Following the sci-fi 4X strategy of Endless Space and fantasy 4X of Endless Legend, the next strategy game from Amplitude Studios has an even stranger setting: human history. They've just announced Humankind, a 4X strategy game which I will crudely describe as "sounding like Amplitude's take on Civilization." By which I mean it's a turn-based 4X strategy game where galleons can be sailing around at the same time as submarines and all that. I've long wished for a contender to strut menacingly around Civ's turf and I'm doubly keen to see what Amplitude will do there. Here, watch the announcement trailer below.
Those are some dirty gert cities towards the end there, aren't they?
As is the historical 4X way, Humankind will let us play a civilisation from the earliest days through to the modern era along a track broadly recognised as human progress. We'll go through real historical events, meet real historical figures, make real historical scientific discoveries, and... smash real historical cultures together to make something new?
"Create your own unique civilisation by combining 60 different historical cultures from across the heritage of humanity," the announcement says. "Begin as Ancient Egypt, then evolve into the Romans, the Khmers, or perhaps the Vikings—the choice is up to you," it suggests. "Each culture brings its own special gameplay layer, leading to near-endless outcomes." Huh!
Also new is "fame," a unifying victory condition taking into account "every great deed you accomplish, every moral choice you make, every battle won" - so it sounds like we won't see Civ's array of unconnected victory tracks.
It is of course grossly reductive to directly compare different games made by different studios because they're in the same broad genre. But I just did. Come at me, Sid Meier.
Humankind is coming to Steam in 2020, published by Sega. For now, you can read more on the game's site. Or if you're at PAX West in a week-and-a-bit, you can watch our Roman ghost correspondent interview the game's narrative director (among other strategy gaming luminaries) on stage.