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Watch 17 minutes of Planet Zoo gameplay from E3

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Frontier has shown off Planet Zoo (opens in new tab)'s E3 demo, previously revealed behind closed doors. The gameplay, narrated by developers, gives us a pretty detailed look at a built up zoo full of animal exhibits, from big enclosures to wee terrariums. Give it a watch above. 

Planet Zoo's easily one of most exciting things we got to see at E3, in no small part to the interesting stuff Frontier's doing with its menagerie. Each of them is unique, apparently, right down to their appearance and traits, some of which they get from their parents. And then each species has its own proclivities, like herding, and needs that determine how you build their habitat. 

The animation is a real high point. You can zoom in close to admire your animals, and Frontier seems to have done an incredible job bringing them to life. Giraffes constantly flick their ears, chimps always look like they're gurning and alligators swim through the water menacingly—it's all been recreated. 

You can build mixed habitats, as some of the animals like living together, and you can fill them with 'enrichment items' that cheer them up. The wildebeest really seem to like being able to rub against stuff for a good scratch, for instance. And like Planet Coaster, you can build your zoos around certain themes. In the demo, the zoo had Serengeti vibes, from the map itself to the buildings and animal selection. 

While animals are the stars, there are also some rides for guests, taking them on trips around the zoo, and finally we can see inside interiors. So you can follow a member of staff around as they go inside the kitchen to prepare food for the animals or hang around the staff room to see what they get up to on their time off. 

It's the most we've seen of the game so far, and it's definitely looking promising, combining the good bits from Jurassic World Evolution with all the great, modular, creative stuff from Planet Coaster.

We'll see more when the beta kicks off this summer, and Planet Zoo is due out on November 5.

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.