Gather your rocks and sticks, “Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey” released for PC on the Epic Game Store this week. The game is the debut title from Panache Digital Games; the independent development studio co-founded in 2014 by Patrice Désilets, the original creative director behind “Assassin’s Creed.”

In the game, players revisit the early stages of human evolution, hoping to survive a harsh existence and ensure a future of their lineage. Starting over ten million years ago, players become hominids, swinging through the trees and gathering food among the dangerous predators. There are plenty of things that would love to eat you, like pythons, saber-tooth tigers, deadly alligators, and more, and it’s your job to survive and to prosper.

While utilizing and sometimes weaponizing your environment, players will help ensure the survival of their clan by expanding their character’s capabilities. While advancing, you complete your neuronal network, which introduces role-playing elements to the game while improving your different abilities. You use these choices and abilities to advance your clan’s motor functions, heighten their senses, enhance their intelligence, and unlock better communication among the tribe. If you survive long enough, you can evolve your clan to a more advanced species through the decisions and actions.

The developers stated, “Ultimately the player will determine if the clan will have an enduring lineage or become another extinct species that recedes into history.”

“I am extremely proud of what my team and I have accomplished with Ancestors. I wanted to make a game about evolution that would help remind of us of our shared primal instincts. Once I thought of this concept, I could not shake this idea of struggling, trying to survive in this massive, dangerous world,” said Patrice Désilets, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Panache Digital Games. “Today is a great day because we can now share this game with the real world. It may be a difficult journey but hopefully you can survive just as our own ancestors did.”

“It has been a privilege to partner with Panache Digital Games to make Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey,” said Kari Toyama, Senior Producer at Private Division. “Patrice Désilets is meticulous in his approach to game design, and together with his small team incredibly talented developers, they created an experience that is wholly unique.”

The game plays out like a third-person exploration survival game, in which players will establish a clan in an unforgiving wilderness of Africa spanning from ten million to two million years ago. The game mechanics focus on three main principles: explore, expand, and evolve. With everything trying to avoid you or eat you, players must explore their environment. The game is set in Neogene Africa, and you slowly expand your clan’s territory, and evolve your clan from one generation to the next.

The game is available digitally for PC from the Epic Games Store, and digitally for the PS4 and the Xbox One.

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