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In each of the game's six eras, you choose a culture, or faction, to play as through that era. These societies offer different bonuses and penalties, based on their real historical traits, and you need to develop different strategies for each one (there are a million different permutations!). This adds rich replay value as you can go back after completing the game with one society from each era and play again with another. At the end of each era, you then choose which civilisation you want to play as in the next, and the cycle starts over again.
You choose how you want to expand your influence, be it through military domination of other regions or diplomacy; you control the military, develop cities, use politics to your advantage and more as you do so. Combat is turn-based and with surprising depth, offering multiple ways to claim victory over the opposing force. You need to carefully manage resources and choose which areas to invest in; food industry, gold, science, influence, and fame, each offer different perks and allow you to expand in different ways.
Additional content adds more cultures to pay as; at the moment, the Cultures of Africa pack allows you to experience and celebrate parts of African culture ranging across the whole continent and its long and vibrant history. More of these expansions are set to be released in the future that will allow you to immerse yourself in even more cultures.
It's a unique take on the genre, which builds on games like the Civilization games, while adding on the ability to play as different cultures and expand in new ways, allowing for broadened creative expression and a chance for rich and detailed stories to be told.
Our examiner, Ben Kendall, first checked Humankind 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Ellen Robertson and updated 7 weeks ago.
Cross-Platform: Play between PC and Mac.
You can play this game in the following styles:
Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB EVERYONE 10+ for Alcohol Reference, Mild Language and Mild Violence. Players send troops (e.g., infantry, swordsmen) and eventually military vehicles (e.g., tanks, helicopters, battleships) to hunt animals and attack rival units. Fighting is turn-based, highlighted by battle cries, clashing sounds, gunfire, and small explosions. Some timeline events reference alcohol/legality of alcohol (e.g., Prohibition). The words “damn” and “hell” appear in the dialogue.
Account RatingYou don’t need a platform subscription to play this game online.
Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass
- In-Game Purchases: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.
There is an expansion for the game called "Cultures of Africa" which adds 8 new playable cultures, all centred around African cultures throughout the ages.
The Deluxe Edition of the game comes with the game, the soundtrack, music inspired by the cultures in the game, and a digital poster.
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Release Date: 17/08/2021, updated in 2023
Out Now: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One and Xbox X|S
Content Rating: PEGI 12
Players: 1 (8 online)
Accessibility: 24 features
Components: 2D Overhead, Grid and Open World