TL;DR – Here, we have a beautiful game with a lot of promise but is not quite there yet.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Disclosure – I paid for this game.
Humankind Review –
One genre of Video Games just clicks with me more than others, like on a deep physiological level. That genre is the strategy game, well, more than that. It is the particular 4X genre of strategy game where you eXplore, eXploit, eXpand, & eXterminate, and if it is turn-based, even better. I can spend hundreds of hours exploring the mechanics of each game, hitting each of those four X’s. In the realm of the historical-empire-builder 4X world, there has been one crown, Civilization. Well, today, we take a look at a game that is coming for that title, and while it doesn’t quite get there, it does come close.
The first thing I want to mention is just how beautiful this game is. When you first jump into the game and see a river crashing over the cliffs into a valley full of lush jungle and red earth, Well, it will take your breath away. A lot of care has gone into everything feeling as if it is a natural part of this world. Part of what helps is a mountain of terrain features that make even areas that could be dull, like the frozen poles, still feel interesting to explore. I also like how they have introduced height to the game, making the world feel more grounded. You can see the legacy of Endless Legend throughout this game in the design of the terrain, but it has been tailored to be like Earth but stylized, and I think they get that balance right. To add to this, while watching this stunning game, you also get to hear a soundtrack that I have yet to get sick over these[redacted] hours that I have played, and I am listening to it now as I write this review. If I had to pick my favourite track from the game, it would be Mercury, but they are all great.
TL;DR – It tells birth the history and the human stories behind the rise, fall, and rise again of video games
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Video Games might be considered the newest form of mass media, but they rake in billions of dollars a year outgrossing all in their wake. Since the 1970s, they splashed into this world and raked in first quarters and then dollars and then more and I should say that I been known to pass on much my hard-earned coins to the industry. However, it is old enough that those who started have started to retire and pass on. I have seen a couple of attempts at documenting this history, and they had skewed to being too dry, to being too focused on entertaining, or even built with an agenda in mind. So to see a documentary to walks that line and succeeds is a joy to watch.
So to set the scene, we start back with the first big wave of video games with the rise of the arcade machine in the 1970s beginning in Japan and exploding across the world. We get introduced to this world through Tomohiro Nishikado, the creator of Space Invaders. It shows how quickly the industry can rise, shift, and fall. From here we cart the history of video game up to the Nintendo’s N64 with hints of where it would go in the future.
TL;DR – A polished and calming take on the 4x genre
Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Several years ago I picked up a new space 4X game called Endless Space. It was from a new developer Amplitude Studios and combined a strategy game with space in a way that I loved. It started a bit rough around the edges but grew into a really solid game. Now when I heard there was a sequel, I was interested but it dropped a bad time, well now I have some time at home thanks to *gestures broadly around* it was a good moment to go back and rectify that.
So to set the scene, Endless Space 2 is a 4X turn-based strategy game. This means that you pick a race like The United Empire, or The Vodyani, or The Hisso, from there you need to eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. You will do this by building new colonies on Mediterranean or terrain or monsoon planets, researching technologies from the technology web, and probably concurring a neighbour or two.
In this thread we will be documenting all the new additions for Humankind from Amplitude Studios.
TL;DR: You can layer from 60 different civilizations from history to create your own unique narrative. It will stretch from the Neolithic to the Modern age. In the end, the civilization with the most Fame will be the winner. Full of Humanmade Wonders, Natural Wonders, Units, and Buildings for you to construct.
Note: all images are created by the team at Amplitude Studios