The Civilization series has been around for—I’m sorry to have to do this to you—30 years now. It helped create a genre and has remained undefeated in it for that entire time. But as we march through the 21st century, there are hints that with the sixth game the Civ formula has got a little stale. Enter Amplitude and Sega’s attempt at some fresh air, Humankind.
For Amplitude, this game has been years in the making. Its Endless Legend and Endless Space have seen the studio hone their 4X (Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate) skills over the last decade, innovating with stuff like clean menus tactical combat. Tying everything they’ve learned together into a direct challenge to Civilization has been the inevitable endgame of this approach.
You may have noticed I’ve already talked about Civilization a lot, and I’m going to do it a whole lot more in this review. Sorry, it’s unavoidable. Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley helped pioneer the genre Civilization has ruled for so long, and Humankind is built from the ground up as a homage/response to it. How Amplitude’s offering is able to differentiate itself from Civilization is going to form the core of what most people are going to want to know about Humankind. Basically, it’s literally impossible to talk about Humankind without mentioning Civ repeatedly, since Civ’s systems are the language of the genre itself.