Australia doesn’t show up that often in 4X games, and it was a big deal when John Curtin and co. made their official appearance in Civilization. But Amplitude’s upcoming Humankind is giving the spotlight to the Aussies as well, although it’s being a bit more practical about actual Australian culture.
The developers announced Australia would be a playable culture — rather than a race — earlier this week. Cultures in Humankind are a bit unique, in that you can swap between cultures whenever you transition from one age to another.
Australians — alongside Americans — are one of the first two cultures for the Contemporary Era, which is the final age of the game. The developers have seen fit to earmark Aussies as a “builder” culture, which just means you maximise your victory points through districts. Builders also get bonuses by having their cities focus on production.
In Humankind, each culture has a special unit and district quarter that you can build. The All Terrain PMV is basically Amplitude looking at how much Australians love Range Rovers and things with bullbars. What’s funnier is the special district, which is just called “Strip Mining Complex”.
And now for our second #HumankindGame Contemporary Era culture!
Will you play as the Australians in the Contemporary Era? ???? pic.twitter.com/UJKDtTEKIK
— Humankind (@humankindgame) April 20, 2021
Does it really count as a culture if you just repeatedly dig the living shit out of your own country? Humankind thinks so. It would have been funny to see coffee earmarked as a special resource to go along with it, but Humankind doesn’t get into that level of granular detail.
It’s been a while since I played Humankind — an E3 preview last year, in fact. Back then, I was still looking to see what Humankind could do to differentiate its gameplay loop enough from Civilization to attract the 4X crowd. The game later delayed to August 17, which should give Amplitude plenty of time to iron everything out. I’ve always appreciated the studio’s other titles, especially Endless Legend and Endless Space, so here’s hoping they stick the landing with Humankind.
Update: This wasn’t in the original announcement, but the wiki reveals that Australia’s contribution to Humankind‘s equivalent of wonders is — surprise — the Opera House:
Honestly, I would have preferred to see XXXX in there instead of the Opera House. Again.