Xbox One X Coverage: Zoo Tycoon Ultimate Animal Collection
Zoo Tycoon was a release title when the Xbox One first launched, and people were really excited to get the beloved PC Tycoon title on their consoles and big screens. Unfortunately, a number of major issues held that original title back, like huge limits on how much people could put in their parks, extremely long load times, and a myriad of technical issues and graphical hiccups. It was a fun, but majorly flawed experience. With the Xbox One X, Microsoft is taking another stab at Zoo Tycoon with the Ultimate Animal Collection. Does the extra power and speed in the One X make Zoo Tycoon a better game? Let’s take a look.
For the most part, Microsoft delivered on what they had originally hoped. With the Ultimate Animal Collection, zoos can now be bigger, and players have way more control over how paths are placed and what can be done within an animal collection. Two new animal collections have also been added – Australia and South America – as well as new campaigns and a new challenge zoo. This truly is an ultimate collection.
On the visuals side of things, there is a definite improvement with the 4k and HDR enhancements. Everything looks a bit brighter to begin with, but I especially noticed it on the animals while interacting with them and feeding them. The details on the elephants are unlike what I previously remember, and just to be sure, I loaded up the title on Xbox One to compare: there is a pretty good difference between the title on Xbox One, and what we now have on Xbox One X.
Zoo Tycoon Ultimate Animal Collection also has the added perk of being an Xbox Play Everywhere title, which means you can pick this up and continue from where you left off on the Xbox One X or on the PC. This feature was not available on the original title when the Xbox One launched, so it’s great to see it added here.
There is one downside, however, to the Ultimate Animal Collection. When Microsoft was pitching the Xbox One X, they talked about three things: better graphics thanks to 4K and HDR, that we would generally see 60 FPS on most titles, and that load times would be significantly reduced. All of these are true except the third one; the load times in Zoo Tycoon Ultimate Animal Collection are extraordinarily long, depending on what exactly you are loading. Just to load up a tutorial zoo at the beginning of the game clocked in a 48 seconds; while not a game breaker, it’s an annoyance I would have hoped Microsoft would have fixed with the Xbox One X version of the game. Hopefully a patch for this is forthcoming.
For the most part, Microsoft delivered on most of the Xbox One X promises with Zoo Tycoon Ultimate Animal Collection, and if you were a big fan of the first one, or perhaps never had a chance to take this game for a spin, now is a great time to jump in, build some zoos, and interact with numerous animals!