Frontier Developments is ready for the winter by releasing its first DLC, The Arctic Pack, for their recent release Planet Zoo. This new DLC adds four new arctic animals to go with two new challenging winter scenarios and a lot of festive scenery and foliage to make the best winter wonderland out there. While Christmas may not be the main theme, holiday lights and cheer are at the forefront of using these new additions from the snow to the buildings.
The two new scenarios are situated in Norway and Mexico. In Norway, you build your zoos on the Scandinavian fjords of Norway to build up a remote animal sanctuary, bringing new Arctic animals to their zoo, tending to their needs, and ensuring their habitats are suitable. This serves as an intro to the Planet Zoo Arctic Pack. Set on a remote island, your job as a zookeeper is to construct habitats for each of the new animals from the DLC, which helps you examine both the animals and their needs for when you’re ready to use them on your own.
Once you complete the first scenario, its time for the harder of the challenges: Mexico. In this one, zookeepers expand an existing zoo that pushes you to learn how to keep native Arctic animals comfortable in a hot climate. Now, prior to the Planet Zoo Arctic Pack I had some experience with this since I have another zoo from Africa, which like Mexico, has a hot climate that you need to use heaters and coolers to keep your animals comfortable and happy. This scenario really puts resource management to the test because you need to be able to keep your winter animals cold at all times since these are Arctic animals after all. All of these challenges are entertaining and fun which expands on elements of the game.
I know some people love the scenarios of Planet Zoo, but the real value of this DLC is the four new animals along with all the winter scenery. The four new animals consist of Dall sheep, polar bears, arctic wolves, and reindeer. They add to the already large animal selection of Planet Zoo and with them all being from the same climate these animals really go nicely together in any zoo. The reindeer are by far the hardest to take care of as being in large herds they kept catching diseases and reproduce at such a high rate that your entire habitat can be overrun pretty quickly. Additionally, I like that the game acknowledges that the arctic wolves look very similar to the already timberwolves. Frontier also does a fantastic job though of showing and highlighting the distinct differences between the two species mainly that arctic wolves are fluffy. The polar bears and Dall sheep had no feature or issue sticking out other than both are cute, lovable, fit into the arctic well.
My favorite part of the Planet Zoo Arctic Pack is by far all the foliage and scenery items that came with the pack. I enjoy the wooden cabin and holiday vibe the scenery added to the game. Along with all the great ways Frontier used ice in numerous of items. Ice can be found in habitats as toys, ice sculptures for basic aesthetics around the park, or even within the habitats like “rocks”. The trees coming with lights and the new lights they added, in particular, allow for your park to really come alive at night.
Overall, the Planet Zoo Arctic Pack seems to be light on overall content but still adds plenty to an already existing great game. As the game progresses I hope that animals outside existing families are added. There are plenty of bears to choose from and the other animals are similar to existing ones in the game already. It would have been nice to see other Arctic animals like penguins, seals, and those that could add more diversity to the choices in the game. That being said, f you love playing Planet Zoo and are looking to expand on a current zoo or just start a new one then the Arctic Pack is definitely worth it. The holiday feels to arctic pack is just a bonus. The scenarios are great, but anything that adds not only new animals but a variety of new items is a win in my book.
Planet Zoo Arctic Pack can be found on PC, Steam for $19.99.
Planet Zoo: The Arctic Pack
- Rating - 9/109/10
Overall, the Planet Zoo Arctic Pack seems to be light on overall content but still adds plenty to an already existing great game. As the game progresses I hope that animals outside existing families are added. There are plenty of bears to choose from and the other animals are similar to existing ones in the game already.