Planet Zoo‘s brand new DLC takes players to the grasslands, featuring an assortment of unique wildlife, including much-needed additions to the walkthrough exhibit. It was released alongside the 1.12.1 free update last month.
Fans who are more into the animal aspect of Planet Zoo will be happy with not only the additions here but also the variety on offer. The new DLC features 8 new animals, including the nine-banded Armadillo, an Emu, a Wallaby, and more.
As always, Frontier has taken care with bringing these animals to life, and they behave in believable ways with a variety of activities to cycle through. As we mentioned before, the variety is what really sells this pack in our opinion, with how different each animal is, and the unique care they require.
A lot of the additions here including the wolf and the wallaby were actually quite popular in terms of Australian-themed fan requests, so it’s nice to see that addressed more.
The career mode set in the grasslands of Argentina is especially noteworthy where you are put in charge of not only turning a zoo around so that it can pass certification but will also see you working with wealthy socialite Tiffany Summers to help her learn the importance of animal care and animal sanctuaries in species conservation.
What makes the career mode interesting is that it has a lot of character to it, with a narrative thread that feels fun. It is something that Frontier had started experimenting with in the Twilight Pack.
In fact, the narrative continues from the Twilight Pack career, helping bind the overall experience and giving it chronological importance, which helps provide more depth to the world of Planet Zoo.
The walkthrough exhibits were one of my favourite additions last time, but I did find them lacking in content. This is why it’s nice to see more additions to it in the form of brand-new butterfly species. Variety is also the draw here, featuring five new variants, including Monarch, Old World Swallowtail and more, which can all be kept together in one exhibit. It is worth noting that this is the first time Planet Zoo has allowed inter-species compatibility.
It would be nice if we can have existing animals added to the walkthrough compatibility list, especially the Kangaroos, whose walkabouts are quite popular in real-life. We understand it would require new activities and additions to the animal behaviours, but it would really help bring the walkthrough exhibits closer to popular expectations.
Whilst not part of the paid DLC, it is also worth mentioning how good the 1.12.1 update for Planet Zoo is. The Guided Tours feature is especially noteworthy, as it will allow you to guide guests through a curated educational journey.
The interesting thing is that you can set up your own custom experience by placing Tour Points at desired destinations so that the guided tour will stop at exhibitions and refreshment areas of your choosing. This not only helps add even more immersion to the zoo keeping experience, but also lets you be more strategic with how certain guests engage with your zoo.
Another worthwhile addition from the free update is the diorama mode, which lets you focus more on the aesthetics by allowing you to create your very own dioramas. This is available in sandbox mode and can be shared via Steam Workshop. Frontier has already started highlighting some of the best community creations, and the image above showcases a beautiful diorama made by Steam user Cesar Creates.
Overall, with the addition of the new DLC and the free update, Planet Zoo is at the best place it has ever been, and it’s remarkable just how much the game has grown since launch. With a good variety of animals and the brand-new career mode, Planet Zoo fans should definitely think about getting the Grasslands Pack.