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Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the next game from Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Desilets

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The next game by Patrice Desilets, the original creator of the Assassin's Creed series, is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. It is described as a third person, episodic action-adventure survival game. The short, episodic triple-A experience and will be produced by his new studio, Panache Digital Games.


At the Reboot Develop conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia today Desilets announced the title to a crowd of attendees with a short teaser. In the trailer, the clock ticked back from the modern day highlighting cultural and scientific achievements along the way. It began with the discovery of the human genome and rolled backwards through the fall of the Berlin Wall, the landing of the first man on the moon, on and on for hundreds of thousands of years to the creation of the first tools and beyond.

Here's a complete listing of the milestones mentioned in the teaser:

  • 2003 – Human DNA Decoded
  • 1996 – Dolly the Sheep
  • 1989 – Fall of the Berlin Wall
  • 1969 – Man on the Moon
  • 1928 – Penicillin Discovery
  • 1903 – Wright Brothers First Flight
  • 1850 – Human Population Reaches One Billion
  • 1809 – Charles Darwin’s Birth
  • 1666 - De analysi per aequationes numero terminorum infinitas
  • 1091 – First Crusade
  • 355 – Fall of the Roman Empire
  • 2578 Before Present – Siddhartha Gautama
  • 5000 BP – Tartaria Tablets
  • 12,000 BP – Agricultural Revolution
  • 30,000 BP – Chauvet’s Caves
  • 100,0000 BP – Out of Africa
  • 500,0000 BP – First Domestication
  • 1,500,000 BP – First Tools
  • 5,000,000 BP – Missing Link

"After having fought millions of templars, hidden in haystacks, and chased a pope it is time for something new," read the teaser's final few slides. "For the greatest adventure of all — our own."

"Through each episode," reads the game's announcement page, "we want the player to relive the greatest moments of mankind with a documentary twist. Our civilisation is one idea away from extinction... or evolution."

In his presentation at Reboot, which covered his entire career, Desilets talked about how his team at Panache spent most of the last year creating a believable actor to carry their episodic vision forward.

"The first thing we want to create at Panache is [an actor like] Tom Cruise," Desilets said. "He is believable in a wheelchair, when he falls down skyscrapers, or even when he's mad on the phone. ... I need that actor to do a lot of things, especially these days when everything has already been done."

Desilets went on to ask the audience, "What is too short?" While it brought chuckles from the crowd at the expense of Cruise, to Desilets the question was all about the length of the gameplay experience. Why, he asked, were games longer 35 hours long when movies are only two hours, and sitcoms less than 30 minutes.

It's not known at this time when Ancestors will be released, or for what platforms it will be available.