Patrice Desilets, co-founder and creative director at Panache Digital Games, has a smile on his face. He's talking about his studio's upcoming Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. You may recognize Desilets's name as one of the masterminds behind the time-traveling (okay, "time-traveling") Assassin's Creed series.
But Desilets is going full Charles Darwin in Ancestors. Forget revisiting medieval Jerusalem or ancient Egypt. Ancestors is going back 10 million to two million years in the past to Neogene Africa. I'm going to have to Wikipedia what the Neogene period meant for hominins, the ancestors to humans, because I sure don't know. We're heading into questions—and very few answers—in regard to the complex speciation process connecting humans and chimpanzees. I'm sure these are questions that will be addressed, at least from Desilets's point of view, in The Humankind Odyssey. I mean, if not, then what's the point? If we're going back 10 million years only to keep our Eat, Drink, and Sleep meters filled, then you've just wasted a whole lot of video game development.
The gameplay we're seeing in this video still looks rough around the edges. Like watching branches spawn out of nowhere for your character to latch onto. Or seeing yourself do a slow blocking animation the wrong direction during multiple predatory cat attacks. I'd also want a more up-to-date lighting model used. The environments are looking very washed out with very little depth.
Ancestors is expected to launch this year. More information on the way, no doubt. I'll need to see more to garner full-fledged interest in this one.
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a third-person open world survival game where you Explore, Expand, and Evolve to advance your clan to the next generation in this exhilarating new adventure from the creator of Assassin’s Creed.
Coming 2019 to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
Explore the world of Neogene Africa beginning 10 million years ago in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. With your clan, travel across a breathtaking open world but beware of dangers lurking around every corner. Learn about core survival skills and some of the threats along your journey from Creative Director and co-founder of Panache Digital Games, Patrice Desilets.
Embark on the most incredible odyssey known to humankind: human evolution. Spanning from 10 million to 2 million years ago, begin your journey, “Before Us,” in Neogene period Africa. Explore a beautiful yet ruthless world from swinging through tree branches in the jungle to stalking prey across the golden savannah grasslands. Decide what attributes to learn and hone in order to pass down knowledge to future generations, from crafting tools to enhancing evasive tactics against predators. Just like real life, make sure to eat, drink, and sleep to stay alive and have the energy to face any danger that may come your way. Grow your clan and find strength in numbers as you progress through critical evolutionary stages of human evolution. Your choices will write your clan’s story and determine if you can survive your evolution.
Explore Ruthless Africa: Explore the never-before-experienced world of Neogene Africa starting 10 million years ago at the dawn of humankind. From the tops of tree canopies overlooking lush jungles to the golden grasslands of the savannah, traverse a beautiful yet unforgiving landscape. For every breath-taking view, beware of the weather, predators, and other dangers that threaten your survival.
Expand Your Territory and Grow Your Clan: Increase your chances of survival by uniting new members of your species and giving birth to future generations. Control different clan members, form bonds to create families, and work together to intimidate predators during expeditions. Conquer fear as you explore unknown locations in order to expand your territory.
Evolve Through Multiple Generations: See the physical and intellectual evolution of the first hominids as you explore, learn, and survive. Spanning from 10 million to 2 million years ago, play as one of the first hominids and evolve over the course of millions of years during key stages in human evolution. Make crucial discoveries and hone physical abilities that will be passed down to future generations such as Ardipithecus ramidus and Australopithecus.
Choose How You Survive: Evolution was not written in stone. Your decisions shape how you will overcome obstacles, increase your species, and what knowledge will pass on to future generations. Focus on specific attributes or choose a more balanced approach to survival. Your clan’s ability to survive will be directly impacted by your choices, making each player’s experience unique.