The Games We Played – Trespasser (PC)

Trespasser (PC) (Image courtesy TresCom)

Trespasser (PC) (Image courtesy TresCom)
By Andrew Liszewski

If you asked me to sum up the 1998 DreamWorks Interactive title Trespasser in just a few words, I’d have to say it was hands down the worst game I ever loved playing. Before Trespasser was released, it seemed to have everything going for it like a unique control system which eliminated a cluttered HUD, open-ended gameplay, cutting edge graphics, a robust physics and AI system and even a real-time foley engine for generating and mixing sound effects on the fly. Not to mention the fact the game was based on an insanely popular film franchise, and it involved dinosaurs! But in the end, Trespasser as a whole was definitely not greater than the sum of its parts. In fact, it was far less.

A long list of development issues had plagued the game, including an ever expanding budget and a race to release the title in time for Jurassic Park’s sequel. And it resulted in a final product that didn’t even come close to the ridiculous amount of hype that Trespasser had generated before its release.

Trespasser (PC) (Images courtesy TresCom)

And while I (and most reviewers) considered Trespasser to be an incredible disappointment, I still really enjoyed playing the game, at least as far as it allowed me to. One of the biggest problems with Trespasser was the unending list of bugs that made the game both hilariously entertaining, and frustratingly impossible. While it was quite amusing to see a Triceratops suddenly jump 50 feet into the air for no explicit reason, you could end up in tears trying to perform a simple task like stacking a few crates in order to traverse a broken staircase. But the game still had those rare moments when all of the elements worked together like they were designed to, and while hiding behind a rock watching a pack of Velociraptors go after a T-Rex, it kind of made you forget what Trespasser could have been. Hey Valve, any chance you’d be interested in taking over the reins and cooking up a sequel for us?

[ Wikipedia – Jurassic Park: Trespasser ] & [ TresCom ]


  1. I LOVED Trespasser. A friend of mine and I played it a LOT. Despite the bugs and other problems, the game was way ahead of its time, and some of the moments were truly scary.

  2. I was just thinking about this game last weekend, but I couldn't for the life of me recall the name. I'll have to see if I can dig up a copy and try it again, just for old time's sake.

  3. Valve, schmalve. What do they know about dinosaurs? Give it to Action Forms, the guys who did the Carnivores series. Carnivores 2 is still one of the greatest games ever made, in my opinion.

  4. I loved the feeling of desolation and truly being stranded on the Site B island, the game looked decent using 3dfx glide – otherwise not so much. Coming across abandoned and broken down structures from what you could imagine would have been impressive when they were new brought a depth of untold story telling that let your imagination fill in the gaps better than any cut scene could do, though I did love the occasional voiceovers. For a game that was beat up so hard in the reviews it’s funny to see so many people enthused about wanting to create a “Trespasser” like game, I’m pretty sure there was a mod project for Source and there’s a couple for Crysis – kind of doubt any of them will ever be released though.