Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey gameplay looks like Assassin’s Creed with apes

By Matt Martin, Friday, 20 April 2018 12:33 GMT

Are you ready to steal bird eggs at the risk of having your stomach torn out by an eagle?

I have seen Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey and it looks freaking cool.

Gameplay footage of the new game from Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets was shown at Reboot Develop today, behind locked doors and with mobile phones off. The place was on lockdown.

Desilets hit play on a video project called “Experiences”, built using the engine, art and assets for Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.

It began with a vulture soaring over the jungle, before cutting to an ape – presumably the player in third-person – exploring the trees, rivers and rocks around it.

The ape lept through trees, climbed up trunks and launched itself from the very highest branch, in a similar way to the classic parkour of Assassin’s Creed. That ape could move quickly too, from branch to branch like a spider-monkey.

We also saw an ape attacked by a crocodile and killed. The crocodile then met its own grisly end at the jaws of a sabre-tooth tiger. That tiger? Crushed to death by a giant snake. Nature is brutal and Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey isn’t shying away from that.

Although Desilets has said previously that Ancestors is not episodic, the footage we saw was labelled Volume One, and Desilets was on screen with an anthropologist discussing “Volume One” focusing on “Africa, 10 million years ago”.

We saw a shrewdness of apes interacting, with the player character grooming another ape. Expect to go online and pick fleas from fellow players, we reckon.

Someone playing the game was using an Xbox One controller, but don’t read too much into that. Focus on the gameplay, the art, the huge open world.

After the ape plucked coconuts from a tree, it climbed to a nest and pinched bird eggs. That didn’t end well, as an eagle swooped down, plucked the player from the nest and flew off with its prey.

Cut to a shot of the ape with its guts and rib cage torn out, the eagle feasting greedily on the player.

The video ended. There were whoops and applause. A rep from publisher Take-Two had the look of fear in his eyes, clearly thinking “I hope this hasn’t leaked out”.

Desilets beamed a shit-eating grin. And it was well deserved. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey looks brutal and amazing.

We managed to grab some off-stage shots of screen grabs from Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, which you can see below.

They are not the best quality, and you shouldn’t read too much into the words laid over them. Desilet’s was delivering a session about “20 creative words” at Reboot Develop and was using his screens from Ancestors to illustrate his points. Some of those words, like “trading, fear, fire” will make up elements of the game, no doubt, but don’t assume they are bullet points for the back of the box.

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