Published on April 12th, 2020 | by Marcel Deer
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Review
Summary: The story of our evolution as a species is brought to life in this beautifully crafted third-person open-world survival adventure.
Patrice Désilets, the creator of Assasin’s Creed, takes us on a journey from the dangers of Africa over 10 million years ago. With demanding environments, hungry predators, and stunning landscapes, the unstructured narrative offers gamers the chance to craft their own stories and analyze some of the best open-world locations I’ve ever had the pleasure to explore.
This game provides a unique, challenging, and immersive experience from the outset. Starting as a clan of prehuman hominids, your character is left to explore the vast natural habitat that surrounds them. Much like our ancestors had to, you must work out how to defend against predators while learning what plants can be used to your advantage. As you progress, so does your skill tree, which is displayed as a set of neuronal links, helping to gauge your ape-brain development.
The beauty of the skill-tree setup is that you work to evolve your species over time, helping further generations due to the intrinsic neural links that you are helping to embed within the ape’s genetics. Once you develop essential neurons, you’ll be able to craft spears and other weapons from the natural materials around you. This is great for combat, as it offers an opportunity for the hunted to become the hunter.
The main story can be completed within 12 hours. However, for completionists like myself, this game offers upwards of 60 hours worth of exciting gameplay. With eight million years of evolution to play through, every decision that you make impacts the future of your entire species. This is interesting because no two playthroughs need to be alike.
There are no natural markers or minimaps in this game, so it’s up to you to use your instincts and explore large natural environments from the Savannah to the dense canopies of the jungle. To ensure the survival of your clan, you must encourage procreation or rescue ‘outsiders,’ bring ing them into your family and making sure your lineage does not go instinct.
In terms of combat, your clan can work together to trap and kill enemies as you progress through the wilderness. Combat is fun; the sound effects are super-realistic. Your character will attack using any tools that you have equipped, and successful attacks will mature the neurons displayed in your skill tree, offering a rewarding post-combat progression sequence that helps to improve gameplay and develop your ape. You can dodge attacks, and strategize your strikes to complete satisfying battles throughout the gameplay.
You’ll need to make sure that your clan eats, sleeps, and drinks enough water to survive the harsh African landscapes. Along the way, I recommend avoiding larger predators such as crocodiles, and massive prehistoric birds that will happily peck your clan to pieces given the opportunity.
Keep your eye on the weather; torrential rain left my ape with a cold because I was unable to find shelter throughout the downpour.
You’ll also have to conquer the fears of your clan throughout the game. When you enter new territory, you’ll see nightmarish hallucinations appear as your ape fears the unknown. However, after completing puzzle-like tasks during game progression, you’ll develop confidence via your neural links, leading to a robust can of primate warriors.
Although the graphics could be sharper, this game suits players who love to explore vast environments and tackle puzzles along the way. Based on factual science and history, this is a must for survival lovers that want to learn as they conquer this harsh and unforgiving landscape.
Also, hat’s off to this game for offering a unique storyline and gameplay experience, striving away from the open-worlds with maps and guidelines that we are used to playing as gamers.