Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a third-person survival game developed by Panache Digital Games and published by Private Division.
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is an incredibly expansive game, following a clan of apes across human evolution. With all the different systems and ways to accomplish evolutionary success, it can be an overwhelming game.
You as a player get to evolve a clan of Apes. And that’s it, that is the story. This is one of those games that has no storyline, just a goal. Your goal as a player is to find everything by yourself. And the story is a story of evolution and our roots as mankind.
As mentioned already Ancestors does not rely on any particular story, it just has a goal. You are given a clan of Apes, at the peak of their life, your job is just to evolve them closer to the humans of today. How do you do that? Well you will have to find it for yourself. The game lets you rely on your own brain and gaming experience. To evolve, you will need to manage your clan. That means you need to make sure that the whole clan is fed, that all of them have water, that they all have slept.
Evolution relies heavily on exploration, on discovering tools, making new tools, weapons, getting everyone in the clan mated and having children.
Occasionally you will get attacked by animals. You can fight them with proper weapons, evade them, or intimidate them.
The best way for exploration is to have your clan go on an expedition with you but do watch out if someone gets hurt, you will need to heal them, because in the very beginning if left to their own devices the clansmen will die. To ensure you can heal them developers came up with switching. You can switch with the hurt ape and heal him by finding the medicine and applying it.
This game is full of fun mechanics. For example. When they sleep they dream, so you will be able to see their dreams like a fog, or smoke.
Drinking water requires both hands, so you will need to drop everything else before drinking the water. Standing or walking on two legs is made fun, as depending on the generation of your clan and evolution, they will slouch or lean. When jumping on trees farther away you will slide a bit. When you find out about something, unless you have evolved your memory, they will forget it and you need to discover it again.
There are so many fun things to discover in this game even if it may look hard and even if the game is not helping you, you can rely on yourself and you previous game experience.
Graphics of this game pull through, as it is equally stunning as it is hard to play. The jungle, the rain, the water and the animals are all well made and animated. The dream sequences are calming and pleasing. The tool making, building, etc. are well thought out and one tool can have multiple uses. Leveling up, or evolution, is fun to do and it is following the basis of biology and Evolution theory.
All in all, the game is fun and puts a good spin on history. Definitely not a game we have had in a while, with fun mechanics, without a story, but still following a history storyline of a clan in the midst of Evolution.