Review Humankind challenges Civilization, but leaves the job halfway

Far too familiar and unnecessarily safe 4X game Humankind is not afraid to take the genre forward.

Date of issue: 17.8.2021
Studio: Amplitude Studio
Publisher: SEGA
Available: PC (Windows, tested)
Players: 1-4
Age limit: 12
Games played for review: 27 hours

Sid Dairy created by Civilizationseries has been a leader in the 4X strategy genre since 1991. The game has received numerous challengers – both better and worse – but for those who long for the birth of humanity from the early twilight of history to the present, genuine and original Civilization has practically always been the best option. Unfortunately, Amplitude fresh Humankind no other order.

Endless Space The novice of the developers sets out to challenge the original Pioneer on his own tantra by offering humanity evolution throughout history. Starting from the Neolithic era, Humankind follows the four familiar rules of the genre, expansion, development, conquest, and exploration, leading its own culture from the obscurity of history to the history books. In practice, this is accomplished by expanding one’s own realm, developing technology, and conquering foreign cultures through either diplomacy or warfare.

Everything just feels so familiar and safe that one might think he’s playing the next part of Civilization.

READ MORE: The Life and Deeds of Sid Meier – A Thorough Review of the Long Career of Gaming Legend


However, Humankind differs from the habit in a few significant and original ways. First, players no longer choose a single culture to play the game from start to finish. Instead, one can change one’s culture with each era, leaving the passive bonuses of the former to sprout as units and buildings change. This allows for a range of cumulative benefits that, for example, can allow their civilization to invest fully in science or, alternatively, change direction to best support the situation at hand; is the enemy attacking just as you move into the Middle Ages? An additional bonus from the Vikings to the strength of the armies may make it easier on defense.

The only thing, however, arises in the fact that there are a limited number of civilizations to choose from, which creates a different kind of tactics for the plays. Each civilization evolves from era to era, accumulating achievements such as technology, people, money and influence, and war victories. Once the required points are piled up, you will be the first to enter the era before choosing your next culture from all the options. The last arrivals, in turn, are left with remnants left by others who may not support their own enlargement efforts.

On the other hand, the longer one erodes and accumulates achievements in the current era, the more one reaps the reputation of one’s culture. Reputation, in turn, decides the winner, so collecting it is paramount. Although the final game can be launched in several different ways, the actual reputation always determines the winner. Thus, sometimes it may be more profitable to stay in the old culture, in which case fame often reaps faster.


Unfortunately, the reputation bonus also makes the final game a bit self-repeating, as there is no other goal. In addition, all the achievements are identical from one era to another, so there is not even a need to change the style of play. Similarly, those who long for the most fame should strive to collect all the achievements, as well as build miracles and other structures that increase success.

In the Civilizations, however, it was possible to take, for example, a cultural victory or the taking of humanity to the next planet as a new goal.

Humankind also seeks to guide the player through the nation through moral choices and narrative moments, but the realization of these ultimately remains a mere metric. The direction of one’s own culture is measured by four different ideologies that reflect government, economy, politics, and society. These, in turn, are presented between two extremes between which the meter moves in one direction or the other as decisions are made. For example, the spiritual leadership of one’s own people can be limited only to men or women, with the hands of the hands waving toward traditions, or allowed to anyone who represents progressiveness.

Unfortunately, the interesting mechanics collapse mainly into simple bonuses that become more important than the actual accompanying text. If an investment in industry has been chosen as the style of the game, then the pictures will be in front of the conveyor belt of the factories where the adults are purely for the benefit of it. Some decisions also include degrading parameters, but these are often far too short to eventually be of great concern. The same goes for social doctrines, which offer either-or-type bonuses to certain elements.

Unfortunately, diplomacy and religion are also very deficient and otherwise water down the experience that goes hand in hand.


In other respects, however, Humankind is little different from the habit. The battles may take place in separate hex-based squares, but they follow exactly the same logic as all other games in the genre. The units have their own weaknesses and strengths, in addition to which the strength of the ground affects their strength.

The same goes for cities and the counties associated with them, which modify the style of play a little, but not significantly. Equally, cities should focus on the production of only a few resources, as the construction of specialized districts undermines the stability of the city. Enemy counties, in turn, are able to attract their own side with either sufficient influence or religion, in which case their inhabitants want to change sides. Admittedly, this usually also requires an adequate army to support it, as demands are made only at the threat of war. A little more comprehensive trading would have been a much more meaningful solution.

The slightly more unique smaller features, in turn, are decent height differences as well as the start of the game. Humankind actually guides first-timers relatively well into the 4X genre, as it doesn’t throw these directly at the deepest end of the pool. Instead, the Neolithic tribes only initially explore the environment, hunt, and gather resources, until the construction of cities began in ancient times. The start is refreshingly exceptional and supports the offered theme wonderfully.


Elevation differences, on the other hand, are not directly new to the genre, but in Humankind they physically affect the movement and visibility of units. For example, your own city can be built at its best in a gorge that can only be attacked along a single route, making it easier to defend it. The significance of land surfaces will naturally diminish as technology advances and eras progress, allowing enemy villages to be bombarded with nuclear bombs or units to be flown by airplanes. Still, it is the varying height differences of the ground surfaces that are one of the best features of Humankind.

In addition, the game looks visually stunning and clear, although the interface has its own oddities. And while Humankind is exceptionally instructive for beginners, the 4X genre itself isn’t.

Humankind thus has absolutely nothing wrong, but it also offers nothing revolutionary for lovers of the genre either. It works just like a 4X genre representative should. It also makes you feel several tens of hours while tapping the next turn. But unlike Civilization, which counts for hundreds of hours of play, Humankind’s charm of novelty ends after only twenty hours.

It’s by no means bad – except in this very genre.


Rating: 3/5

“Humankind isn’t a killer of Civilization, but for genre lovers, it still has something to offer.”

Source: by

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