Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

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Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
Ancestors The Humankind Odyssey cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Panache Digital Games
Publisher(s)Private Division
Designer(s)Patrice Désilets
EngineUnreal Engine 4
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
Xbox One

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is an upcoming third-person survival game developed by Panache Digital Games and published by Private Division. It is set to be released for Microsoft Windows on August 27, 2019, and on December 2019 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. In the game, players control a lineage of apes and are tasked to ensure its survival in prehistoric Africa and facilitate its evolution. It will be Patrice Désilets' first game since the release of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (2010).


In the game, players guide an ape from a third-person perspective. In the screenshot, the ape is exploring the jungle with its clan members.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a survival game played from a third-person perspective. In the game, players control a member of an ape clan and have to manage the player character's health by eating, drinking, and sleeping.[1] The game starts in an African jungle, an open world filled with threats including predators like giant birds and poisonous plants.[2] Players can climb any tree in the jungle, though the player character will break its bones if it falls down. As players progress, new areas are opened up for players to explore. When an ape is exploring new locations or being hunted by predators, it will enter a state of "fear" which can be overcome by finding glowing orbs of light, or else it will descend into a state of hysteria.[1] While the world is dangerous, the apes can use their heightened senses to listen to various sounds, such as that of a predator, a lost clan member, or an outsider which can be recruited to the player's clans. The primate can use its intelligence to pinpoint the locations of different items of interest and make new discoveries such as identifying new food or tools.[3] As players continue to make new discoveries, the apes become more intelligent and capable, and new skills such as using leaves to make bedding and medicinal plants to heal themselves are unlocked.[4] If the player character dies, players will shift to controlling another clan member.[5] If all clan members die, the lineage becomes extinct and players need to restart the game.[6]

The goal of the player is to ensure the ape clan's survival as it slowly evolves and becomes a new species. As the clan grows, players can switch to play as other characters such as an infant, an adult, an elder, and a mother carrying her child.[3] As the clan slowly expands, the player character can perform social tasks like calling members of the clan to hunt together.[4] When an ape is sleeping, players can unlock new abilities by developing the ape's nervous system, which functions as a skill tree. These skills, such as the ability to use both hands and stand upright, facilitate evolution.[3] As apes undergo procreation, unlocked skills are passed on to future generations.[1] The game is expected to be 40 to 50 hours long, and it documents the clan's evolution across eight million years.[7]


Ancestors will be Patrice Désilets' first game since the release of Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood (2010)

The game was developed by Panache Digital Games, a studio opened in 2014 by Patrice Désilets after he left Ubisoft.[8] Désilets focused on creating a toolbox for his new studio, which allowed characters to interact with the environment extensively. The team intended to create a game set in prehistory so they did not need to build vast cities for players to explore. According to Désilets, he was "bored of the whole 10,000 BC [setting]", so he opted to create a game set ten million years in the past. To better study the setting, Désilets read books about paleoanthropology, though some elements were exaggerated.[2] The team avoided getting inspirations from films or other pop culture media to ensure that the game was unique instead of derivative.[9]

Désilets designed the game to allow players to explore the game's various systems and features, which prompted them to use their instincts to look for solutions.[10] The game does not have a structured narrative campaign, as Désilets hoped that players can craft their own experiences.[2] The team avoided including a mini-map as part of the game's head-up display as the team wanted to encourage players to have the curiosity to freely explore the game's world.[11] Désilets envisioned the game as the first part of a trilogy,[5] and that this first title will end when the player character reaches a stage that resembles Lucy.[12]

The game was announced at Reboot Develop 2015 in Dubrovnik by Désilets.[13] Initially, the game was episodic, in which each chapter enabled players to "relive the greatest moments of mankind with a documentary twist".[14] The decision was a financial one because the studio was small and it lacked sufficient funds to build a huge game. However, the plan was scrapped after Private Division, a new publishing label dedicated to supporting independent game developers, agreed to publish the game.[15] The game is set to be released for Microsoft Windows on August 27, 2019 via the Epic Games Store due to an exclusivity deal that will last for a year. The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions are set to be released in December the same year.[16]


  1. ^ a b c Favis, Elise (April 12, 2019). "Six Things To Know About Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey". Game Informer. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c Kelly, Andy (April 12, 2012). "Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a fascinating prehistoric survival game". PC Gamer. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Meija, Ozzie (August 12, 2019). "Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey hands-on preview: Do the evolution". Shacknews. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Tyrrel, Brandin (April 12, 2019). "Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Preview - Mankind in Jeopardy". IGN. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Phillips, Tom (April 12, 2019). "Surviving in the wild: Assassin's Creed maker Patrice Désilets on Ancestors, his first game in nearly a decade". Eurogamer. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  6. ^ McKeand, Kirk (April 12, 2019). "Patrice Désilets Q&A – how Ancestors shares a lineage with Assassin's Creed". VG 247. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  7. ^ McKeand, Kirk (April 12, 2019). "Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is 40-50 hours long and has a game-ending failstate". VG 247. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  8. ^ Grubb, Jeff (April 20, 2017). "Assassin's Creed creator's new game Ancestors gets a teaser trailer". VentureBeat. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  9. ^ Gaudiosi, John (April 30, 2018). "'Assassin's Creed' Creator Talks New Title and Adapting Video Game Movies". Variety. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  10. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (April 15, 2019). "Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey Is An Uncompromising, Relentless Survival Experience". GameSpot. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  11. ^ "Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey - 101 Trailer Ep. 2: Expand". Panache Digital Games. May 23, 2019. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  12. ^ McWhertor, Michael (April 12, 2019). "Ancestors is a different breed of survival game, spanning millions of years". Polygon. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  13. ^ Walton, Mark (April 23, 2015). "Assassin's Creed creator reveals his new game: Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey". Ars Technica. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  14. ^ Phillips, Tom (May 20, 2017). "Our first look at Patrice Desilets' Ancestors". Eurogamer. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  15. ^ O'Connor, Alice (December 15, 2017). "Take-Two launch 'indie' publishing label Private Division". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  16. ^ Makuch, Eddie (May 23, 2019). "Assassin's Creed Creator's New Game, Ancestors, Gets Release Date And New Trailer". GameSpot. Retrieved May 24, 2019.

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