The mighty checklist of games is slowly ticked off. We've done epic space operas, endless fantasy adventures, contemporary modern-day gangsters and every historial setting you can imagine. Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey wants to do it all as an episodic series of open-worlds set at mankind's biggest turning points. In a recent interview with Game Informer, Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Désilets detailed his plans for his latest game.
Ancestors 'levels' will each assign you a specific task or challenge. The example given is the discovery of fire as a tool by ancient humans. Your family will be under threat from a forest blaze and you will need to use that fire to escape, then return to your people with this new knowledge. Once that's completed you're set loose on the open-world to explore and experiment.
Other moments in history will get a similar treatment, though Patrice doesn't go into details at this stage. The implication is that you might enact the first Moon landing, then be allowed to explore the space-rock unimpeded, or during great technological discoveries be shown how they effected the world first hand. The episodic nature means these will be developed and released independently, though no mention of schedule or payment method was made. There will also be a meta-narrative running through the scenarios that will tie the whole thing together - hopefully more sensibly than Assassins Creed's now ludicrously complex web of aliens and popes.
Patrice also mentions how he believes that new technology is the key to making an extraordinary third person open-world game. He mentions the "holy shit" moments of pushing past crowds in AC for the first time, or the incredible detail of recent GTA games. That's what he's aiming for with Ancestors - and all without violence. Mankind's greatest moments were peaceful seems to be his message, and he wants to try to keep the amount of conflict in each episode at a low without becoming purely narrative-based like Telltale games.
Not a word on release date, of course, but here's the trailer from E3:
The full interview is worth a read at nine pages, mostly covering Patrice's past and troubles with Ubisoft.