Introduction to the game Humanity
Humanity is like a vintage masterpiece crafted by Sony’s Japan Studio, around 15 years ago, and we couldn’t mean it more as a compliment! This experimental game defies the norms and constructs a bizarre, yet captivating, journey with a unique and singular vision. It deserves to share the podium with other unconventional yet delightful games like LocoRoco and Patapon.
Humanity. Source: Steam
To put it simply, Humanity is a high-concept take on the legendary game, Lemmings. The game tasks you with leading a swarm of people towards the exit, as you control a luminous pup (a Shiba Inu) and lay down orders to ensure their safe passage. The controls are easy, but don’t be fooled, as you earn more commands, the game progressively adds complex challenges and obstacles that need to be overcome. It’s a puzzle game that’s both straightforward and intricate, making it an enthralling journey.
Detailed review of gameplay mechanics
Humanity is a perplexing enigma, unlike any other puzzle game out there. Instead of mere cursor manipulation, you embody a luminous, radioactive pup that frolics around the stage, leaping across platforms and occasionally hitching rides on the humans as they leap over treacherous chasms. This fresh take on puzzle-solving transforms the genre into an entirely novel experience.
At the outset, players are equipped with a handful of abilities, such as laying directional arrows or jump pads that sway the direction of the human herd or impel them to take perilous leaps of faith. As you progress, new capabilities are unlocked, including floating abilities that safeguard the humans as they tumble from heights, and mighty leaps that cover greater distances. You can also avail yourself of close and long-range weapons to fend off the Other (the colorless, enemy, humans).
Dishing out commands. Source: Steam
Each stage presents its own unique challenge, forcing you to strategize with a diverse array of abilities. Some stages limit the number of times you can use a particular skill, such as directional arrows, while others only permit you to howl and attract humans to your side once. If all of your followers meet a sorry end, it’s game over, as you can’t use your howl to amass a new flock.
Although the difficulty curve is relatively smooth, it’s not without a few rough patches. Some levels appear to be more arduous than those around them; fortunately, some are optional. The “boss” stages are an excellent example of this; an earlier boss is much more challenging than the later ones, mainly because of the commands at your disposal. The last third of the game is centered around the Follow command, which requires the humans to run alongside you. These levels, including the bosses, are not without their fair share of challenges, but they appear somewhat less taxing than some earlier puzzles that are intentionally restrictive. While the difficulty curve is mostly spot-on, watch out for the occasional spike.
Analysis of storyline and narrative depth
Who knew that Humanity had such an intriguing tale to tell? I certainly didn’t, as I always thought of it as a tedious progression of increasingly difficult challenges. But then, I found myself awakened in a heavenly world as a radiant Shiba Inu, tasked with guiding people towards the light, as they have no will of their own.
As I began fulfilling my divine duties, I encountered the enigmatic ‘Goldies’, towering beings who refused to budge unless touched by a human. My mission was clear: save every Goldy and all the human souls from their destruction.
But it wasn’t long before the ‘Others’ appeared, a band of hostile humans determined to eliminate my followers and destroy their spawn portals. And let’s not forget the colossal bosses, whom I had to defeat with my wit, skills, and unwavering determination.
Although it may appear to be a simple puzzle game, there’s so much more to this epic adventure. Every chapter brings new challenges, abilities, and dangers that keep the gameplay fresh and exciting.
Overview of graphics and design
Humanity excels at delivering an awe-inspiring, refined, and expertly-crafted encounter. This game exudes mastery in every facet, emanating a sense of completion and abundance of possibilities from beginning to end. The minimalist graphics provide an ideal foundation for both gameplay and storytelling, while the ceaseless stream of marching figures presents a striking visual spectacle that leaves one spellbound.
Humans leaping over obstacles. Source: Gaming Trend
My PS5 ran the game effortlessly, unfazed by the hundreds, if not thousands, of animated characters filling the screen. Despite its limited autonomy, the world of Humanity pulses with vitality, immersing players in its vibrant ecosystem. Upon completing a level, one can relish the sight of legions of beings walking, jumping, swimming, and gliding across the terrain, merging and interweaving in a fluid motion that rivals the flow of water in a labyrinth.
The satisfaction that arises from achieving a solution is accentuated by the extraordinary visuals, augmented by a soundtrack that perfectly complements the game’s mood. The otherworldly electronic melodies and uncanny sound bites coalesce into an absurd and captivating aural experience. It is a place that draws one in and keeps them engrossed, even when grappling with the complexities of a puzzle.
Unique features and elements that set “Humanity” apart
On the surface, Humanity seems like a simple game, that takes the concept of leading a herd to safety as its core gameplay mechanics. However, it is much more complex than that, the Lemmings concept explains the game only superficially, the complexity of being a dog that can successfully weave its way through hordes of humans and give various commands, the Goldies and Others, the Boss fights, and the visual appeal that the game has, all sets it apart from other puzzle games in the genre.
Final verdict and recommendations
Despite a few naysayers, this game soars high above any faltering missteps. The meticulous attention to detail, top-notch quality-of-life mechanics (like the option to restart with your previous commands or not), and an overflowing bounty of content all come together to create a spectacular experience. And it’s not just a single campaign that’s on the table; you can also create your own levels using the game’s creation tool, or dive into other players’ offerings. It’s all so intuitive and speaks to the game’s completeness. Plus, there’s even a VR mode (which I sadly couldn’t try out myself), but I can only imagine it elevates an already glorious game to even greater heights.
The game excels across the board, from its rich audio and visuals to its intricate puzzle design and beyond. It’s a quirky game at its core, but that’s precisely what sets it apart. This unforgettable experience will push you to your limits while simultaneously inspiring awe with its delightful sensory stimulation. And even as the game loses a bit of its precision in later stages, it still manages to captivate with its wild, absurdist visuals and satisfying gameplay. Truly a beautifully complete and polished masterpiece.