Jurassic World Aftermath: Part 2 is now available, finishing off the story as a DLC purchase that continues on from Part 1. But is there enough dinosaur action here to justify diving back in, almost a year on? Here’s our full review.
Jurassic World Aftermath released as a Quest-exclusive stealth title last year, based on the iconic film series that began with Jurassic Park in 1993. The story of Aftermath is a continuation of the newer Jurassic World films, however last year’s release didn’t tell the full story. Originally planned to release as one whole story, the game was instead split into two — Part 1 came out last year, and now Part 2 is available as DLC, continuing and finishing the story.
In my review of Part 1, I found the game to be serviceable and mostly enjoyable, but still with some pretty noticeable flaws. The visuals were fantastic, as were the dinosaur animations and the lush soundtrack. However, I came away also feeling unsatisfied — the stealth sequences were repetitive, there were only two types of dinosaurs and, worst of all, the story was uninteresting and incomplete.
Wrapping Up Loose Ends
Given Aftermath is a continuation of the original and not an actual sequel, it should come as no surprise that all of the above is as true for Part 2 as it was for Part 1. That being said, it does introduce some new elements and the latter half of this part features much more variety in gameplay and dinosaurs, which is great. However, the overwhelming problem is that the split into two parts has left both parts feeling oddly paced, bloated and repetitive. The ending of Part 1 is abrupt, as is the beginning to Part 2. A brief recap of the (frankly uninteresting) story plays out, before you are back in the Ops Room, exactly where you left off.
It’s been a year since Part 1, so jumping back into Part 2, it was difficult to recall what I was doing and for what purpose. Even worse, you’ll soon remember it doesn’t matter — Aftermath’s story isn’t very compelling, delivered by Mia, a voice on your intercom, who gives an abundance of unneeded contextual information. The story only really exists to keep coming up with excuses for you to move from point A to point B, or tease you with an objective before a blocked door or some other inconvenience forces you to reroute. It’s laboriously repetitive, and it doesn’t help that it includes sections where you just have to stand and listen to voice recordings featuring a phoned-in performance from Jeff Goldblum. Given Goldblum is usually full of charisma, it’s telling that his sections mostly fall flat here, just like Part 1
Velociraptor Stealth… Again
In the same way that the story abruptly resumes where it left off, so does the gameplay. Most of Part 2 is more of the same velociraptor stealth sections, this time with new elements added in. It’s not until the second half of this part that we get to some more interesting encounters with different types of dinosaurs.
It’s a weird pacing choice to start off with a huge chunk of gameplay that’s so similar to Part 1, but there is some added complexity and challenge. You might have to connect some power cables without getting spotted in one section, or evade the velociraptors while completely in the dark in another. Or in certain sections, you’ll have to avoid giving away your position by ensuring you don’t step on broken glass or get too close to the tiny compsognathus dinos, who will chirp and bring the big boys right to you. These fresh twists do add a bit more depth, but it doesn’t stop you from feeling like you’re treading over very similar ground to Part 1.
The real variety comes as the story starts to reach its conclusion in the last two or so hours of Aftermath. Time is ticking and it feels like, thankfully, there’s a bit more pressure and higher stakes than anything so far. These last few hours are the best of both Part 1 and Part 2, and feature some genuinely great moments with a few new, iconic dinosaurs that feel more cinematic and engaging than the repetitive velociraptor stealth rooms.
Close Encounters of the T-Rex Kind
The best segment is, of course, the encounter with the franchise’s iconic tyrannosaurus rex. (If you want to avoid spoilers for the nature/gameplay of the t-rex encounter, skip this paragraph) The t-rex first appeared directly after your plane crash in Part 1, but here she gets her own full dedicated gameplay segment and it’s equally terrifying and exhilarating. The sequence involves a clever twist on stealth that will require you to slowly move across areas as the t-rex scans them from above. If her gaze falls on an area you’re standing in, you have to completely freeze — any movement and you become a tasty treat. It culminates in a fantastically brief but tense segment, which I won’t spoil here, that plays to VR’s strengths well and is one of the more memorable moments in the game.
The entire segment is a nice break in the gameplay and a genuinely fresh mechanic that I wish Aftermath had more of. While there are new puzzles and some other new dino encounters in Part 2, nothing feels as impactful as the t-rex. It’s a shame that it’s over fairly quickly and is only a small segment of Part 2’s offering.
There and Back Again
The other big frustration with Part 2 is that you end up doing a lot of walking from point A to point B, and then backtracking through the area you just cleared, in order to get back to the hub area. It really increases the feelings of repetitiveness and is a very passive activity for a VR game. There was nothing worse than finishing a chunk of the game and then hearing Mia go, “Ok, back to the Ops Room” and realizing I had to walk all the way back through the same, now-empty areas before I could start the next section.
There were even points where I walked through areas quicker than the game wanted me to, and I was forced to wait at a locked door until Mia had finished her set lines of dialogue for the area. As the game went on, the walking around and collecting an object formula, interspersed with brief dinosaur encounters, really started to wear thin.
A Tale Of Two Parts
Reviewing Part 2 of Aftermath on its own is difficult — it’s might seem like I’ve focused on lots of negatives, but that’s because so much of what does work in Aftermath Part 2 was already present in Part 1. The game still looks fantastic, the performance on Quest 2 is impeccable, the music is luscious and overall the game does genuinely provide you with some fun stealth sequences involving dinosaurs. It’s also worth repeating that the dinosaurs themselves all look absolutely stunning and their animations feel alive and polished. All of those great parts from Part 1 transfer over here.
But that also means that the bad elements also carry over. The last two hours are the best of the entire experience, Part 1 included, but everything leading up to that feels like a retread. The new twists that are thrown in ultimately aren’t enough to stop those stealth levels feeling more repetitive than ever. By the time everything comes together for one last, challenging velociraptor sequence at the end, I was so burnt out that I just wanted to rush through it.
It really feels like the split into two parts has done more damage than good — for someone who might play Part 1 and 2 back-to-back, as the game was intended to release, my suspicion is that it would feel drawn out, particularly in the middle. I think it would be hard to argue it’s worth pushing through all that, coupled with the mediocre story, just to get to the genuinely good parts, t-rex included, in the final few hours.
On the other hand, if you’ve already played Part 1 last year, even if you really enjoyed it, you’re going to have to be prepared to play through another hour or two of very similar gameplay before you get to the fresh stuff. It feels like a lose-lose scenario.
Jurassic World Aftermath: Part 2 – Final Verdict
Somewhere in Jurassic World Aftermath, there is a more succinct, distilled experience that could have really drilled down into the best of both parts without so much repetition, bloat and unnecessarily overbearing story. Put me on the island, give me a few really creepy velociraptor sections, some thrilling pterodactyl sightings, a few other cool dinosaur-related puzzles and a big finale with the t-rex, set over just a few hours. It’s a shame that wasn’t the case, because I think something more focused (and finished on first release) could have been a great new go-to experience for those just getting into the Quest library.
Sadly, the final verdict is pretty simple — this is about what you would expect from a piece of DLC that essentially finishes off a game that released its first half before the second was ready. Both parts share the good and the bad of each other — the dinosaurs are great, but they’re packed into repetitive and bloated gameplay with an oddly paced and largely uninteresting story. Just like how I finished my review of Part 1, Part 2 of Aftermath has some really satisfying moments, but sadly they feel too far and too few between — not even a massive t-rex can fix that.
For more on how we arrive at our scores, check out our review guidelines.