Ancestors analysis: The Humankind Odyssey. “Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception”

Written by Kamran Haider

Survival and evolution in prehistory. The father of the Assassin’s Creed saga proposes us to escape death in the skin of our primitive ancestors in a very special adventure that is now released on Xbox One and PS4. What new features? Ancestors analysis: The Humankind Odyssey.

Returning to the dangerous wild world of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey a few months after enjoying on PC this survival adventure developed by the father of the Assassin’s Creed series has been an experience and has made me see how special this video game is that proposes something as exciting as surviving a thousand and one dangers in the skin of our primitive ancestorsAnd what it does best is to show how vulnerable you are to the threats of this gigantic ancestral world. I said it at the time when I analyzed its original version. After playing for several hours I ended up feeling so comfortable exploring the scenarios that I trusted myself as invulnerable, and in an oversight … I ended up dead. This fast! Seen and not seen in the full rule. But this is the essence of Patrice Désilets’ new workThe game was born with the premise of making us suffer the unspeakable in a hostile environment in which we cannot resort to anything other than our own ingenuity and strength. “We will never give you the solution,” the authors came to say, and hey if he has complied. Although now we have to clarify it.


So many critics received the original game on PC for the absence of tutorials and a more traditional mission structure, which the Panache team has chosen to introduce some new features and adjustments in this version of consoles, which is now more friendly with new players without this meaning that it is easier, much less. Simply, when you start playing, there will be many more pop-up screens – sometimes too many – explaining the basics of the game, which is appreciated, in addition to a slight mission guide that will propose you to complete certain tasks to better understand the action of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. But in the end, it is you who marks the way who decides how to play, what makes this a very special game. And in this analysis of the Xbox One and PS4 versions, I tell you why.


Prehistoric survivalThe greatness of Ancestors, and also the reason why some may end up hating the video game, is that you are alone in danger without anyone telling you at all times what to do or how to respond to certain threats. “It’s up to you to experiment, try and have fun to have a good time too,” warns the game itself. This is how the new Patrice Désilets makes you enjoy your eureka moment so much, when you discover a new way of acting, of defending yourself, of relating to your primate comrades; although frustration is trueHe has also made an appearance when, to the same extent, I have spent hours trying to discover how to accomplish a very specific task. Here everything revolves around experimentation. It is a game in which you never stop learning, which seeks to make you feel as lost and scared as the primitive ancestors of humanity should have been. And seen like this, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a work worthy of praise.


That in many ways it is such a difficult video game that contributes to making every little big step of our hominids feel like an incredible achievement. The first time you make a weapon, heal your wounds or communicate with other primates, it may seem like little in any other video game, but not here, where it all depends on you . You are alone in danger, without help; without some basic guidelines about where to go or how to react to certain threats. So you play, explore and learn incessantly while discovering new ways to escape from the black grim reaper; to move forward without risking the lives of hominids who are tremendously vulnerable to the threats of the world around them.

Every little big step of our hominids feels like an incredible achievement.

I don’t just talk about giant snakes or fierce saber teeth. Poison falls or even taking food for which you are not prepared can also have fatal consequences. So you die, again and again; and from each death, you learn a valuable lesson. “I won’t make that mistake anymore,” you tell yourself. And you put into practice what you learned, and you go on feeling more and more comfortable with some primates that never stop learning and evolving. After all, that is the goal of the adventure. Transmit the knowledge of these hominids from one generation to another preparing them for the innumerable dangers that await you in the beautiful and deadly Neogen Africa that recreates the video game of Panache.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is ultimately a survival adventure that does not forget the basic fundamentals of the genre, so you will have to look for food, drink water and rest in safe places to prevent primates from feeling fatigued and, Ultimately, unable to move on. Every action you take will consume energy and if you run out of it, goodbye to climb or even run away. That is why you must control the health of primates well by avoiding annoying indigestion or the dreaded bone breaks because obviously they will have serious difficulties to walk and predators will have it easy to inflate their teeth. The best strategy? You have to find out for yourself, although here we leave you with a simple ancestor: The Humankind Odyssey guide to better develop you in its initial measures.

What foods to take, what plants to use to cure bleeding or protect from the cold … in the end it will be the experimentation that marks the way forward. The more you investigate, the more options you’ll have at your fingertips, and it’s an incredible feeling. In the end, Ancestors get you to feel that you are learning to play, learning to survive, and it shows in actions such as jumping from branch to branch at vertigo speeds. At first, I felt that the primate was clumsy, that it did not respond quite well to my orders; but little by little improvements, you become more agile, and you end up traveling large areas of land without stepping on the ground. And it is wonderful because you will end up enjoying as a child exploring a gigantic stage full of places of great beauty.Evolve

Evolve or die

It will be precisely these areas, these points of interest, that act as a guide to move around the stage since there is also no minimap or compass that tells us where we are or where we should go. Once again it is you who decides the fate of some primates who learn something new with each action they take. Here comes into play a neural network that is one of the most original elements of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. In essence, it is the classic skill tree that you would find in any RPG, but with actions to unlock as basic as being able to exchange an object from one hand to another. The objective, of course, is that you feel totally helpless; A primate exposed to all kinds of dangers. And seen like that Panache game has hit the spot.

Each time you will better identify odors or detect predators before by the noise they cause, in the same way, that clan members will learn to react to the dangers that surround them, whether by escaping or using improvised weapons. When the time comes you will have to take a temporary leap of 15 years to continue progressing, to continue with the evolution of the species, which will force you to use the so-called “reinforcements” to strengthen certain knowledge. In this way, and although you will have to relearn the majority of improvements – you will do it quickly -, your primates will be better prepared to survive that wild world in which they find themselves. You yourself will know how to react better to the threats that surround you, even provoking with a wit that some beasts attack other animals. And that, once again, says a lot in favor of Ancestors. Obviously not everything is good.

It is a beautiful game to watch and with the ability to blow your mind with some of its beautiful natural prints.

Not knowing how to combine certain objects, or simply not having a clear objective, a place to go beyond that “follows Go ahead and see what you find “that defines Ancestors, will make many give up within a few hours of play. I have also missed more complex actions when interacting with the environment around us. In most cases, just press a button, and release it at the right time, to make spears, or palisades, or an ointment with which to heal wounds. And the same goes for interactions between primates. Mating and giving birth to the new generation requires a simple button. There’s no more. These also do not stand out for their artificial intelligence so by telling them to follow us they may get lost or end up in the jaws of an alligator. And it hurts, of course, because here death is permanent. So much so that if you lose all the members of the clan and there are no offspring with which to take an evolutionary leap, the game is over. It’s hard to get to that point, I also tell you.

I really enjoyed Ancestors. Although there comes a point where the action becomes somewhat repetitive, because the basic fundamentals are what they are, that feeling of marveling with each new discovery has never disappeared. Reaching a den of crocodiles, and feeling fear !, or climbing to the top of a mountain to find precious stones there encouraged me, again and again, to move forward, in the line of what was lived in the great The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The pity is that there are few rewards beyond personal satisfaction for unlocking a series of achievements which, in a way, serve to know the magnitude of the video game. You can rescue some lost primates, map all places of interest, interact in different ways with wild animals … and little else, really.

I have had a great time exploring and surviving the challenges proposed by Ancestors, but I understand that this is more than ever a most personal experience. The fact of guiding primates to a new home and discovering places of unparalleled beauty along the way has been more than enough reward for me; especially also thanks to the great staging of a video game that surprises with the variety of scenarios and the enormous quality of its soundtrack. In your console jump add some new video sequences dedicated to wild animals, to see how they devour each other !, with some improvements as necessary as the option to skip these videos. There have been moments of despair; I was frustrated not knowing what to do with certain objects or where I should go, but in the end, in my case, the satisfaction of taking another step has been enough.

Even with its buts, Panache Games has been brave offering an original game, unique in its kind, that achieves something as difficult as making you feel a survivor in prehistory. It is undoubtedly one of the most difficult games to recommend those that I have written because it is so peculiar that you can either like it a lot or not attract the least. But I do tell you that it is hardly worth playing since we always demand more innovation, and Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey seeks to surprise with a survival adventure practically unique in its kind.

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You may like it more or less but there is no doubt that Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a brave and original video game that seeks to surprise you with a unique survival experience of its kind. The absence of aid and the lack of a clear objective beyond survival can frustrate and scare more than one, but the trip proposed by the creator of Assassin’s Creed is worth living.

  • Unique survival experience of its kind
  • The feeling of progression; to learn on your own how you should act
  • Wide variety of scenarios and a curious system of evolution
  • A difficulty sometimes misunderstood with little reward for players
  • The artificial intelligence of primates does not always respond as it should
  • More elaborate game mechanics and more variety in their action are missing
  • The combat could be more worked

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Kamran Haider

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