Updated: May 16, 2020
So A few days ago I came across this game on sale on the Ps4 for digital download. I've seen a few videos of the game during its initial release for PC, and the game really seemed intriguing so i had to play it and give you guys my review. Now keep in mind I'm still playing this game, I think theirs still plenty of stuff for me to discover and achieve in the game, but i've put it over 72 hours and pretty much get the gist of the game, however if my opinion on the game is swayed i will gladly update the review.
First let me explain this is a Survival game to its fullest, but a survival game like no other. So the Player starts off as an Ape/Human beast known as a humanid, in a small group of about 4 or 5 other humanids in Africa about 10 million years before our current time. The Player can switch to a different Humanid in their clan, change a clan members name, and analyze a clan member to find out their name, sex, age, fertility and the health. The Player can also carry their young around on their backs, up to 2 babies can be carried at a time which becomes and essential action to gain experience and evolve. Other than that the Player starts out with only 3 skills, Intelligence, Hearing, Smell.
Now this game unlike any other game i've ever played, tells you very little on how to play or do things, which I felt added to the immersiveness as the player is learning the game for the first time just like the humanids are learning about life. The game explains how to use your basic senses, and tells you how to gain experince and evolve, and then it just kinda leaves you their to fend for yourself.
The key to the game is to explore, explore , explore, and learn everything their is to know about everything. Use your 3 senses to discover everything around you, from what you can drink, eat, and what has medicinal problems, or what could potentially harm you, and over all what can be used as a tool to expand your clan.
The Fastest way to evolve is to carry a child everywhere you go, and while doing your day to day activities, and using you senses the babies can gain mutated traits and collect experience which can be used to evolve your species. Almost everything in the world will offer you experience.
Sounds simple enough right? Wrong! Like any other survival game one has to watch out for things like hunger, thirst and sleep, and even old age. A Humanid can die from starvation, Dehydration, and lack of sleep and will eventually grow old and die. On top of that their are other nasty side effects that will needed to be over come such as Poison, Venom, Cold, Heat, and even Fear. And these things come with crazy effects, and may not be as simple as you may think. Take Starvation for instance, A Player must eat to not starve, but their are hundreds of unknown food items, eating the wrong berry, snail, or bug could poison you. You need water to drink but drinking from stagnated water could cause you to be sick, Entering into and unknown area could make you run and flee in fear in a panic.
And if the loads of status effects are not enough almost everything is out to kill or eat you. The map is loaded with venomous snakes, giant pythons, wild hogs, hyenas, jackals, giant eagles, crocodiles, and hippos, I've encountered giant venomous centipedes while traversing underground caves, even the neutral animals like the antelopes, water buffalo and the african horses will try to trample you if you get to close, but nothing was more frightening or even more annoying than the different species of Saber Cats spread out across the map, waiting to hunt you down and kill your entire clan in an instance. In the early stages of the game this makes traversing the map a difficult thing to do, eventually you can learn to Intimidate creatures forcing them to flee, and can even counter attack and kill the attacking beasts.
Another unique aspect of the game is the hold and release commands. Pretty much every action in the game is accomplished by holding a particular button and released when you hear a Ding noise in the background or when you see a character move a certain way. This causes the player to use their senses in real life, making you pay attention to simple cues in the game.
Also among items to discover and create are tools you can use, as you evolve and discover new things the player will be able to create new items to use and things to build in their settlement, like a certain leaf can be bundle to make a sleeping stack, or a bundle of sticks can be used to build a barricade, certain stones can be used to make grinders, cutting tools, or even a bludgeoning weapon, and sticks can be altered as a spear or fishing tool or for lifting up rocks and pocking holes, some plants can be altered as tools or even as medicines to heal your player from broken bones, bleeding, poisoning and venom.
But don't go at the game alone, your whole clan is important, you need children to gain experience and must mate, and expand your clan to become stronger. Your player can learn communication skills to talk to the other humanids in their clan, tell them to follow you, help you craft things, and a group of humanids can become a lot more intimidating to a saber cat than one lone monkey.
Another difficult feat in the game was not having a physical map to look at to keep up where you are going. you can set individual points in your memory but the jungles can easily become over whelming without a guide. I've found myself traveling for hours only to have went around in circle and ending right back at my settlement after being chased by deadly predators.
Now my over all aspect of the game is i'm really enjoying it so far, and it so intriguing i'm wondering if i've even scratched the surface of things to discover, my only real complaint is the predators, they just seem to amped up and made exploring almost to annoying to attempt at some times. Maybe add a difficulty options for people just looking to explore. I am hoping and excited to see DLC's for the game and even future instalments allowing me to play further and further into the evolution tre, and unlocking more things to discover, build, and more places to explore and animals to find. I found the current map very exciting and in depth and just alive and sometimes frightening not knowing what was lurking around every corner, i really felt for my Humanid companions.
I Give this game a 9/10 stars.