PETER HOSKIN: Why Humankind needs to embrace its differences to really succeed
Humankind (PC, £39.99)
Verdict: Too civilised
I wish I were reviewing humankind, as in the entire collection of people on the planet. Lots of promise, could do better. Three stars.
Instead, I’m reviewing Humankind, the game, although the verdict might end up similar.
This is one of those games in which you grow a society from the stone age to the space age. Which is to say, it’s like Civilization, the series that began in 1991 and is currently in its sixth instalment.
This is one of those games in which you grow a society from the stone age to the space age. Which is to say, it’s like Civilization, the series that began in 1991 and is currently in its sixth instalment
In fact, from its tile-based maps to its run-ins between different cultures, Humankind is a lot — lot — like Civilization.
This needn’t be a bad thing. The developers of Humankind, Amplitude Studios, have ranged impressively across this terrain for a decade, with Endless Space and Endless Legend, games set in, er, space and a fantasy realm.
And their touch is evident from the very start of Humankind. The map itself is stunning, a diorama of plains and little roaming animals. The gameplay is slick and compulsive. Everything feels very refined.
The disappointment comes when Humankind tries to rework the Civ template.
Its biggest innovation, a system in which you don’t have to stick as one culture (the Hittites, say), but can start mixing and matching with others (Celts, Aztecs, Mongols, etc.) sounds impressive, but has little impact on… anything, really.
If Amplitude were to make something more of these differences, this could be a proper Civilization alternative. So: lots of promise, could do better. Three stars.
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