Ancestors analysis: The Humankind Odyssey, the new father of Assasin’s Creed

Written by Kamran Haider

Survival and evolution in prehistory. The father of the Assassin’s Creed saga puts us in the shoes of our primitive ancestors to make us enjoy a unique and dangerous journey. In the analysis of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey you will see that it is a special video game.

I had been playing for several hours so, somehow, I already felt quite comfortable exploring the gigantic wild world that Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey recreates. He jumped from tree to tree at high speed, without worries, simply enjoying the exciting journey proposed by this video game developed by the father of the Assassin’s Creed series. I trusted myself believing myself invulnerable and careless … I ended up dead. This fast! A seen and not seen in the full rule. But what else can you expect from an adventure that seeks precisely to recreate the struggle for survival that our ancestors faced ten million years ago? With great courage, the Panache Games team proposes us to escape the clutches of death in a hostile environment without giving us the slightest help. “We will never give you the solution,” Patrice Désilets said in a development newspaper; and go if they have complied.

The greatness of Ancestors, and also the reason why some may end up hating the video game, is that nobody tells you where to go, what to do, or of course how to survive. “It’s up to you to experiment, try and have fun to have a good time too.” It has been a fascinating experience for me because I have enjoyed a lot with every eureka moment that the game faces you, although it is true that frustration has also made an appearance when, to the same extent, I have spent hours trying to discover how to steal honey from bees And there I could continue, hoping for a miracle, that it would never come. Because here everything revolves around experimentation. It is a game in which you never stop learning, which seeks precisely 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.

Ancestors, prehistoric survival

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 very vulnerable to threats from the world around them.prehistoric

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

I’m not just talking 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 Patrice Désilets.

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.

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 it as a child exploring a gigantic stage full of beautiful places.

Evolve or die

Evolve or dieIt 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; Another thing is that as a gaming experience it is as fun as it should be.

Each time you will better identify the smells or detect predators before by the noise they cause, in the same way, that the members of the clan will learn to react to the dangers that surround them, either 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, but obviously, not everything is good.

Not knowing how to combine certain objects, or the simple fact of not having a clear objective, a place to go beyond that “keep going to see what you find” that defines Ancestors, will cause many to give up within a few hours of the game. 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 a crocodile. 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 is difficult to reach that point, I also tell you, but if it happens … and if it also occurs due to a game failure (leaving you without a defense against a saber-tooth den, for example), the drama is beastly. And the biggest frustration.

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

I have 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. Arriving at a den of crocodiles, and feeling fear !, or climbing up 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. That is why, once again, losing one’s life and having to try again becomes so uphill. It’s always the same, and the punishment is extreme for the few real rewards that the Panache Digital game offers.

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 a soundtrack that adapts perfectly to the world around us. The color of its natural landscapes, the lush forests, the arid of the African deserts, the swamps … but also the design of the primates and their way of moving and interacting with each other. Sometimes the animations are somewhat orthopedic, but in general, this is a nice game to watch and with the ability to leave you speechless with some of its beautiful natural prints.

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 Digital has been brave offering an original game, unique in its kind, that achieves something as difficult as making you feel a survivor in prehistory.

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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
  • More elaborate game mechanics and more variety in their action are missing
  • The combat could be more worked
  • The artificial intelligence of primates does not always respond as it should

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Kamran Haider

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