On August the 28th, a dev from the Assassin’s Creed team released a new game. This game is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. It fits in the survival genre mostly, with action, adventure, and all that comes with it.
Now, I was told that I should be good at this game, as I would appear to be the natural leader of a bunch of primitive primates… Pretty sure that wasn’t meant as a compliment, but I gave it a go anyway. Turns out, I am pretty good at getting everyone killed 🙂
The premise of the game is that, as told by a really long introductory cutscene, you’re a baby primate out with your parent and they’re killed by a large prehistoric bird leaving you alone in the prehistoric forest. You have to find your way to a hiding spot, or to your tribe’s sanctuary (which isn’t really very safe, as I found out).
The first thing you find out is that “fear of the unknown” is a thing.. a big thing.. it is something you have to conquer (by discovery) in order to survive and expand your tribe and territory.
Once you start in the game, you’re given some basic instructions on how to discover stuff (using intelligence, smell and hearing), how to remember stuff. And then you’re told “see ya”, and that’s all the help you get. Now, there is a “help” section, but it just gives basic information about what things are, not about how to actually do anything.
Through the process of discovery you will find water, different kinds of foods and plants (some with medicinal purposes, some not so much – you come across the odd stray primate who is tripping on ‘shrooms). You find ways to build a bed, and some rudimentary defenses (a stick wall and a spear), a rock to crush things, and one to slice things. But, and I repeat but, you are not told how to discover them, nor once you have discovered something that can be made into a tool, how to actually make it.
THIS GAME IS DAMNED HARD.
So, after killing off my family 3 times because I couldn’t defend them, I finally worked out how to do most things. So then I have to work out how to lock in the neural developments I have made. Then work out whether I should jump some generations (which lock in developments and allow mutations to appear), and then, the ultimate purpose of the game, to evolve.
There is a lot to this game, a lot.. so much so that even YouTubers who have spent all their time playing with their communities helping still haven’t got very far. So far the best help I have found is a YouTube channel called “tagbacktv” – and help you will need.
If you want a hard, immersive, complicated, frustrating, joy filled (those moments when you work something out are sooo good) game, this is the one. Just expect that you will struggle a lot, but if you persevere the rewards are great.
– Geoff Gummer