Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a third-person survival game that was developed by Panache Digital Games and published by Private Division.
There isn’t really a storyline to follow here, you create your own story. Your adventures can range from the small triumphs of learning to use both of your hands to the bigger moments like the joy of childbirth and the advancement of your lineage. Ancestors is a complete survival simulation that doesn’t hold your hand and makes you think at every turn. It allows you to weigh the costs of each and every action you make, just as you would were you the primate you are controlling. Yet it’s not a turn-based game or a simulator, it is a third-person open-world game.
When our ape ancestors got together and decided to evolve all those millions of years ago, they didn’t have instruction manuals to help them make things. They figured things out for themselves making their way through life tasting everything they encountered to see if it was tasty or poisonous. Of course, this entailed a lot of work, repetition and death that turned out to be completely unnecessary in hindsight. This game does it’s very best to recreate much of that maddening blindness and futility and some of the associated sense of discovery in a beautiful prehistoric world, becoming an apt metaphor in the process.
As you investigate your surroundings, sniffing, poking and eating stuff, you’ll eventually learn how things work and where things are. As your character grows old you’ll be able to reproduce and even skip through millions of years both as direct ancestors and also evolutionary descendants.
From the very first moments in the game, Ancestors feels like a grand idea, ground floor representation of a sweeping and pivotal moment in the history of our species, something fresh and fascinating and important. It is an idea that is occasionally realised, especially early on in the game, with moments of sheer joy as you first swing through trees and stare in awe as you discover how to make spears, make babies and turn leaf piles into beds.
Video games have the potential to teach, excite and make you see things in a different light or from a different perspective. Its one of the greatest things about the medium, but not too many of them ever really boil down to anything but mindless fun. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a lot like modern games in some aspects and in others, it is something completely different and unique. While it comes from one of the minds that brought us the Assassins Creed series, it is not similar to those games at all. Ancestors is a survival game. Well, actually it’s The Survival Game, telling the story of a primate and their clan in their struggle to survive, adapt and evolve.
While the game’s performance is stable, I have come across a few minor bugs that can harm the experience. Apart from the clunky animations and frustration over combat with wild animals, children dip into each other often if you place them on a sleeping mat.
Overall Ancestors is a great game despite its problems. You should prepare yourself to spend several hours learning the mechanics. You may have to restart a few times like I myself if your tribe doesn’t procreate. So aside from making sure, your birth rate exceeds your death rate, you also need to make sure all members of your tribe are healthy. Even the younger primates get sick, so taking control of them is the only way to nurse them back to full health. If you find yourself having a hard time getting used to the mechanics of Ancestors, there are tutorial videos available on Youtube which can be very helpful. Once you get into the game it is Extremely rewarding and highly addictive.
I would highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a good challenging game that enables you to see your improvements and accomplishments through playing.
- Developer: Panache Digital Games
- Designer: Patrice Désilets
- Ancestors The Humankind Odyssey is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
You can purchase the game here https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/ancestors-the-humankind-odyssey/btt48fgf6swm?activetab=pivot:overviewtab
This review is based on Xbox One
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Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a third person open world survival game that will bring players to Explore, Expand and Evolve to advance their clan to the next generation in the harsh, ruthless, yet beautiful land of Africa starting 10 million years ago.
Product Currency: USD
Product Price: 39.99