Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Review – From Chimp to Champion
From the primordial ooze, we slithered on to the sands of our genesis. In the harsh deserts of our origin, the strong survived and became the progenitors of the present. The weak were deemed failures and forgotten to the annals of history.
Death is the great cost of life, so they say.
I started working full time recently so I’m sad all the time. I pine for ages gone by, where my only concern was foraging for the less expired meat in the communal fridge of my share house.
When the winters would wane in the warmth of my extensive back hair.
A simpler time. A simian time.
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Review
The tides have turned and a new age is upon me. I have to pay my own rent now. The government no longer funds my research into the limits of liver regeneration.
I have evolved into a slightly cleaner, richer and much more tired version of the ape I was before
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey tells a similar story; of growth, development and evolution. I learned to crawl home from the pub before I learned to run home from a large group of people I offended.
10,000,000 years ago, my ancestors learned to shit a little further away from where they ate.
Ape-atite for Destruction
For the purpose of this review, I played the game with no tutorial and no HUD because Gaia is an absent mother and training wheels impress no one.
If you’re planning to walk the same path be prepared for a very slow and frustrating journey.
The tale of man begins with an infantile orphan forced to find shelter in the dark and dangerous jungle. Your visibility is limited to visions of the vicious, violent and vengeful snapping, snarls of your would be predators.
This part of the game is interesting if you find safety within like 5-10 minutes. If you just wander around lost for 30 minutes like me you’ll probably hit refund on Steam and just watch Planet of the Apes instead.
Be patient and persist. This game is incredibly good, once it gets going.
Damn Dirty Ape
Everything in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a puzzle, often solved through chance and trial and error. My first clan was made extinct when we were migrating to more fertile land and got stuck between a croc and a sabre-tooth tiger.
My second clan turns would-be monkey munchers into piles of dead meat.
Then we eat that meat; bloody and raw.
Even after plugging dozens of hours into Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, I’ve barely scratched the surface of this game. I’m really enjoying it though
I’m not much more than a baboon with a sharp stick, but I’m quickly turning into so much more. The levelling/evolution system shows glimpses into a future of upright, spear chucking primates at the peak of the pyramid. It inspires me to chase new skills and build on the foundations of my simpler sires.
You Maniacs! You Blew it Up!
But be wary, just as Icarus flew too close to the sun, Ooga Booga can climb too close to the nest of the prehistoric eagle. It’s so easy to die on the hunt for knowledge and if there’s no one to raise the little ones they’ll soon perish and the potential of your lineage will never be realised.
In the first phase of evolution, I’ve died from jumping out of trees, being bitten by snakes, being swallowed by snakes, eating rotten snake meat and cardiovascular irregularities.
All these damn snakes will stress an orangutan into an early grave.
I highly recommend giving birth to as many mini-monkeys as possible. The whole game revolves around developing and passing new skills on to improve your species.
Breeding makes time skip forward and generates random mutations that will help your tribe. Additionally, ‘evolution points’ can only be generated by performing tasks in the proximity of your young.
Let’s Get it On
I really recommend playing this game with no HUD and no tutorial but with the option of pressing down on the d-pad to activate the minimal HUD. So many actions are prompted by convoluted combinations of button or are sensitive to the duration of a button press.
I tried it full barebones and got nothing accomplished and it was really no good. Pushing through with no tutorial is super satisfying though.
You’ll figure out how to make new tools and handle previously impossible problems and really feel the clan grow into better beings. Killing tigers makes you feel like the top dogs in the kennel that is the cradle of civilisation.
A couple of hot tips, but not spoilers;
- Eat berries and leaves and all that shit
- learn how to ‘alter’ your tools
- stick it out in the hyena nightmare
- Don’t take the clan for a walk in croc-town
- Most predators don’t climb
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is an interesting game and experiment. It might not be for everyone, but if you give it a chance, your enjoyment may just evolve along with your family of apes.
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey was reviewed on PC using a digital code provided by the publisher.
Game title: Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
Get eaten by a snake, get eatin' a snake - 8/10
The screen looks like shit anytime you have a status effect - 4/10
Seriously dramatic ape fatalities - 10/10
Same-sex monkey lovin' - 9/10