Philosophy of the theme and narrative
The puzzle game that emerges is a “genre-bender” daring to venture beyond the bounds of convention. It tests your cognitive limits, pushing you from feeling like a bumbling fool to a mastermind in a matter of moments. But the true magic of this game lies in the orchestrated movements of its massive, teeming hordes – a sight capable of evoking a whirlwind of emotions, from elation to awe, and even a touch of terror.
At its core, the game is simple enough: shepherd an endless stream of people towards a distant light, each level self-contained. Yet the experience itself is far from ordinary. The setting is a surreal landscape, where a luminous shiba inu acts as the guiding force for the collective. The surroundings are a dizzying array of towering, brutalist architecture suspended high above the clouds.
As the leader, you are imbued with the power to manipulate the group in various ways, issuing commands such as turn, jump, and branch. A split-second decision can make or break your success, turning what could be a dreamlike reverie into a nightmare. One wrong move and the collective cascades into a boundless abyss, evoking feelings that are equal parts frustration and Freudian chaos.
But for those who can keep pace with the swirling dance of Humanity, the rewards are sublime, a visceral experience that leaves you feeling invigorated and alive. It seems that the game is sending a message to us that only by working as a collective unit, we, the humanity, can survive and create something truly amazing.
While visually very peculiar, the game incorporates a VR mode, which is not out of the ordinary compared with some revamped VR titles that are coming out. However, the fact that you are playing as a ghost dog, gives the VR a special feel. With that being said, players have the option of playing the game on a “normal” screen (monitor) or using VR headsets, either for the PC or PS5.
Aside from the VR, there is also a fun level creator, which pits the future of the game onto the user base and user-generated content. Humanity’s investment in user-generated content is a vital component, and this holds true in the game as well. The designers have provided all the building blocks necessary for players to create mind-bending puzzles. The story mode serves merely as a taste-tester, displaying the creation engine’s limitless potential. Any aspiring puzzle-makers should take advantage of this playground and draw inspiration from it.
Even during the beta stage, the array of fan-made puzzles was awe-inspiring. Many of them were homages to iconic gaming elements such as the PlayStation logo and a colossal desktop computer. For those seeking more challenges, they can venture into a multi-floor pyramid or a platforming test designed especially for the dog. The developers will curate the finest puzzles based on user ratings, presenting them to the world regularly. With such expansive mechanics at play, there is certainty that the community will produce trials that will leave the developers astounded.
One of the greatest strengths of the game, which sets it apart in the genre and in the gaming world in general, is the fact that it constantly reinvents itself. What do we mean by this?
Humanity is a playground of experimentation, where the pressure is non-existent. The beauty lies in the freedom to keep failed attempts as inputs for the next try, allowing for seamless tweaking of the command sequence. With intricate levels that test the limits of your mind, it’s easy to get lost in the challenge. But don’t worry, the game has got you covered with built-in video solutions for every level. However, be warned that watching them will affect your score, and you’ll miss out on the optional objectives that lurk in every level.
These optional objectives, or Goldies, are like shiny Oscars waiting to be rescued and carried to safety. Collecting them is a crucial part of the game, as they act as score stars, unlocking the final mission in each chapter. But beware, picking up and delivering a Goldie can turn even the simplest level into a chaotic mess. On the bright side, collecting Goldies unlocks various cosmetics for the characters, the ability to pause the game, and other features.
And if you thought that was it, think again. Some levels revolve entirely around rescuing the Goldies, while also managing a population limit. So not only must you extract the Goldie, but you can’t afford to lose any of your people along the way. Humanity is the master of keeping you on your toes, with level objectives that vary and shift wildly within a single chapter.
As previously mentioned, each section of the game unveils a new surprise, whether it’s a fresh set of abilities or a complete overhaul of gameplay dynamics. The second chapter, for instance, challenges players to shift from a real-time puzzle to a pre-planned strategy game. Just when you think you’ve mastered this new style, the game twists again, introducing antagonists in the third chapter. Dubbed “Others”, these individuals are completely unknown to you, and they’re not afraid to interfere with your progress. Every time you grab a Golden, they’ll set their own path in motion, trying to steal your success. But that’s not even scratching the surface of what this game has in store. Get ready for unexpected twists, epic battles, and a journey into the realm of the bizarre.
The allure of Humanity is undeniable – a masterpiece of intricate design and conceptualization. This captivating puzzle game stretches and challenges your cognitive approach, at times pushing you to the brink of frustration but always rewarding you with a euphoric sense of accomplishment. Its visual and auditory splendor is nothing short of mesmerizing, and one can’t help but feel spellbound by the endless procession of bodies flowing through its levels. It is a true work of art, captivating and enchanting all who dare to embark on its journey.
Additionally, the slight undertones of the necessity for humanity’s cooperation make it a light satire on today’s modern societies, which are seemingly growing apart due to various differences. In short, it is exactly what a game should be, fun, and engaging, with a message on society and its mores.