Apart from the old age question of whether the chicken came from egg first or vice versa, there is another. And it is the question of whether Mankind started with Adam or Eve, or if our ancestors evolved from the great apes themselves. Well I for one, have too many problems in my very own era to ponder about life, billions of years ago.

So instead, I’ll be reviewing the game called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey which supposedly gives you a rough idea on how the great apes could have survived over the ages.

So enough monkeying around, and let’s dive into the review!

What is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey?

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a third-person survival game developed by Panache Digital Games and published by Private Division. The game fundamentally gives players free rein of control over a clan of primates originating in Africa. And your task is to ensure their survival in nature and help expedite the evolution chain over the ages. Seems simple enough, right? 

Well, that was what I had initially thought as well until I started the game and watched the introduction video. As the video progresses, it slowly depicts the food chain of the era and how dangerous it can be. 

Soon they revealed an ancestor primate which I had assumed was my character, with a youngling on it’s back. The primate managed to get a hold of a dead fish, then climbed to the top of the tress to enjoy its delicious meal. It was at this moment that I had finally realized where the primate fits in the food chain. 

It was located below everything else in the jungle and possibly just above fishes, and that’s only if the primate can fish! Out of nowhere, a giant bird-like creature comes in, swoops up the primate, brings it to its nest and bites its head off as the youngling tumbles and falls deep into the unexplored jungle far from the safety of its home. 

The youngling, confused and alone in a dangerous world without a clue is your character, and it is also predominantly a metaphor on how the player will be progressing throughout Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. Who knew surviving could be this violent?

Gameplay.

As I mentioned above, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is, for the most part, a survival game, but that classification doesn’t quite do justice to our gruelling this game can ultimately become, despite having a simplistic control system of your primates.

Exploration.

The game significantly prides itself on the fact that it will not offer much help in navigating the world. It leaves it up to the players, to gradually learn and figure things out for themselves. It is to replicate how actual primates could have struggled to figure things out on their own during their time. And the developers honestly did an excellent job of it.

When I say that it does not offer any help at all, I meant it. The first objective of the game tasked me to make a bed for myself, and it took me at least an hour to figure it out! It was easy to find the materials needed, but constructing it was the troublesome part as I had no clue on to make that happen. I was getting frustrated as I began to struggle for answers.

After a couple of trial and errors, I figured out that you could pile materials up together that could eventually lead to construction! I could experience the satisfaction and accomplishment swelling within myself, and I wondered if that’s how our ancestors also felt in the beginning.

That’s when I realised that this is where the game shined. The fact that you don’t get any form of hand-holding as you’re left to learn is what makes the game really challenging and yet also extremely satisfying.

Once you’ve understood the basics of how to operate in the game, it becomes somewhat straightforward. Let me remind you that that does not mean it gets any easier or less repetitive. Instead, it becomes quite repetitive over time as you progress.

You’ll have to begin experimenting with all and different objects by itself or together to create more items for further exploration and to defend yourself in the future. For example, to start fishing, you’ll need to figure out to make a sharpened stick with a branch and stone.

In the beginning, it feels good to create and experience growth, but over time it feels like a chore, especially when you need to recreate those objects again or try out various combinations to see if it yields anything new at all.

Survival.

And exploration is only half of the game. The other half is to about ensuring that your clan ultimately survives and evolves through the generations till the end of the game which from 10 million years to 2 million years.

Just like any survival game, you’ll need to ensure that your clan and yourself have a source of water and food to last as well as getting enough rest, to maintain a healthy environment of growth for future generations to continue and expand.

Generation is a dominant aspect of survival in the game, and it could be the end of your clan or assure it’s existence. As you play, you’ll begin to learn and unlock new skills that allow your primates to grow and tackle the world around you in a more efficient way.

However, to ensure that these new skills are passed down to the next generation of primates, in 15 years (you can jump ahead in the game), you have to make sure that it gets reinforced to survive the transition. You can achieve this by making more younglings and bringing them along for explorations so that they’ll learn and thus allowing you to reinforce the learned skills.

This component in the game is so realistic that it makes you feel like an actual parent, ensuring that your legacy is secured and ready for the future. It’s probably one of the things I’ve enjoyed experiencing in a game.

The Visual Element of Ancestors.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is truly a beautiful game, despite being difficult and repetitive at times. The vastly detailed environments help to bring the world to life and also plays a massive role in facilitating the immenseness of the game.

As you explore the world and encounter various kinds of predators, you start to feel like you’re in the situation for real and not just playing a game at times. I even tried climbing to the top of the highest tree that I could find, and the view was breathtaking. But then I accidentally jumped off and got my primate killed off in a splatter. Fun times.

One thing that, that sort of bothered me was the fact that almost all the primates looked too similar. Don’t get me wrong they looked well detailed and alive. But there wasn’t much of a difference between them except for some fur colour change once they got older.

The Bottom Line.

We have reached the end of the review, and it’s time to decide if Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is worth your time and money. I’d say absolutely yes but only if you’re willing to invest your time into a survival game.

The game can start as extremely hard, but if you have the patience to learn, then it becomes quite rewarding. The repetitiveness of the fundamental process never truly ends nor changes much thus; it’s something that may put some people off from actually finishing the game or even playing it in the first place.

TLDR:

A great and wonderful game that offers an extraordinary experience but might be too repetitive and time consuming for some.

The Good.

  • Fun and unique gameplay
  • Securing and progressing generations
  • Beautiful visuals
  • A challenging and rewarding experience

The Bad.

  • Repetitive process
  • Lack of guide might lead it to be too time-consuming to learn
  • Might be too demanding for some people to get into it

Ibrahim's a hardcore gamer and Star Wars fan. He's obsessed with Obi-Wan Kenobi, even claiming that he's a descendant of the fictional Jedi Master. Other than that delusion, Ibrahim's pretty down to earth, collecting figures and buying games he'll never finish.

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