Will the game be able to convey the pleasure of discovery? Let's find out in this review of Ancestors: The Humankind for PS4
Can a game be able to convey primordial sensations inherent within each of us? At the same time, is he able to teach us something while always remaining fun? These are the questions behind the creation of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The title developed by Panache Digital Games and published by Private Division tries to answer these questions, without however remaining behind the fine line that divides the pleasure of discovering the unknown from the poor usability of the product (we recommend our guide to start playing). Following the release on PC over the summer, the title is also available now on PS4 and Xbox One.
In 1859 Charles Darwin's "Origin of the Species" was published which inevitably changed the way of conceiving the birth of man. Nowadays the video game has a unique peculiarity, in fact through this medium we can be transported directly to the time of primates 10 million years ago and experience that period firsthand. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey has the ambitious goal of making us relive the fundamental steps of the evolution of man.
Let's face it, the game despite being created by Patrice Désilets, or the father of Assassin's Creed, absolutely must not be compared to the latter. In terms of budget and team size we are on two totally different worlds. Panache Digital Games is made up of about 30 people, so the project must undergo obvious limitations in the possibilities. However, it is precisely some design choices that, however understandable they may be in the idea, really turn out difficult to digest while playing.
In Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey we will find ourselves leading a clan of hominids. The aim of the game is to explore the environment I await the dangers of a wild world. We will not tell much about the details of the gameplay, as the game is essentially based on knowing day after day the possibilities of interaction with the environment. In this way we will acquire an energy that can be spent to make our clan learn new skills that will make our species evolve.
The game deliberately does not leave many indications on what to do and how to do it. In a world like video games, which is increasingly driven and holds your hand until a total loss of challenge, this could be much appreciated. Unfortunately, in some situations we will find ourselves lost without a goal and objective, confused about what to do and what is happening on the screen. Discovering for yourself the use of an object can be extremely rewarding, but for those with less patience frustration comes very quickly.
Emblematic is the moment when the primate controlled by us will find itself in a new area away from the base. Fear and a sense of disorientation takes over, but if we calmly pause to analyze the details of that place we will be able to have a certain familiarity with the place and chase away the fear. Similarly, the player feels lost within Ancestors. If you want to start the long journey of evolution, we therefore recommend that you arm yourself with one big dose of patience to be able to enjoy the peculiarities of the title.
Immersed in the prehistoric jungle we will encounter a long series of dangers and obstacles on our way. We will have to find ways to cope with both environmental and animal obstacles. The real big obstacle, however, are a series of choices made in the game design phase that serve no purpose except to make everything more woody.
Climbing through the trees and moving through the branches they are extremely cumbersome. Not infrequently it will happen to fall from dizzying heights to get a fracture that limits the movement of the character even more (we will return to the management of unexpected events later). Very often we will have to climb branches moving very precisely and this difficulty of movement combined with one tangled control management makes a simple movement a business.
The main mechanics of the game is to exploit the senses of our hominids. In this way it is possible to recognize familiar objects, discover new ones and perceive dangers from a distance. Representative of this intricacy that undermines the game is the fact that to use the senses we must necessarily stop. Since this operation will have to be repeated over and over we will be forced to stop every few seconds to analyze what surrounds us.
From a visual standpoint, Ancestors is a good title. The game runs smoothly even on the basic PS4 and the glance when you are immersed in nature is not bad at all. The only drawback is the initial loading when loading the game which is quite long. But during the rest of the game there are very few uploads and all instantaneous.
The visual impact is ruined when the unexpected comes. The effects on the screen when our primate suffers a wound, is poisoned or is in danger of frostbite are extremely invasive and even when problems pile up it becomes really difficult to understand what is going on. The intent to convey negative feelings to the player is fully understandable but the way in which it is done is only annoying.
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey wants to make the player live the epic of the little men who arrived with great difficulty to evolve into what we are now all of us human beings. Unfortunately, perhaps driven by a desire to empathize the player, Panache Digital Games falls into the problem of pose the player a series of obstacles that ultimately undermine the gaming experience.
It is really a shame because the exploration of the unknown, in an age where all video games try to be for everyone, must be rewarded. The game however is littered with "artificial" difficulties that annoy even the player who approaches with the greatest enthusiasm.
We hope you enjoyed this review, keep following us on techigames and on all our social networks to stay in touch and to be updated on all the news in the world of video games.6.5 A missed opportunity
- Educational as well as playful
- Fulfilling sense of discovery
- The controls are too cumbersome
- It tends to get repetitive