Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey


Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey


Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a game that takes the concept of survival to a new level. The game shows the exact representation of survival, the way our ancestors experienced it. Think of it like a simulation where you need to put yourself into the shoes of our ancestors. In the game, you play as one of the ape clan members. The game will not provide you with any manual. You need to rely on your survival instinct to make sense of everything. Other than unique a way of surviving the game fails to deliver interest. The constant grinding of evolution and the combat system makes this game very repetitive.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Have No Specific Plot

The game does not have a plot your only goal is evolution. You will start with one of the members of a clan of apes. From the beginning of the game, you won’t see any instructions regarding survival in the world. As you get more information about your surrounding your ape will begin to evolve. The evolution of your ape will depend upon the analyzation of different object and performing task. The game would never give you information about the use of an object. You need to randomly pick up stuff and do experiments with them. Experimentation is the key to your success, the more you learn the more you evolve. In the end, you will become a more evolved species capable of walking on two feet.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey’s Mechanics Are Simple

Gameplay mechanics are quite simple but you need to figure them out by yourself. The game will never tell you what to do in different scenarios. Anything that you craft should be the result of your experimentation. I can give you one suggestion, keep on picking anything that you get your hand on. You can use a combination of two similar or different objects. The use of different objects will help you in acquiring new abilities. In the beginning, you won’t be able to create a spear. As you use a sharp stone on a stick you will be able to make a spear from it. The game has many such secrets which I won’t spoil for you because there is a sense of achievement in the discovery.

The core mechanics of the game are good. Most of the time, you feel like an actual ape swinging through trees. The way apes move is also quite realistic compared to other games I have played. Core mechanics of games are improving Control is one such example. The game is created by the Patrice Désilets through his studio Panache Digital Games. He is best known to be the creator of the Assassin Creed series. While climbing trees and doing other types of acrobatics you can feel the vibe of Assassin Creed series. When ape walks on the land it almost seems like a real deal. The game does not introduce any new mechanics. It makes improvements to the common mechanics used in most games these days. To be honest, the game does a fine job imitating the movements of apes.

Combat is not its Strong Suite

I won’t tell you everything about the combat of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey for the sake of preserving some fun. The game is supposed to be a unique experience for everyone and I want to keep it that way. However, I would make it clear to you that if you are expecting some amazing combat then you are in for a surprise. Combat in the game is pretty straight forward with not much hustle. Even with the lack of instructions, you will be able to grasp the concept quickly.

The difficulty level for different predators “enemies” doesn’t exist, so killing all types of enemies is similar. For instance, killing a boar is no different than killing a prehistoric big cat. Combat was never the intention of developers so it would make sense it is a trivial factor in the game. It only serves as an element of survival in the game. There were few moments in the game when I died but it was due to my clumsiness. Once you get the hold of combat system then it’s one of the easiest.

If your ape dies in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey then you will have to play with another ape from your clan. You can take control of an adult ape, young ape or a mother with a child on her back. You can willingly change to any ape but once they die then you can’t resurrect them. There is no option of loading old save, so you have to continue with a new ape. Every time you die a new ape would be given to you. The cycle would keep repeating itself until all the apes are dead. After your clan becomes extinct you will have to start a new game. The jungle is full of prehistoric predators so be prepared all the time. You could even die if you run out of branches and fall to the ground.

Some Mechanics of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey are Quite Unique

The game has some unique mechanics that are exclusive to it. Some of these mechanics show the perfect vision of a survival game. One of the most unique mechanics of the game is the aspect of fear. When your ape enters an unexplored region then it would become frightened. During the period of fear, the display would have a darker effect. Your abilities during fear will not be at their full capacity. To shake away the fear you need to analyze the area to get yourself familiar with it. Just analyze different objects such as plants etc and the fear will go away. The game does not have any map or navigation so you have to rely on your senses.

In most of the survival games, the player needs to amass lots of resources. That is not the case with Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey because the only inventory storage that you have are your hands. You can pick a single two-handed object and two small objects such as rocks. The lack of resource management makes it one of the most unique survival games. Resources are quite abundant in the game. You don’t need to worry about lack of food, water or other resources. The game wants to show us the real prehistoric survival of apes as they evolve into men.

The process of skill acquisition in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is different than any other game. You acquire skills through millions of years of evolution. In this game, your experience points will depend on your exploration. More exploration and discoveries mean more experience. Once you get enough XP you can fast forward many years in the future. After your selected time passes, you will end up with more evolved apes. There is a catch for getting this instant evolution, you can only pass a few skills to the next generation. Your clan will also get a random mutation that will give new abilities to the youngsters. This only happens after you fast forward time. Keep in mind that experience is collective for all of the clan members.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Have Lots of Repeatable Moments

Some moments of the game will constantly repeat, time after time making it a tiresome experience. Every time a baby ape is born, you have to watch a cut scene of its birth. The game won’t tell you about skipping the cut scene because it always wants you to figure everything by yourself. To many people, this could be a problem. Thanks to my habit of constantly pressing and holding keys in a repeated cut scene, it was not a problem for me. If you want to mate with a female ape you would to perform a full ceremony which I won’t ruin for the sake of fun. You have to do it for every generation, now imagine the repetition!  So breeding is a constant repeatable grind.

Breeding is not the only repeatable action in the game. The world of the game is vast so I would take a high number of generations to explore enough land. As if that wasn’t enough, the game doesn’t even provide you with a map. So you have to figure everything like an ape. Anything that you do with one generation of ape should be repeated with every future generation. No matter how you play this game there is no escape from repetition.

Is it Your Type of Game?

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a game that pushes the boundaries of survival. The game lets you relive the life of our ancestors in the most realistic simulation. Without any instruction, it is the perfect simulation of our ancestral history. The repetition of different factors is a grid that you won’t be able to escape. If you like survival game and wants something different then Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the game for you. If you are looking for a traditional survival game with hardcore action or story-driven narrative then this game might disappoint you.

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    1. That is the best one-line explanation for the game. For consoles, the experience wasn’t good because every little bit of information was available on the internet. The game is meant to be a true survival experience where you figure out everything for yourself. Then there were problems with game limitations which made everything a mess.

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