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Dreamworks Interactive




1 Player

Game Type



Review Date

September 1997

Setting the Scene

Jurassic Park was a phenomenal success at the box office, grossing hundreds of millions of dollars, therefore it was no great surprise when Steven Spielberg decided to set his team to work on the sequel, The Lost World.

What did raise a few eyebrows was the fact that special effects genius Spielberg allowed the video games development team, Dreamworks Interactive, special access to materials used on the movie. Furthermore, the Playstation version was completed in time to be released alongside the movie. This allowed it to ride on the wave of promotion that is pushing The Lost World movie towards blockbuster takings. Eat your heart out Batman and Robin.

In case you have been extinct for the last 100 million years or so, both movie and game are based on the Michael Crichton novel where scientists have been breeding dinosaurs on a remote island.

The good news is the game is actually more fun than the movie which must be a first in the concept of tie-in's.


The Lost World is a platform game that is set in a style similar to the excellent Pandemonium. Although the player is restricted to a set path there are many circumstances where an alternative route may be chosen. Add to this 3D characters, enemies and scenery with a swinging camera that gives the game further depth while increasing the tension.


Congratulations are in store for the development team who have provided us with some of the best graphics seen to date on the PSX.

The backgrounds are extremely well drawn with lighting and shading providing a depth that give the surroundings a real 3D effect. Although you predominantly guide your character across a level from left to right, a sudden reverse and backtrack will lead you off into a new direction towards or away from the screen. The camera will then swoop around to restore the usual side-on view.

The structure of the environment also allows you to move up and down as cliff faces may be scaled to reveal hidden areas, rivers can be swam and perilous spike pits must be hurdled or swung over Tarzan style. Creatures are alerted to your presence and weave in front of, or behind, the scenery as their instincts motion them towards their lunch.

The animations of the dinosaurs are so fluid that they could almost be real. The little Compy skips and jumps across various obstacles with the athleticism of a frog before using it's light and powerful anatomy to hunt down it's prey. The 'King of the Dinosaurs', the T-Rex, stumbles along heaving it's 7 ton framework around with a 'don't give a shit' attitude, and to be honest, who's going to argue.

Sounds and Effects

A superb orchestration brings The Lost World to life. The soundtrack could well have been taken directly from the movie and compliments the action by building to a crescendo as the gameplay becomes tense.

The atmosphere generated by the sound effects is quite frightening. The pounding reverberations of the 40 foot long T-Rex reaches earthquake proportions and duly puts fear into your underpants.
Every dinosaur and reptile has it's own distinct roar and each one translates into a solitary message - run for it!
The human characters omit terrifying screams as they are chosen from the menu and promptly gobbled up. Not before they are ripped to shreds first, I hasten to add.

Stop at any time, during any level and listen! The effort that has been taken to provide a complete ambience is remarkable - running water, distant screams, occasional gunfire, the sound that only creatures of the night would provide - it's all there and contributes towards a fully living environment.


The Lost World is made up of 25 levels that are divided into groups of five playable characters. There are three levels of difficulty - easy, medium or hard which offer 5, 3, and 1 lives respectively. I would first like to say that anyone who can complete this game on a hard setting should not be sitting at home playing video games. Join the Marines or the SAS. You're country needs you. This game is tricky, to put it mildly. Furthermore, passwords are only offered after every FIVE levels and your chances of survival on any setting but easy is about a likely as walking into a lion's den smelling of Bambi's glands and emerging unscathed.

The game begins with you controlling a 40 inch long Compsognathus. Now Compy may be the smallest of dinosaurs but he holds a ferocious snap attack and one hell of a spring in his heels. Compy must be guided through five differing levels that involves leaping across narrow platforms where the slightest error will see his demise, avoiding the massive feet of a herd of long necked Brachiosaurus and out-running the bizarre looking meat eater, the Carnotaurus.

Controlling Compy is straightforward with buttons to jump, evade, lunge and snap attack. Once the enemy is defeated, feeding on their blood will recharge your health. Various power-ups are available throughout each level which appear in the form of instinct boosts. The better your instincts, the more damage you inflict during fights.

During each level there is one DNA key to find which will unlock a gallery of images at the end of each five levels. To be honest, these are simply a collection of information cards similar to those that kids would collect and put in a scrap book. Slightly disappointing after the extra effort needed to collect all of the DNA keys.

Compy provides a stern challenge for the opening levels as each jump must be pixel perfect and a simple error will return you all the way back to the start losing a precious life which can become increasingly frustrating.

The Velocirapter bounds around multi-level platforms where power ups can be found inside packing crates but beware as some containers contain a nasty surprise. The Raptor is hunted by humans who constantly bombard it with an array of firepower. In return it will leap at the men, wrap its legs around their bodies and duly chomp their heads off. Lovely!

There are two human characters to control. Both are armed with a multi-purpose weapon and a grappling hook which may be fired at overhanging ledges to swing over hazards. The first Homo Sapien is the Hunter who must scale great heights to avoid dangers lurking down below. Should he venture onto the lower levels be prepared for a rough ride as a wide range of meat-eating nasties await. The second controllable human is Prey. These levels involve a race across a selection of obstacle courses with a rampaging T-Rex breathing down your neck. I found these levels the most enjoyable, even though it took over 50 attempts to complete the first course (5 lives? What a joke.)

The T-Rex is one hell of a beast to control and this group of levels are quite amusing when you eventually get past the opening section. The feeling of power as you charge through fallen trees as if they were matchsticks is awesome. He is very sluggish to control and this can become quite frustrating when small groups of enemies attack from the front and the rear at the same time. It is worth playing these levels just to see the mighty T-Rex grab hold of a human with his teeth, throw him up in the air and swallow him whole. Tasty stuff.

Value for Money

If you refuse to use the cheat codes, I can guarantee that this game will take longer to complete than any other in your collection. Whether that means longevity or slow torture is for you to decide. The question is - does that make it value for money? Well, the graphics are stunning, the music and sound effects are excellent and the gameplay is extremely hard. If only a password had been offered after every level I would be praising The Lost World from the highest rooftops. As it stands - use the cheat code that gives you 90 lives and cut down on your frustrations.





I am one of the few who believe that cheat codes spoil a game. I mean what is the point on spending your hard earned cash on a new game then coding in 'Indestructible' and completing the task in a couple of nights. I sometimes use level codes for reviewing purposes to inform you readers of the graphical content later in the game but only after giving it a fair crack of the whip completely unaided. The Lost World proved an exception to this rule. Without using the extra lives code I would probably be only reviewing the first few levels after playing this solidly for many days. It will provide a stiff challenge for the hardened gamer but is definitely not for whimps.








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