10 Things You Didn’t Know about Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

Ancestors Humankind Odyssey

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a new third-person survival game that has been released for the PC, the PS4, and the Xbox One. It has the one-of-a-kind premise of ensuring the survival of an entire clan of pre-human primates, which has played an important part in making it known to curious individuals. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey:

1. Survival Game

Since Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a survival game, it should come as no surprise to learn that much of the play experience is focused upon securing necessities such as food and water while contending with a wide range of potential threats

2. Losing a Character Means Moving On to the Next Member of the Clan

The title has some leniency built into it in that the loss of the player character isn’t the end of things. Instead, when a player loses their player character, they will move on to the next member of their primate clan, who can have very different capabilities as well as very different priorities. For instance, an infant will not play the same as a full-grown adult. Never mind a mother carrying her child. With that said, this leniency shouldn’t serve as an excuse for complacency on the player’s part. After all, their primate clan doesn’t have unlimited numbers with which to soak up unlimited losses.

3. Set in Prehistoric Africa

Naturally, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is set in prehistoric Africa, which is believed to be the place where modern humans came into existence. However, it is interesting to note that our understanding of our species’s origins is still very much a work-in-progress because there is still so much that remains either unclear or unknown to us. One excellent example can be seen in the recent prominence of the position that modern humans didn’t evolve from a single population from a single place but rather from multiple populations from multiple places in prehistoric Africa.

4. Expect Prehistoric Monsters

Of course, prehistoric Africa means prehistoric monsters, which are a huge part of the fun for prehistoric media. Interested individuals shouldn’t expect dinosaurs because while Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is rather exaggerated in a lot of respects because of very practical considerations, it isn’t that exaggerated. For that matter, the choice of setting means that it has plenty of prehistoric monsters to choose from anyways, with in-game threats ranging from pythons and crocodiles to hyenas and saber-toothed cats. Even the non-carnivores can be terrifying, as shown by the African buffalo as well as the omnivorous giant warthog that is now thankfully extinct.

5. Falls Are Dangerous

The designer Patrice Désilets was the one who came up with the Assassin’s Creed series, so it should come as no surprise to learn that Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey features a fair amount of tree-climbing. Unfortunately, being descended from arboreal ancestors is no guarantee of safety up in the trees. After all, it is perfectly possible for player characters to fall from trees. Even worse, such falls can result in broken bones, which are a huge problem when “primitive” would be overstating the capabilities of human medicine.

6. You Can Make Improvements to Your Primate Clan

However, the player’s primates won’t be limited to their starting capabilities forever because the player can improve on them in a number of ways. For example, the player can find new food sources, thus providing them with more nutrition. Likewise, the player can discover new tools and technologies such as the use of leaves for bedding as well as the use of medicinal plants for healing. On top of this, Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey even comes with evolution mechanics to make the primate clan more and more similar to modern humans.

7. Fear Management

Fear is a mechanic that shows up in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. In short, the player character becomes fearful when they are exploring new locations as well as when they are being hunted by a predator of some kind, which will cause the user interface to change in a big, noticeable way. When this happens, players will have to hunt down glowing balls of light to keep their player character under control. Otherwise, their player character will enter into a state of hysteria, which isn’t very helpful for survival to say the least.

8. Venturing Out and Heading Home Is the Main Gameplay Loop

The player can expect their primate clan to have a base camp, which will serve to provide a sense of security as well as a place to operate out of. As such, venturing out into the world, finding various points of interest, using those points of interest to make improvements, heading home to the base camp, and then interacting with other clan members make the main gameplay loop for Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. Due to this, whether people enjoy this or not will have a huge role in determining whether they enjoy the overall game or not.

9. You Can Find New Clan Members

By this point, it should be clear that exploration can provide players with a lot of benefits. However, for players who expect to lose a lot of primates over the course of their play experience, one point of particular interest might be how it is possible to find new clan members out in the wilderness. This is particularly important for players who are down to just a small handful of individuals because finding and adopting the lone primates that they stumble upon can save them the need to start over.

10. What You Learn Is Passed On to Other Clan Members

What player characters learn will be passed on to the other clan members, which is rather reminiscent of rogue-likes. Regardless, this mechanic is very convenient. Better still, it prevents a lot of potential frustration because figuring out new tricks can eat up a lot of time in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, meaning that the loss of the player character before they could pass on their newfound knowledge could have been an extremely frustrating experience.


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