Panache Digital Games has spoken about the freedom available to players in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey.
In an interview during IGN’s E3 live stream, creative director Patrice Désilets said that players can better explore the world on two legs, but added, “I don’t care. It’s your game, it’s your experiences—it’s not mine.”
He added that he personally enjoys his experiences with the game, despite working on it for some time. “Each night I play, I can go and write a new story.”
These comments match what Désilets said during the PC Gaming Show earlier this week, stating that players are “writing the story” themselves through gameplay.
When discussing the importance of the game for the studio, Désilets compared the title to Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed, which he worked on as creative director.
“I knew I needed a first game. When you do third-person, the thing you must build is a character that interacts with a 3D environment. That is why we built AC1 with Altaïr, and then we had AC2 that is, for some people, better because we knew and we had our character, so I knew I needed the same thing.”
He also discussed the scope of the game in regards to the size of his team. “I cannot build—with my team of 35 people—Rome, Jerusalem, technology, crowds.”
Désilets clarified that the game world does not evolve over time, since the “massive scope” was already significant for his small, independent team.
He originally felt that exploring a prehistoric period would be easier than the Third Crusade or Italian Renaissance of the early Assassin’s Creed title. He feels that he was naïve in this approach, however, as the organic world is quite complex.
The developer has taken some flexibility in the historical accuracy of the game. Since humans know little about prehistory outside of modern-day research based on fossils, the game takes creative liberty with its concepts, featuring creatures such as giant centipedes. Désilets felt that humans do not technically know that such a creature did not exist, so creative liberties are allowed for the game.
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey was first announced in 2015 by Désilets, known for his work on Assassin’s Creed (including the original game, its sequel, and Brotherhood) and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. After slowly releasing information in the years to follow, Panache Digital Games partnered with Take-Two Interactive’s new publishing label Private Division to distribute the game, later revealing gameplay and a release window at The Game Awards 2018.
The game will be released on August 27, 2019 for PC via the Epic Games Store, and in December 2019 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The game will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store on PC for 12 months, after which point it will become available on other retailers.