Humankind review | PC Gamer

Humankind review | PC Gamer


Need to know

What is it? A Civ-like historical 4X.

Expect to pay £35/$50

Developer Amplitude Studios

Publisher Sega

Release August 17

Reviewed on GTX 1080 Ti, Intel i7-8086K, 16GB RAM

Multiplayer? Yes

Link Official site

There’s something weirdly mythical about the historical 4X and the dominance of a single series, Civilization, for 30 years. But Amplitude Studios has spent a decade preparing to rewrite that myth. Humankind is the result: a massive, history-spanning behemoth that’s kept me on its hooks until sunrise a few times. But in trying to make its own Civilization, Amplitude may have sacrificed too much of what made its earlier games, Endless Legend in particular, such compelling weirdos. 

This is not to say that Humankind doesn’t have any bold ideas. It’s clear that isn’t the case as soon as  you hop into a campaign. Normally you’d need to pick a civ, faction or race of nerdy dragons first, and then plonk down a city, but not here. Before picking a site for your first settlement, or even picking a culture, you must first explore the world as a nomadic, Neolithic tribe. During this phase you saunter around gathering food and other resources from nodes scattered all over the world, with breaks where you get to fight animals. Picking berries and beating up mammoths—a perfect Neolithic family day out. 

I’m sure this all sounds quite relaxing—that’s a trap. It’s really a sprint, a particularly brutal one on the highest difficulty, where you’re competing to get first dibs on the list of playable cultures and stake your claim on the most bountiful regions. Found a place with bronze and horses? Get an outpost on that as quickly as you can, and then get back to brawling with the wildlife.  

(Image credit: Sega)

Your little band of explorers will also grow, allowing you to break up the squad and send individual units or smaller groups far and wide. Of course, that puts them in danger, as other tribes might try to pick them off. Territory you’ve claimed in preparation for your transformation into a settled civilisation can also be ransacked and taken from you, so things can get a bit heated. It’s good to make enemies early on and know where you stand.