Ancestors , or “Ancestors,” is a pilot game by Panache Digital Games , founded by Patrice Desile , the game designer of old Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time . Developers had to get around forty-five investors before someone became interested in their ambitious evolution project. As a result, the idea was embodied in a full-fledged project on Unreal Engine 4 – a game in which it is worth investing more than a dozen hours.

If you passed the old Spore from Maxis , where we evolved from a cell to space, remember the “Creature” stage, where your creatures went to land. Remembered? Now increase it in time by a thousand times, transfer the action to the prehistoric Earth (about ten million years ago), add realism, season with parkour – and you get Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey .

Pushers against the whole world

Ancestors – a story about evolution: you are given a tribe of prehistoric monkeys, and you must lead him to the top of the food chain. According to Desile himself, the game answers the question: “Hey you, homo sapiens! Can you survive the way your ancestors did, according to Darwin? ”

At the same time, you do not play for a single macaque, you care about the survival and development of a whole monkey species, control the flock, switching to specific representatives, making forays in groups and one by one. Wards, you can even choose a name! I called my Kushalschiki – I decided to focus on the hunt for food.

You will start for a lonely monkey baby who accidentally turned out to be far from relatives, and immediately open one of the main game mechanics – fear. When the macaques are afraid, visibility drops to almost zero: it becomes dark and dark around, and in addition, all kinds of horrors seem. However, as soon as the little prodigal Kusalschik hides in a safe place, we will be thrown into the skin of his older relative, so that we can admire the magnificent picture of the prehistoric jungle in green colors.

An adult monkey will have to find a little fellow, and as soon as the baby jumps onto her back, the narrative will end. From that moment on, the whole world, ready for exploration, lies at our hairy legs.

Here and there you can find fault with textures, but over time you stop noticing it: the locations here are incomparable. And there are a lot of them!

Exactly the research is the foundation and cornerstone of Ancestors. In order to evolve, macaques must consider and sniff almost everything that catches their eye, from a waterfall to a pile of dry branches nearby. The more things you find, the faster you progress. You can navigate using intelligence, smell and hearing: press the corresponding button, see the icon / smell / sound waves nearby and “scan” the item. If the monkey has not seen him before, you have to go up and examine the find properly. And optionally also sniff and lick – then the macaque will definitely remember the object of interest.

By scanning unfamiliar objects, monkeys generate neural energy that they spend on exploring new possibilities. And these are not fighting skills, as in RPG, but the most basic things: to hear further, to smell better, to respond more quickly to threats … stand on two legs instead of four paws, in the end. And before you master any skill, you must develop it. They took a stone into their paws, collected several stones in a pile – they got the ability to transfer finds from one hand to another. We spend neural energy, learn the skill forever, go to the next stage – learn how to process objects with two hands. And if you get hold of a branch and granite, there is not far from the first spear!

And still do not forget that even with a spear in your hands you are just a little macaque among the ruthless jungle, where death awaits at every turn. If I were asked to define the Ancestors genre, I would choose survival: as in any “survival game”, here you need to extract resources, save them for the future, monitor what your wards eat and with whom they meet. At first, the monkeys will simply shy away from saber-toothed tigers and other unfriendly creatures, but sooner or later they will have to take a stick and pile on the aggressors.

The battle is utterly simple, but it doesn’t forgive mistakes. If a predator rushes at you, hold down the button, select the direction and release it at the right time (it is indicated by a characteristic click). Shuffled sideways? You have successfully dodged an attack. Darted towards the enemy? Congratulations, you counterattacked – if, of course, there was something in your hand that looked like a weapon, at least a stick or a stone. After this, the game will note that you have discovered a new way to fight the saber-toothed tiger, and this is only the first step to arrange real hunting trips and traps, clear the area of ​​enemies and get meat. Hold on, world, macaques are coming!


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