As Desilets told Eurogamer, Ancestors will retain its identity as “a third-person action game set between 10 to 2 million years ago.” However, the game, which is set to chronicle human evolution, has grown significantly more ambitious. As opposed to using an episodic model announced during the game’s 2015 reveal at Reboot Develop, Ancestors is now being developed with a more expansive world in mind — likely an open-world format. The game will start in Africa and expand across the globe, presumably as time moves forward, and mankind evolves.
Desilets suggested the game would feature a resource-management system, which makes it seem as if it will have a survival aspect. All of this makes sense given the nature of the project, although we still do not know much about the actual gameplay systems, story, or core objectives.
The teaser trailer, which is considered a pre-alpha build, did not reveal much. At the outset, the camera follows a path down a road during heavy snowfall. There is a moose on the road, but then the screen quickly snaps to the Panache Digital Games logo.
A rather fitting quote from Charles Darwin’s The Descent of Man comes across the screen:
“We must, however, acknowledge, as it seems to me, that man with all his noble qualities … still bears in his bodily frame the indelible stamp of his lowly origin.”
Then we are taken to the African jungle, 10 million years ago. There are apes, a crocodile, and even a saber-tooth tiger. It would appear that you start playing the game as an ape and as time goes on, you undergo the evolutionary process. The end of the trailer shows an ape standing up on his hind legs. The logistics of how the evolutionary process will take form in the game are unknown, but Desilets made it clear that Ancestors is being developed as a series. The footage shown was from Ancestors 1, so it is possible that each game will focus on a specific time period.
Desilets is best known for his work at Ubisoft as the creative director on Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed 2. He left the studio in 2015 to form Panache Digital Games. Desilets also has the rights to 1666: Amsterdam, another third-person action period piece, after a controversial legal struggle with his former employer. 1666 isn’t thought to currently be in development at Panache, as Desilets and his team shifted their focus to Ancestors throughout the legal process.
Despite the new information about Ancestors, we still have no idea when it is expected to arrive, but judging by its “pre-Alpha” status, probably not anytime soon.