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- Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is, in a word, ambitious. When it launches exclusively for PC on August 27, it’ll transport players 10 million years back in time in order to experience what life may have been like for humanity’s most primitive progenitors. The following are a few reasons why history and science buffs should keep the game on their radars this summer. It may be the year’s sleeper hit.
The Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey evolution path is unique
Gradually, fans will be able to witness evolution manifest right before their very eyes. The ultimate goal is to see one’s clan transform into the hominin species Australopithecus, which is commonly referred to as humanity’s Lucy stage. As players might expect, they must have couples procreate in order to see their progress ripple through time. Parents pass down the skills they’ve learned and settlements they’ve built to their children, and the cycle repeats itself.
Though the concept of managing distinct populations is nothing new in the realm of video games, it’s hard to think of any titles that have attempted to be as vast as Ancestors claims it will be. Spore is much more focused on biology while the Sims franchise centers itself most around social interactions and community-building. It seems like Panache Digital’s title will attempt to meld these ideas together, thus offering something completely unique within the life simulation genre.
Unfortunately, players won’t be able to experience the entire history of mankind, as exploring the emergence of civilizations and technology would understandably be far too complicated for a team of 35 to tackle in just one title. Rather, these phenomena will be explored in a sequel or two, granted Ancestors performs well in sales, of course.
The Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey setting hasn’t been in many games
Ancestor‘s vision of prehistoric Africa is supposedly vast and varied. Players will be able to explore savannas littered with elephants and dense jungles filled with tall trees to climb. There will be no mini-maps. Rather, fans must rely on an intelligence system that scans their surroundings for landmarks they may have encountered before.
As fun and interesting as this may sound, the game won’t always be an easygoing experience. Navigating new areas can be dangerous. Entering Fear Zones filled with dangerous predators could trigger one’s hysteria and make their vision hazy. Encountering any one of the game’s poisonous snakes, crocodiles, panthers, boars, and hippopotamuses could make matters even worse. Though this Africa seems to be unforgiving and relentless, it’ll be fascinating to interact with the fauna and flora that coexisted with humanity’s earliest ancestors.
The Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey survival mechanics sound appropriately harsh
Predators aren’t the only things that players will have to worry about, as they’ll have to monitor their eating, drinking, and sleeping in order to survive. These primal needs will drive them to encounter circumstances where they’ll learn how to craft tools to defend themselves. It’ll also have them eat things that are harmful to their health, thus instructing their biology to develop the right enzymes and expand the types of food that they can consume. It’s a trial and error system that makes sense from an evolutionary perspective. At some point in time, someone had to eat a mean-tasting egg in order to allow the rest of us to enjoy it.
There are a suite of different Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey game modes
Ancestors will give players access to three distinct game modes: First Time Experience, Survivor, and Custom. The latter two will be locked at first and become accessible after fans accomplish certain milestones on their journey through history.
First Time Experience is the game’s version of a campaign mode. It includes tutorials to help them understand the title. Survivor haphazardly places fans anywhere on the map and tasks them with surviving against the wilderness completely alone. Custom is meant for players who want to revisit periods in history in order to discover how other skills they could have effected their progress. Clan numbers can be set to whatever players may desire in this mode. Doing this allows the game to have a breadth of experiences, which opens up its audience from casual players to the hardest of the hardcore (if balanced correctly).
The Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey studio has a killer pedigree
Though the original director behind the Assassin’s Creed franchise, Patrice Désilets, serves as the face of Panache Digital, the studio has a lot of other well-regarded creative minds on board. Producer Jean-François Boivin has worked on such franchises as Star Wars and Splinter Cell, animation director Alex Drouin is known for Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Child of Light, developmental director Frederic Laporte spent time on the Halo and Rainbow Six franchises, and senior UI/UX designer Etienne Beaulieu put in work for Star Citizen and the Thief franchise. It’s obvious that Ancestors won’t be the team’s first go at making video games.
Panache Digital’s debut title has potential to be one of 2019’s most fascinating new IPs. The concept of evolution is not something that video games explore often, as most opt to take place within the span of a human lifetime. Suffice it to say, developing a species over millions of years is simultaneously awe-inspiring and daunting. Fans won’t have to wait long to find out whether Désilets and his team manage to deliver on the game’s profound premise.