Humankind preview. Making History – review

New Civilization from the authors of Endless Space.

A couple of months ago, we already shared our first impressions of Humankind, a new global strategy from the creators Endless space and Endless legend… Now only a day is left before the release – it’s time for a review. However, firstly, this game is so great that for the sake of a full review in it, on good, you need to spend at least a month, and I received a review copy less than a week ago. And secondly, we were kindly asked not to talk about some aspects of the game yet. Therefore – only a preliminary overview. However, a lot is already clear.
To begin with, Humankind is much more like Civilizationthan previous games Amplitude… Therefore, I will mainly compare it with the main brainchild of Sid Meier. What is already there! At first glance, the heroine of this material can easily be mistaken for a clone. Sid Meier’s Civilization VI… But this, in fact, is fundamentally wrong. After all, the new project of the French studio is Civilization VI, and Endless Legend, and even a little Endless space 2… But most importantly, for the most part, this is a new and highly original game.

All Humankind in numbers in one minute

Tale of Bygone Years

However, there are also a lot of familiar things here. Historical eras. Wonders of the world. Colored empires fighting for world power. The usual quartet “food – production – science – money” (yes, now no cosmic dust). Anyone who has played any 4X strategy game in the last 30 years will feel right at home at Humankind. But Amplitube wouldn’t be itself without adding some unique features to its fresh creation.

At the heart of everything is the perfectly reasonable idea that civilizations are not static phenomena. They do not arise out of nowhere and do not go anywhere, but are formed gradually, combining the features of different cultures, change over time and generally live. In real life, no tribes chose in advance whether to become Olmecs or, there, Assyrians. They just survived, developed and made history. It’s the same here. We start the game with literally no one: we have only a handful of hunters and gatherers under our control, there is a huge unknown world around, and there are six historical eras ahead, from the Neolithic to the present, through which we need to lead our charges.

It turns out that when you are not forced to choose a civilization in advance, it is very convenient. For example, the wise Zhou scribes will be more useful in the mountains, and Phoenicians, the hardened traders on the seashore.

Each civilization has its own time. For example, the Celts are aware of themselves as a people in ancient times, but the Russians – only in the industrial era. Well, you can only feel like Soviet people in the modern era. We are free to accept any free culture and receive its unique bonus, city area and unit. And with the change of the era – to make a new choice, already from other options, but at the same time preserve the heritage of the ancestors.

It probably sounds tricky, but at first it looks a little wild. But in reality, the scheme turns out to be simple and logical. It fits perfectly into the game logic and really reflects the real historical process in many ways. The ethnogenesis of any people is a much more exciting thing than any other adventure novel. Anyway, it would be strange to expect imperial consciousness from a handful of half-naked savages. First, they need to run around, hunt for mammoths and just dream, looking at the stars. And only then – to look for a place for the future capital, build pyramids and fly to Alpha Centauri. So no cave-Americans led by Teddy Roosevelt dressed in skins and (almost) no ancient Egyptians riding tanks (although the second option is, in principle, possible, but more on that below).

The “new era – new civilization” approach allows you to select bonuses for the situation on the world map. Are you lagging behind in science? Take Koreans. Have you thought about expanding borders for a long time? The Achaemenids will do. Starting a small victorious war with an annoying neighbor? Roman legions at your service!

The system with a change of nation comes out very flexible. It solves the problem of the same Civilization with useless bonuses and unnecessary unique units. I’m talking about a situation when some jaguar warriors, from whom there was still a lot of sense in the Stone Age, completely lose their relevance by antiquity. What a lack of opportunity to retrain “from the Aztecs to the Greeks” and get as a personal army hoplites useful right up to the Middle Ages! Now you can do that – and it’s great. However, the hypothetical situation “the crossbowman shoots down a helicopter” has not been canceled either, which is even better.

Some Babylonians or Phoenicians can still be dragged into the space age – there would be a desire. This, of course, will deprive you of new buns, but it will give you a bonus to fame. And for her sake, in fact, we are all here and gathered. Yes, Humankind is a huge, multi-faceted fun machine that you can play just the way you want. But for victory, the main thing is that the score counter is ticking.

The final scoring and determination of the winner takes place after a fixed number of moves. However, no one bothers to continue playing further in order to discover all the technologies, send a mission to Mars, and maybe turn humanity into radioactive ash.

Peter the Great has no one close to him

Relatively speaking, fame reflects the depth of the mark that your people left in the history of mankind, and this is an absolute measure of success. Fame can be gained in a variety of ways, and not only in aggressive ways. For semi-savages who have barely mastered fire, even a successful hunt will be considered an achievement worthy of the “star of the era”. But the higher the development of civilization, the more difficult it will grow further. The game will begin to demand new discoveries, new territories, new victories …

The coolest thing is that you can become the most successful nation without building a single combat squad or winning a single battle. Moreover, there is a chance to completely wipe competitors off the face of the earth … and lose. Simply because, in absolute terms, destroyed empires were more successful than yours. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Another path to fame is through rivalry. The first to discover writing, travel around the world or build a railway – get an achievement and points

I must say that the most interesting was the peaceful victory. Maybe because the everyday life of humanity in Humankind and without military conflicts is full of nuances that need to be kept in mind all the time. Maybe because I did not have time to properly immerse myself in modern warfare, where nuclear weapons, long-range artillery and aviation are seriously changing the rules of the game. Or maybe it’s because combat mechanics are simply not Humankind’s greatest strength.

After all, even here there were some innovations. We were allowed not only to stupidly push two armies head-ons, but also to arrange full-fledged turn-based battles. To defeat a more or less serious enemy, you need to skillfully deploy troops, combine types, take into account subtleties such as the type of terrain and height above sea level – this, of course, is great. But direct control battles add too much microcontrol to a game that is already made for manual control fans. Therefore, soon you just start to miss fights, leaving the calculation of the results at the mercy of the computer.

Yes, and your own ideology does not have to be carried on the tips of the copies. Diplomacy offers a rich set of options, even if it is not some incredible gameplay breakthrough. And cultural or religious domination is often more important and useful than brute force. Although, of course, everything depends on the neighbors.

The tech tree looks like it’s taken from the Firaxis games. Likewise, we are moving from reinventing the wheel to combat lasers, exoskeletons, and fusion reactors. UCHR, unfortunately, no

Make your own Nuclear Gandhi

Personally, in Civilization, the most amusing historical anecdotes always seemed to me like “Gandhi enters the White House in a tank, and Genghis Khan shouts to him:” Busy! ” So, in Humankind, such stories, unfortunately, have no place. Indeed, unlike any other 4X strategy, we are not playing for a specific nation, but for a certain avatar. He can customize his appearance and even choose a character, and then live together countless scenarios for the development of mankind. It turns out at least as good as the leaders who are firmly attached to each nation.

Another interesting novelty is small text quests that seriously diversify what is happening. It’s nice that sudden events are not limited to the choice of “+1 to population” or “-25% to the time of technology research.” There is a story behind every case – and that’s great. Save children or homes during a fire? Allow the city authorities to castrate their servants, or how should the local administration be punished for excessive cruelty? How to communicate the concept of division by zero to the public? There are many questions, and only we have the answers.

The expansion is reminiscent of Endless Legend with its “one territory, one city” imperative. Unlike Civilization, no settlers are needed to conquer territories. Any unit is capable of establishing an outpost, which can then be turned into an urban settlement … if the need arises, of course. Let’s say there is no need for an entire metropolis just to build a mine

Each choice shifts our views slightly along one of four ideological scales. What is more important, collectivism or individualism? Your own country or the whole world? Freedom or Power? Tradition or Progress? You decide. Moreover, every choice always has not only positive, but also negative aspects. The sum total is a real RPG, only a whole nation is playing the role of a hero.

Perhaps the only thing this game lacks is normal, full-fledged training. There are detailed tips and even a video, but this does not make it clearer. Well, sooner or later, even a complete beginner will figure out the nuances by typing. And it will get … it seems, another Civilization. No, the differences, as I said, are full. It’s just that they didn’t really influence the general impressions. Humankind feels exactly like a new project with the words “Sid Meier’s” in the title. But is it good or bad – decide for yourself.

The tree of social institutions allows you to build your own unique civilization. And it’s up to you who to play: a progressive ruler, an insane obscurantist tyrant or a rationally tough Machiavellian sovereign

At first glance, Humankind looks like Civilization to those who are fed up with Civilization. Big, complex, varied, with its own unique vision – yet classic to the core. You just need to get involved a little, and the syndrome of one more move is guaranteed to you.

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