is a game which let’s you release you imagination and quite literally build your dream Zoo. It’s a game you can play alone or invite (up to) four of your friends via Xbox LIVE to help you. Zoo Tycoon has its heart in the right place and Frontier Developments have worked hard to deliver a game that is entertaining as well as socially conscious in its efforts to demonstrate that running a Zoo isn’t just about displaying exotic animals for Joe Public to stare at whilst we (the player) make a quick pound or two. Frontier Developments have ensured that Zoo Tycoon does a stand up job of educating players about the animals in the game including their natural habitats and behavioural habits. Frontier haven’t just stopped there though, they’ve also ensured that whilst players enjoy everything Zoo Tycoon has to offer, they soon realise that increasing the Zoo’s fame and profit is just a small step to achieving a environmentally conscious park that looks after it’s animals as well as helping preserve their way of life and reintroducing them back to their natural habitats after successful breeding.

Zoo Tycoon Xbox One Box Shot

Don’t worry, being socially aware and minded isn’t all that hard and stressful. In fact Frontier have made sure that this console sim title remains fun and interesting without the hassle and delicate intricacies of more advanced PC sims. Zoo Tycoon has been developed to play to the consoles strengths, of which we are aware there are a lot, this includes menus that are easy to navigate, fluid building mechanics, snappy, flashy and readable visuals. A couple of features have been added to the latest title in this franchise which are purely aimed at console players, the most fun of which is the ability to navigate your Zoo at ground level. You can either jog around the park on foot or jump in a buggy and drive around. Don’t worry, your visitors will automatically move out of the way. Whilst on foot you’ll be able to take pictures of your exhibit as it grows and evolves under your leadership. Being able to experience the Zoo you are building like this, as your visitors do, may seem like a gimmick, but the overall experience is a pleasant one and it really contributes to the overall enjoyment of the game.

If you have played Tycoon games for a while, especially on PC, you’ll know that sometimes developers leave the user interface as ugly cumbersome behemoths that we need to deal with. Unlike those games, Zoo Tycoon is is enjoyable from moment-to-moment because you never struggle navigating with the interface and this means it is quick and easy to keep with duties associated with running a Zoo.

Zoo Tycoon Screenshot 1

Zoo Tycoon includes Kinect functionality and the implementation of this is brilliant. Long gone are the days of players waving their arms and hands frantically in front of the TV, Zoo Tycoon manages to make your Kinect seems fluid and natural. You can feed your animals, or play with them via facial expressions and hand gestures. As gimmicky as it may seem, I can’t deny how adorable it was to pull faces and play peek-a-boo with a chimpanzee. But putting this to shame is the extremely clever way Frontier Developments have implemented voice commands via Kinect. Being able to say commands like ‘Ping Animal hunger’ and have that particular animal need overlaid across the entire park immediately made it extremely easy to spot which enclosures needed their feeding stations refilled. Almost every statistic you could need is available via various voice commands including the ability see which animals are ready to be released to the wild. These added features, with their clever implementation made the micromanagement of my Zoo a breeze.

It’s quite straightforward really, you’ll need to spend your profits made from ticket and concession sales on expanding and improving the Zoo. You’ll achieve this through creating new exhibits that replicate various examples of habitats from around the world, then helicopter in some animals before ensuring they have enough food, water, facilities to clean and entertainment. You’ll of course be able to keep bumping up your profits by improving other aspects of your park including shops, restaurants, food stalls and sideshow entertainers. Keep your animals and guests happy and your Zoo will become more popular whilst gaining fame. The higher your fame level the more types of species you’ll be able to house in your Zoo.

Zoo Tycoon Screenshot 3

I am worried for Zoo Tycoon however as it seems undoubtedly fated to fall off the radar of most adult gamers who will be looking at the flashier and mature games out at present. It’s a shame, because this could be an even greater game when shared and played together as a family. The game itself might not be perfect, and I will be admit I found a few bugs here and there including glitches in the tutorial which left me confused as to what I was supposed to be doing. But when all is said and done the game does a superb job of showing off what the Xbox One can achieve, it offers hours of free-style game-play and is like I said at the beginning, fun and enjoyable for all ages.

If you’re looking for an addictive alternative to the First Person Shooter or racing titles in Xbox One’s launch line-up, then Zoo Tycoon is a game you should invest in.

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