Designed as a showpiece for Savage Entertainment
's Sabertooth Engine that they hoped to license out to developers, Jurassic Park: Survival was first announced at E3 2001. A joint publishing effort between Universal Interactive
, Survival was in development for a Holiday 2001 debut on PlayStation 2 to tie into the DVD release of that Summer's blockbuster film, Jurassic Park 3.
Though not directly tied to the plot of Jurassic Park 3, Survival was to be set on Isla Sorna and feature, among other dinosaurs, the Spinosaurus first shown off in the movie. Press materials name the main character as both David Vaughn and David Espinoza but regardless of ethnicity he remains a member of a "distinguished science team" sent to the island on "a mission of research". All that science goes right out the window, however, when David discovers that the security team protecting the research substation is actually a group of hired mercenaries sent by a rival corporation to steal dinosaur DNA. Escaping on a helicopter with fellow scientists, the mercenaries shoot them down and leave them for dead, taking other survivors as hostages.
Things turn Half-Life
as David goes from unassuming scientist to expert marksman and survivalist in order to simultaneously deal with dinosaur attacks, stop the escaping rogue agents, round up his kidnapped colleagues and ultimately escape the island intact.
Rarely seen in playable form the game would've been a third-person shooter with exploration and puzzle-solving elements. David is seen with various handguns and in direct contact with velociraptors and Tyrannosaurs Rex. A hacking feature was promised that would've let players tap into a surveillance network to scope out enemy locations and possibly release dinosaurs from their pens to take out mercenaries. Lots of climbing, rappeling, and block-pushing can been seen in this early trailer
. Environments in development included jungles, canyons, caverns, and manmade encampments and facilities. A vehicle section was also in the works with players racing a heavily armored ATV across the island, dodging dinosaurs and hazards and battling with the mercenaries. The Sabertooth Engine not only looked promising for a PlayStation 2 product, it was also to enable dinosaurs to realistically bend trees and cause rippling water and even terrain.
Although Jurassic Park 3 performed well in theaters its general reception seemed midling and its tired plot portrayed by an unexpected cast may have led to the game's ultimate demise. By the time the movie was on DVD Jurassic Park: Survival was long forgotten and supplemented by a handful of Game Boy titles from Konami.