The initial announcement of seeing Zoo Tycoon getting remastered was certainly surprising since it didn’t receive a great reception at launch. I was able to check out the game at Pax West 2017 and was interested to see what they had done with it. For context I did buy the game at launch and it was alright aside from the build limit which killed the experience. You could build some neat things, but not for long with a tiny max on allotted creations. For those unfamiliar with the game it’s all about building a zoo and then running it. There were challenge modes, an open sandbox and cooperative actions all present. The Kinect was also an option for some activities and that continues to be the case here. The on-hand person there mentioned strongly that it now supports controllers, like with all the smaller games there.
It was also mentioned that players will need to re-buy it if they purchased the initial game. The available demo was basically the full game running at 4k HDR on a launch version of the Xbox One X as oppose to a debug unit. The console ran the game perfectly fine as expected while being only slightly warm. I wasn’t too blown away with the graphics as most aspects seem untouched. Things that were alright on Xbox One look very rough around the edges in 4k. It still has some nice vibrant environments with all ages friendly graphics. I also wanted to note that the game takes quite awhile to load which was surprising.
You get to build lots with options now to create paths at each placement and of course grab animals. Animals can be purchased or donated with some possibly coming from friends. It’s not a terribly difficult game to play as it’s just a fun tycoon simulation and this really is fantastic for the younger ones. The building is easy, though slightly slower it seemed here for placement. There are a ton of items to build though I didn’t notice anything new there and the on-hand person didn’t know either.
I’m not sure how remastered this is and honestly it’s the strangest thing Microsoft has done this year along with the other titles releasing with it. I don’t mind these games and they’re great for the family side of the console. I feel that these are here to somewhat quickly raise the small first party line-up and weren’t announced at E3 as they would have got torn into. Hopefully I’ll get to cover this new Xbox Play Anywhere version of the game when it launches as it’s fun though obviously not for everyone.
Read our Zoo Tycoon Review
Our Pax West 2017 Hub