CULTURE-HOPPING OVER THE AGE RANGES
Humankind positions itself smartly, aiming to shake some of the 4X strategy subgenre’s foundations, add other small tweaks to its recipe while maintaining enough familiarity to let anyone hop in and leave their mark on history.
Developer Amplitude Studios takes a bold step with it. It swaps sci-fi for fantasy in a historical setting and is swimming in the same waters of subgenre giant Civilization. This is a bold move because Amplitude Studios’ in-game universe takes a more realistic approach, leaving less room for crafting the next Necrophage or Horatio.
Unique factions, striking art, and a deep layer of strategy that remained approachable established the studio as a notable name in the 4X sphere, making Endless Space and Endless Legend both excellent points of entry for newbies and worthwhile experiences for veterans. Humankind has a completely different approach to the first layer.
Humankind is a historical 4X strategy game. It combines the best of past Amplitude Studios titles with more traditional elements to revive the subgenre. It is turn-based and requires players to manage all aspects of their civilization. This game’s claim to fame is that it doesn’t bind players to one faction.
Campaign for Single-Player
Unsurprisingly, there is not a traditional campaign for one player in Humankind. The first step is to jump into a game of low difficulty, where you can get familiar with the concepts and then create your own using a set of rules.
The settings used to determine the length of a game, such as the number of players, the type and size of the maps, or the turn limit, can affect how long it takes. The normal speed is 300 turns, which is not too long. We managed to squeeze in two matches and a quarter on this setting in just over 30 hours, including the intro one.
Multiplayer games with Humankind offer the same options as single-player, except that you can invite other players to your game. Matches can be set to private, friend-only, or public. You can also add AI. Its server stability is something we cannot comment on as it has not been released yet. However, one thing to notice is that you can add up to 10 players to the in-game menu, while the store page only supports up to 8.
Your first steps in Humankind are taken from the perspective a Neolithic Tribe with one unit and a fog-covered world. Although it sounds familiar, it is not as simple in practice. You can collect food to increase your tribe’s number and hunt wildlife, but also any unit can place Down Outposts once you have enough Influence from exploring the map. You don’t need to create a city from these Outposts immediately. You can divide the map into territories. Outposts are a way to lock them down and make their strategic or luxury resources yours to exploit.
You can still move forward with your Outpost if you find a territory with a better resource or more defendable. You can attach territories and their wealth to cities later on. This allows you to expand your reach and makes it more difficult for others to explore and secure territories. Although this does not eliminate the fear of settling in an unfavorable spot, it is less stressful than establishing your first settlement.