The Jurassic World Video Game is a virtual reality video game released by Masrani Global Corporation‘s subsidiary International Genetic Technologies in 2015. It operates using both a virtual reality headset and computer monitor. This game is not only for entertainment, but was also used a competition for a place at Jurassic World‘s upcoming adventure camp, Camp Cretaceous, in the winter of 2015.
The player can utilize a VR headset, console/computer, or combination of both to play the game. There are two game modes, Story Mode and Jungle Race. The story is single-player only, but the Jungle Race game has both single and two-player modes.
The game takes place on the island of Isla Sorna, which was used between 1985 and 1993 for de-extinction research and development by InGen before being abandoned in 1993. At least the ending part of the game is a relatively linear chase sequence; deviation from the route is possible but quickly leads to failure. The game is not open-world, with a limited play area defined by the plot. Success in the game is heavily dependent on the player’s reflexes.
This game’s plot involves the player accompanying a scientist named Dr. Meriwether on an expedition to the long-abandoned Isla Sorna, which in this game is portrayed as still being inhabited by de-extinct animals. Most of the game has not been shown at this time; only the ending sequence is properly known. In the final level, Dr. Meriwether and the player character must flee a pride of female Velociraptors in northern Isla Sorna, attempting to reach an extraction point where they will be rescued by Simon Masrani‘s personal helicopter JW001. For most of this chase, Dr. Meriwether leads the player, advising them on when to hide and when to run. The chase leads through an open area littered with raptor bones. In all known playthroughs of this game, Dr. Meriwether is attacked and killed by multiple raptors; it is currently unknown if there is a way to save him. If the player character dies, the game autosaves moments before the character’s death; the player can choose to continue from here and try to avoid their impending death or simply load a previous save.
Near the extraction point, the player will be approached by a female Tyrannosaurus rex, which moves to eat the player. The player can dodge this if their reflexes are fast enough, but the dinosaur will continue to pursue them until they are caught. One way to beat the game has been discovered: using a hidden item among the raptor bones, the player can summon several raptors to attack the tyrannosaur, allowing the player to escape. From here, the player is rescued by JW001, and the game ends.
The plot of the game does not appear to be extremely deep, with a basic VR survival adventure being the main theme. Its primary purpose was as the Camp Cretaceous competition, though the game was also geared toward the lore behind Isla Sorna and Jurassic Park; it bears a number of Easter eggs referencing aspects of de-extinction history.
Either one or two players can play the Jungle Race mode of the game. Eight playable characters are available: these include Dr. Meriwether, an unnamed mercenary called “Merc,” Jane Aero, an Ankylosaurus called “Ank,” a Velociraptor simply called “Raptor,” a female Tyrannosaurus rex, Mr. DNA, and a currently unknown eighth character. The race is fairly straightforward: players direct their characters through a single-course map, avoiding obstacles and hostile dinosaur characters while trying to beat one another or their own time record. JW001 waits at the finish line. Players will receive a time penalty for missing an obstacle, with a much more severe time penalty for being caught by a hostile dinosaur. This mode of the game is less realistic than the main story, featuring retro-style gaming noises for jumps, time penalties, and victory.
In 2015, Masrani Global Corporation planned a youth adventure camp which would take place on Isla Nublar called Camp Cretaceous. A trial run of the camp would be held over the winter holidays that year, with six campers being selected to experience it. Five of the six campers were chosen due to their connections, as the children of Jurassic World investors, board members, suppliers, and so forth. The VR game was used as a vehicle to choose the sixth camper. Because the camp was for younger teenagers, the game was probably marketed only to them, with age restrictions set on who the chosen winner could be. Since the Camp Cretaceous competition could only be won by one person, the game probably required an internet connection so that once the victory announcement had been issued, it could not be issued again.
Upon its release, the game was downloaded and played by many avid gamers, but was quickly decried as unbeatable. Most players missed the key item tied to achieving victory: the item was the bony remains of a Velociraptor resonating chamber, which could be located among other skeletal remains. This item was not detailed in the game guide and was left for players to discover. Using it would cause the raptors to attack the tyrannosaur in the final scene, but recognizing the item and predicting its effects required background knowledge beyond regular gaming logic. Many players may have also missed the item due to the fast-paced nature of the scene.
The first player to win the game was Darius Bowman, a young paleontology enthusiast from a middle-class family. Unlike the professional gamers who had so far been unable to beat the game, Darius referenced the research of paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant, who had significant amounts of experience with de-extinct animals such as InGen’s Velociraptors. Grant’s books, particularly Lost World of the Dinosaurs, informed Darius of what he needed to know to win the game. Two of Grant’s own experiences were referenced in gameplay: the raptors attacking the tyrannosaur is based on Dr. Grant witnessing these theropods fighting during the 1993 incident, and the raptor resonating chamber is based on research by Dr. Grant and his colleague Billy Brennan into deinonychosaurian communication. During the 2001 incident, Dr. Grant used a 3D-printed raptor resonating chamber replica to establish rudimentary communication with a pack of raptors; he had previously studied fossil remains in Montana to develop hypotheses about the animals’ vocalizations.
It is highly likely that this game (which probably had significant influence from Simon Masrani himself) was deliberately designed so that only a dedicated fan of the Jurassic World brand would be likely to win it. Traditional paleontology had fallen out of favor after de-extinction, and Dr. Grant was better remembered for his experiences on Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna than for his paleontological theories. To win the Jurassic World VR game, a player would have to be familiar with Dr. Grant’s accounts of the incidents and his scientific contributions (the 2001 incident was heavily censored by the government, so to know about the raptor resonating chamber, one would have to read his literature).
Upon beating the game, the winner was greeted by Mr. DNA, who would confirm the player’s victory and invite them on their all-expenses-paid stay at Camp Cretaceous.
Though the game was beaten by Darius Bowman and the competition ended with this, it is still available to be downloaded and played. However, any expansions or downloadable content probably ended when the 2015 incident caused Jurassic World to permanently close.