Operation Genesis' 3D graphics engine does an excellent job of rendering the lush terrain of a tropical island. The dinosaur models are very detailed, allowing players who have even a passing knowledge of paleontology to immediately spot the differences between similar-looking dinosaurs such as the brachiosaurus and the camarasaurus (also known as the brontosaurus). The models are also scaled accurately--small velociraptors are dwarfed by the much larger tyrannosaurs, for instance. Weather effects like rain, wind, lightning, and tornadoes add to the overall effect. The engine lets you rotate your view in any direction and also has a wide range of zoom, so you can get in close to examine individual dinosaurs, or get a much wider view to manage your park comfortably. Though Operation Genesis also has special effects like reflective water, we found that the game had a tendency to lock up with the more advanced graphics settings turned on. Fortunately, the game still looks good even at a medium level of detail, though the game's dinosaur animations still aren't particularly smooth.
Operation Genesis sounds almost as good as it looks. Each of the game's dinosaurs lets out different types of noises, depending on whether it's playing, hunting, sick, or frightened. Your park advisors provide some audio cues, and they even visually resemble the actors from the original movie (though their voices are provided by stand-ins). The in-game music is the very same score written by John Williams for the original Jurassic Park film. Williams' songs do contribute to the game's atmosphere, but die-hard fans of Mr. Williams' music may be disappointed to find that the game doesn't use CD-quality recordings of the tracks.
Operation Genesis' interface is probably its weakest aspect. The game's mouse control is imprecise, so you'll sometimes click on the wrong button. Also, the game provides no way to cycle between the different dinosaurs in your zoo, which can make trying to keep track of them more annoying than it should be.
Picking out larger dinosaurs is easy because they're so large, but some of the smaller ones like velociraptors can be hard to spot from a zoomed-out view. Thankfully, you can see the location of all your dinosaurs on the game's minimap, but the game probably could've benefited from a "cycle to next dinosaur" button. The game's interface also has no quick buttons to bring up your park map, so if you spend most of your time controlling the game with your mouse, you'll have to reach back to your keyboard and hit the Tab key to bring up this important screen.