About an hour into playing Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, I set the controller down, stared at the screen, and screamed “What the fuck do you want me to do?” There was no response, and nothing changed. An ape stared at the sky, patiently awaiting my command. There was no objective marker to follow, no mission to complete. If I walked away from the controller, the ape would eventually die, and the game would immediately shift control to another nearby ape. Life would go on, whatever I chose.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7x5v5z/ancestors-is-an-audacious-experiment-i-never-want-to-play-it-again
Sounds about how I expected it to be. Still looking forward to hitting my head against it.
I for one love this approach for the game, but it’s not for everyone and I also don’t think I want to see something similar in every open world game. But for this game and setting and what it wants to portray…it just works (!) for me.
The thing that worries me more is if the “evolutionary progress” (really don’t like that wording, but I don’t know what else to call it) will consistently result in satisfying new mechanics that keep that lovely survival/exploration experience fresh and won’t stagnate after the beginning hours. I already know that it “only” tackles the first few million years or so (the real game changers like the homo sapiens sapiens and the beginnings of human society as we can recognize it will likely come in the other two games of the trilogy, if the studio even makes it that far), but there were still a lot of significant environmental changes that happend during that period, and therefore evolution as well.
Watching the Giant Bomb quick look after listening to the podcast, I feel like this game is going to thrive off streaming. Even as Rob was describing how unpleasant the experience had be, Austin, Cado, and Danielle were all going “wow, I want to try that.” Even as Dan was lost and confused, Vinnie and Abby were excitedly asking him to look at everything around him. This game sounds like the perfect magnet for backseat gaming once it starts hitting streaming platforms, which should at least let them sell some games.
So after reading Patrick’s review I immediately bought it. I just started playing this morning and gosh y’all, its fun!
It’s definitely for people that are okay with learning systems without much guidance, but once you get some bearings it becomes easy enough to slowly figure everything out at your own pace without much consequence.