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Jurassic World Evolution mutates with a major update and its first paid DLC

I’d somehow never noticed it until now, but Jurassic World Evolution‘s dinosaurs would only ever rest if they were on death’s door. As of today’s patch – update 1.5 – the sun will now set on the dino-park sim, the big lizards will take a kip and hang out with their reptilian pals when they wake, as detailed in the patch notes here. Still, if you’re playing god, why not go all-in? Today’s paid Secrets Of Dr Wu DLC adds more islands, new story missions and a few gene-spliced hybrid creatures, like the very pointy Stegoceratops above. See the ethically questionable trailer below.

Today’s patch notes for Jurassic World Evolution are a little surreal to read, because somehow everything they’ve added feels like it should have been there in the first place. Sleeping animations were in the game previously, but seldom used, but you’ll see them more now that the sun is setting and rising on the regular. More interesting are dino social groups – more social dinos will form into herds with real leadership. Not every type of dinosaur wants friends, but those who do will display some interesting new behaviours, including contesting others for leadership over the herd.

Outside of the patch, the Secrets Of Dr Wu DLC looks enticing for folks wanting more structured missions. Two more islands have been added, and some story missions involving the mysterious Dr Wu and his plan to create the ultimate dinosaur. There’s five new dinos in these missions, including the natural-ish Olorotitan and Troodon, and the engineered Ankylodocus, Spinoraptor and Stegoceratops. There’s also the ‘Indominus Rex’ camouflage gene mutation, which you can splice into anything to grant it near-invisibility when hunting, because that’ll never, ever backfire.

When it first launched, Jurassic World Evolution had the look and sound of the films, but it perhaps lacked the muscle to be king of the dino-park tycoon world. Over the past five major updates, Frontier Developments have gone a long way to bulking it up. The challenge mode released a few months ago was good for creating movie-like scenarios where ambition and haste could result in catastrophic failure cascades, but it’s nice to see the dinosaurs themselves given a little more love. Plus, I can identify with any hungry, slow-moving creature that sleeps a lot.

Jurassic World Evolution: Secrets Of Dr Wu is out now on Steam for £13/€15/$15, which I’m sure will look more tempting when sales season rolls round. The 1.5 patch is free, and you can see the full notes here.

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