Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, from Patrice Désilets, the creator of Assassin’s Creed, will be a story-driven episodic title, but it won’t be like other episodic games. The reason for that is because it’s also an open-world sandbox.
In an interview with Game Informer, Désilets explained that the team behind Ancestors are hoping to create a different type of episodic game, one that offers more replayability than your usual episodic game. Usually, once an episode is complete, players are left with little to revisit, and some often give-up on a series only part-way through.
This is something Désilets wants to change:
[Ancestors] is an episodic, narrative-driven game where we leave you there with the toy in between episodes. If your goal as a caveman is to harness the power of fire, once you meet that objective you are left in an open world to experiment with that fire, try to survive, and pass your knowledge along to your progeny.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, the game goes through various points in history with numerous protagonists reliving key moments in the evolution of Humankind. It’ll focus less on fighting for survival, but the various processes and technologies humans have discovered in order to survive.
Our ancestors back then weren’t that violent. They weren’t fighting each other. Cooperation and compassion are really part of the reason why we survived…There’s no evidence of war before the invention of agriculture on this planet. That doesn’t mean they didn’t exist, but we’ve never found any evidence of it. There’s not a lot of human beings on the planet, and once you first come across one, your first thought is not of killing them. It’s like, ‘Holy s— – there’s somebody else! Let’s try to help each other to survive because there’s not a lot of food and there’s a lot of beasts out there.’
In the game, it seems you’ll be free to do what you wish with what you’re left with after the main story for this particular part concludes, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do.
You’ll have the sequence of the amazing, huge bush fire that you have to flee with your family, and the only way to survive eventually is to turn around and use this fire. You go back to your tribe and build a fire, and then it’s systemic.
After this it’s your adventure until I come back and say, ‘There’s a new adventure for you.’ You could call it a mission or a level – we still haven’t decided what to call it – but each time we introduce a new feature that is laid with the story of humankind…
We’re putting a lot of Hollywood stuff in, and then we leave you with a systemic, persistent open world where it becomes Day Z or Minecraft. But instead of blocky, it’s triple-A quality environments in this bubble.