Doc Random talks you through his play-through of the scenario

Amplitude, the studio behind sci-fi and fantasy strategy gaming darlings like Endless Space and Endless Legend, is now developing Humankind, their first entry in the foundation of the strategy genre: the historical 4X game.

As you may know, 4X stands for EXploration, EXpansion, EXploitation, and EXtermination (yes, this genre has mechanics of empire and colonialism at its roots). As part of its absolutely cool Open Dev programme, in which players get to provide real input on the game’s design , Amplitude is releasing a number of short scenarios for playtesting in the coming months (sign up here).

I got lucky and was selected to be part of the first scenario feedback cycle. Footage of and thoughts about my play-through of Towers of Babylon in the video above and, for your tl;dw pleasure, here in bullet form:

  • As promised, combat in this game feels different to normal 4X titles. Whether it will last beyond its opening battles against woolly mammoths is still unsure (more on that in scenario 2).
  • Exploration isn’t actually all that fun compared to other titles like Civ or Mohawk’s Games Old World.
  • Growth of your civilization will be familiar in most ways, but unique in some ways that will matter, with Outposts instead of Settlers and Science Mode to speed you through the techtree.
  • History as usual with some wrinkles: the same type of aesthetics and progression with occasional events taken from the pages of history.
  • I absolutely dig the Interface and Graphics. Crisp, clean, yet comfortable. This is where this very early version of Humankind already excels.

Hopefully we’ll be able to play more Open Dev Scenarios soon. If we do, we’ll be certain to report back to you here.