Giraffes and grizzlies and hippopatomi (ugh, Latin plurals are the worst) and wolves and lions, oh my! Planet Zoo is coming November 5 from Frontier Developments, makers of Planet Coaster and, heh, Elite Dangerous. This is a company that's no stranger to animals, though. They brought Zoo Tycoon to Xbox 360 and Xbox One in 2013, and even launched the adorable Kinectimals on Xbox 360 back in 2010.
This looks so good. Planet Zoo is where "simulation runs wild." Like The Sims, every animal in here has a look and personality of their own. They will think, feel, and explore the world you make for them. The campaign mode will take you around the globe—I was wondering how they got snow in one shot and savannah in the next—while sandbox mode will naturally let you go wild with the wildlife. I like how the animals are realistic while the humans are goofy looking. The depictions of these animals are fantastic. They'd fit right alongside the best-looking animals you'd find in a Red Dead or a hunting sim today. You can craft naturalistic environments to make the animals feel at home as possible, or build playgrounds that my nine-year-old would die for.
While I'm sure keeping your business in the black is a meaningful part of any management sim, you'll also be conducting research in order to help each species thrive, raise families, and pass their genes onto future generations. New generations of animals can even be released back into the wild.
You're digging lakes and shaping rivers. You're raising hills and mountains. You're cutting paths and carving caves. There are hundreds of building components at your disposal. And since these are the developers of Planet Coaster and Elite Dangerous, the only expansion packs I need after this are ones that put the animals on roller coasters. In space.
Again, Planet Zoo [official site] launches November 5. There will be pre-launch beta access for pre-orders, though there's no word on whether beta access will be one weekend or one month before launch; not sure yet.