I can’t believe I get to talk about dinosaurs again. The happiness I feel at this alone is insane. Although I can’t promise the boss-man won’t regret that decision late. After all, I got the new Dominion Biosyn Expansion.
Anyways, on to the main event! My life has been taken over by two things lately; cross-stitching Jeff Goldblum, and the Dominion Biosyn Expansion. The first thing that I need to say about this DLC is that it is so jam-packed with content that it may as well be its own game. That alone is insanely impressive.
Included in the Dominion Biosyn Expansion game-mode-wise are a new campaign (in two parts), a new chaos theory, and a bunch of new challenge modes (thanks to the latest update). We’ve also got some beautiful new dinosaurs. Update 3 launched alongside the DLC, so I’ll dive into that first! There are a lot of new features, as well as bug fixes, so even if you don’t get the DLC, there’s something for everyone! I’ve also tossed in a couple of my favourite screenshots from the game, I couldn’t resist.
The Dominion update is the third big update for Jurassic World Evolution 2, and as always is a free update. To start with, chaos theory maps are now available in challenge mode. Naturally, as the title suggests, this brings with it a whole new level of difficulty. I freakin’ LOVE these maps. Admittedly, I get a little bit stressed in both challenge mode and chaos theory mode- that’s just me. However, I do end up with a greater feeling of accomplishment with each completed mission. By now, everyone knows how I feel about spoilers, so I won’t ruin the actual challenges within. What I will say is this: don’t forget to take a few deep breaths, but, most importantly, enjoy! The team have done a great job on the challenge modes.
Alongside all this, there’s a new mechanic. Dinosaur wrangling. This is introduced in the new chaos theory mode but will be universally available in other modes. This is very much a ‘does what it says on the tin’ situation. Instead of needing to sedate and air transport dinosaurs, you can now hop in a ranger vehicle and herd them. Which is ridiculously fun. I haven’t tried it with raptors YET, but all I can think of is the scene in Jurassic World where Owen is riding his bike through the jungle with his raptors. I want to be that kind of cool. Speaking of transporting dinos, you can now select multiple dinos of the same species to transport in one go. This is extremely convenient, especially in the case of a cohabitation issue.
Transport and Quality of Life Updates
Park tours are now considered guest transport, so we can all breathe a sigh of relief. Well, I can anyway. I am a sucker for building a separate guest area and big enclosures. Naturally while doing this, I forget to add any kind of transport. You can now connect separate areas of the park, which will improve your transport rating, via a single connected tour. You can also add extra vehicles, all of which will have binoculars for increased visibility. There’s also a new DWF tour, meaning all eras will have tour access in sandbox mode.
We’ve also got some quality of life updates! There are new contracts and some changes to previous ones. Greater risks equal greater rewards. As always, things can easily go wrong. Choose wisely.
Sandbox mode has gotten the most changes, in my opinion. Building constraints have been removed! Remember all those buildings you could only have one of? Not any more! From arrival points to research centres, and everything in between, you can now have multiple! You can now also turn off both Status Checks and Dinosaur Injuries in full.
New dino time!! This is my favourite part about JWE2 DLCs. The new species. I didn’t think I could get more excited than I did when we got the epic hybrid Scorpios Rex. I adore that creepy weirdo. But you know what’s even better? SPICY RAPTORS! And the herbivore with anger issues.
Dominion Biosyn Expansion brings with it 4 new species; pyroraptor, therizinosaurus, dimetrodon, and quetzalcoatlus. So, spicy raptor, herbivore with anger issues, lizard boy, and big bird.
Fun fact about the pyroraptor: it got its name (“fire thief”) because the first remains were found after a forest fire! Personality-wise, they really are spicy. But oh, they are beautiful. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the feathers?! Incredible.
Next, we have our herbivore with anger issues, therizinosaurus. This guy’s name means “scythe lizard”. Looking at those claws, I completely understand why. These are very territorial creatures. You can get away with putting compies in the same enclosure, but anything else and you may just see those claws in action for more than grabbing foliage.
Dimetrodon (“two measures of teeth”) is the oldest prehistoric species in the game. This sailed carnivore was extinct millions of years before the first dinosaurs appeared on earth. I love these guys. I’ve found them to be super chill, even when I accidentally plopped some juicy herbivores in their enclosure. That might have been sheer dumb luck though…
And now to our big bird, quetzalcoatlus. This guy got its name from the Aztec feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl. Quetzalcoatlus is considered one of the largest flying animals of all time. It’s okay if that info makes you need a change of underwear. These massive guys do need a lot of aviary space to feel comfortable, but it’s more than worth it to watch their incredible wings in action.
Biosyn Sanctuary and Scorched Earth
Before I talk about the campaign, I just want to make a note for anyone who is planning on playing but hasn’t seen the Dominion movie yet. There is a cutscene linking Biosyn Sanctuary and Scorched Earth that is filled with movie spoilers. My Jurassic-obsessed self saw the movie on release day, but I know a lot of people still haven’t seen it. Unfortunately, the cutscene IS needed for context with Scorched Earth, but there is a ton of other content to still make the DLC worthwhile without the campaign.
Story-wise, the campaign is solid- build the Biosyn Sanctuary, bring in dinosaurs, and create new ones. But I have a deep-seated hatred for Lewis Dodgson. Recognise that name? Well, that is the same person Dennis Nedry meets with at the start of Jurassic Park. I have some choice words to describe Dodgson, but I think if I used them here, I’d never be allowed to review anything again. So while I did enjoy the campaign, it pained my soul to follow Dodgson’s orders.
To avoid spoilers, all I’m going to say about the Scorched Earth side of things is that it is a continuation of the movie. And also that I loved it. It’s a really great continuation of what happens after the credits roll and fits well with the series. I’m genuinely impressed.
This side of things overall brought in some great things. We’re introduced to amber mines, underground transport, invisible fences and more! Honestly, this brings in so many wonderful things that make building your own park in sandbox mode even more incredible.
Dominion Chaos Theory
The Dominion Chaos Theory is a mode that can be enjoyed with or without playing the campaign. This mode revolves around Owen Grady’s ranch, which is seen in the movie trailers. So thankfully, no spoilers on this front.
This is the mode that introduces wrangling. We won’t talk about how bad my in-game driving is, or how many times I accidentally drove into the parasaurolphus I was herding… But it is so much fun. However, wrangling isn’t the only thing we’re introduced to. And this is where I started to lose my mind. There are poachers. People that break through your fences and try to steal your dinos. Now, you can run them off and crash into them to cause damage. But the more damage and the more poachers appear the more stressed out I got. Chaos really is an apt name for this mode.
Now, it does show you on the Chaos Theory menu it does show the difficulty levels in stars. The stars are not a lie. Despite the hours I’ve put into the game, Dominion chaos was a little too difficult for me. I think with some more practice, I’ll get there much easier. But I really struggled through this one. It is very interesting, don’t get me wrong. However, it was a huge difficulty leap for my normal play style.
Remember friends… life, uh, finds a way. And so did Dominion Biosyn Expansion. I don’t think I’ve ever been more impressed by a DLC in all my gaming years, and I was an avid Sims player for years. Frontier has really been doing a fantastic job of keeping things interesting and exciting.
We all know how closely I hold the Jurassic franchise to my heart, so if something is bad or if I dislike something, I will not hold back. But Frontier has really pulled it out of the bag again with this DLC. Jurassic World Evolution 2 was my game of the year last year, and thanks to the Dominion Biosyn Expansion, it may just end up taking the spot for me again this year (sorry Pokémon).