How 'Jurassic World Evolution 2' Bridges the Gap Between 'Fallen Kingdom' and 'Dominion'

Jurassic World Evolution 2's campaign mode bridges the gap between the movie Fallen Kingdom and its imminent follow-up Dominion. Explaining how their game fits into the broader series canon, the team at Frontier Developments spoke to Newsweek in an exclusive interview.

A five-minute prologue for Jurassic World: Dominion has just been released online by Universal Pictures. If you attended an IMAX screening of Fast & Furious 9 earlier this year, then you will have already seen it (as the clip debuted as a teaser before that film) but for everybody else, this is their first look at the upcoming prehistoric adventure.

Essentially the pre-title sequence of the movie, you can watch this sneak peek on the official Jurassic World YouTube account. It starts off unusually sedate, with a dialogue-free stretch that depicts Earth as it was 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the earth. After this journey into the past (which feels almost like a nature documentary in terms of its style), we then flash forward to the present day, where a stampeding T-Rex wreaks havoc upon a drive-in theatre.

This is the central hook of the new movie, which finally takes the action outside of the Cinco Muertes archipelago and into the mainland United States. We have had brief teases of this before (most notably in the climax of The Lost World), but Jurassic World: Dominion is all about what happens when these primeval animals intrude upon modern civilization.

It's an intriguing premise for any dino fan and the prologue gives us a tantalizing first glimpse at what's in store. Or rather, it would do, were it not for the fact that Jurassic World Evolution 2 already came out a couple of weeks ago.

'Jurassic World Evolution 2' Sets the Stage for 'Jurassic World: Dominion'

Jurassic World Evolution 2 Velociraptor
With "Jurassic World Evolution 2", you get to overseen the operations of a functioning dinosaur theme park. Frontier Developments

The park management sim's campaign mode is effectively a prequel to Dominion, sandwiched between the events of the newer film and the Battle at Big Rock short that came out in 2019.

As such, anybody who has already played through the title will immediately recognize certain elements in the Dominion prologue. Many of the animals you see (including the intimidating Giganotosaurus) have already made their debut in Evolution 2, and the game offers you a good look at what the exciting new world will feel like.

Speaking about how this came to be, the game's director Rich Newbold said: "Around the time we finished the "Return to Jurassic Park" DLC [for the first game] the team felt we had a great opportunity [to] tell some interesting narratives in the shape of a sequel.

"Jurassic World is such an iconic universe, and one that the team were keen to explore in more depth [...] Being able to pick up where Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom left off gave us huge creative licence to create our own original narrative, which also precedes the upcoming Jurassic World: Dominion. It was incredibly exciting to be able to create a story of our own set within Jurassic's canon. Universal are such supportive partners and helped us to craft a narrative that feels like a true extension of the franchise.

"Our story is set immediately after the Earth-shattering events of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. We wanted to explore how finding dinosaurs out in the wild could present entirely new challenges to players. They'll work to lead the efforts of the DFW (Department of Fish and Wildlife) to control, conserve, and contain wild dinosaurs now rampaging across the USA."

The Game's Campaign Is Part of the Series Canon

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The campaign has you setting up animal sanctuaries for dinosaurs who have found themselves far outside of their natural habitats in the U.S. Frontier Developments

Jurassic World Evolution 2 has a "Chaos Theory" mode that lets you play out hypothetical What If style scenarios, that reimagine key events from the movies.

They're fun little twists on the established lore —with ideas like "what if InGen successfully opened up the San Diego park in The Lost World?" — but they're obviously not part of the official canon. They're just alternate universe scenarios for you to explore.

Elaborating upon this side of the game, Newbold said: "When designing Chaos Theory mode, we wanted to offer a re-imagined take on pivotal scenes from the Jurassic World and Jurassic Park franchises, letting players experience key moments of their favourite films.

"We watched each film and brainstormed ways in which we could take a moment and turn it into a "what if" [scenario], asking ourselves the questions of what the player could be responsible for."

Jurassic World Evolution 2 Velociraptor
In Chaos Theory mode, you can alter the course of "Jurassic World" history by making sure that things go differently. For instance, you can make sure that the original park has a smooth opening. Frontier Developments

While Chaos Theory is very much its own thing, the Jurassic World Evolution 2 story mode is firmly integrated with the series canon. In fact, it provides a lot of set-up for where Dominion will ultimately end up.

If you have dipped into the campaign at all, then you will know that it concerns Owen Grady and Claire Dearing (Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard's characters respectively) trying to establish animal sanctuaries around the United States. These protected zones, overseen by the DFW, will help care for all the dinos that escaped from the Lockwood mansion at the end of Fallen Kingdom.

Along the way you will have to deal with threats of internal sabotage, poachers, and dinosaurs clashing with their modern surroundings (there is a neat little reference to Jurassic Park 3, when one of your exhibits swallows a mobile phone).

Speaking about how this sets the stage for Dominion, Newbold said: "A great Jurassic game has to respect the universe [...] We're always working closely with the team at Universal Studios to make sure that the game stays true to the Jurassic franchise. [The Studio] has such a clear vision for where they want to take things and we work closely with them to make sure our game and our story fits into their canon."

The filmmakers are clearly pleased with the results of all this effort, as Jurassic World: Dominion's director, Colin Trevorrow, has publicly endorsed the game.

Frontier on the Benefits of Working With the 'Jurassic World' Filmmakers

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The game is filled with fun little nods to the movies. For instance, at one point in the campaign you will find a dinosaur who has become ill after swallowing a cell phone (ala "Jurassic Park 3"). Frontier Developments

With Jurassic World Evolution 2 having Universal's seal of approval, Frontier have had access to a lot of branding and resources.

They've got the authentic sound effects library, the iconic theme music and even some of the A-list cast reprising their roles from the movies. Specifically, they've been able to utilize the likes of Bryce Dallas Howard and Jeff Goldblum for voice-over work (and, in the case of the latter, for all of their promotional materials as well).

Talking about what it was like to work with Goldblum in particular, Newbold said: "Jeff knows these characters so well and it's so collaborative working with him to bring his character to life. Being in the VO sessions with him is a lot of fun.

"He'll add his own mannerisms and offer up some brilliant yet subtle tweaks. It all comes from his experience playing Dr. Ian Malcolm in a number of Jurassic movies over the years. It's always a fantastic experience to work with Jeff, and the rest of our wonderfully talented cast."

For more Jurassic World Evolution 2 content, check out our comprehensive list of every dino featured in the game, as well as our guide on how to get your scientist employees to chill out.

The management sim is available now on Xbox, PlayStation and PC.

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"Jurassic World Evolution 2" continues the story of "Fallen Kingdom", while setting up key events for the "Dominion". Frontier Developments