Humankind Just Added Australia As A Culture, Complete With Strip Mining

Humankind Just Added Australia As A Culture, Complete With Strip Mining
Image: Humankind

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”.

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 Humankindan 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.


  • Shouldn’t that be Toohey’s rather XXXX?

    Theres one that we export to the US as ‘Aussie’ beer, thats essentially considered swill over here. Wish I could remember which. Its been a decade.

    • Foster’s Lager. It’s considered swill overseas as well. It’s mainly marketed internationally as a cheap way to get pissed because of its relatively high alcohol content.

      • Cheers! I do recall seeing Foster’s at WalMart now that you’ve confirmed it.

        The lack of alcohol content in American beer is something everyone I knew over there bemoaned. They did love their homebrew and this one pub in Dallas that we called the ‘UFO’ because of its shape that had a Beer of the Month club.

  • That just seems so…. cheesy.

    When I think about the broad sweep of history Australia doesn’t even rate on the scale of globe-defining influence. We started off last century as poor-man’s British, ended as poor man’s Americans, and contributed what to global culture in the interim? Steve Irwin, Paul Hogan, Mad Max and climate change obstructionism?

    I don’t mean to dump on Australia here. Australia is for the most part a great country to live in with a hell of a lot going for it, but Australia just doesn’t carry the kind of gravitas one might normally expect from a 4X. Surely there are literally dozens of better cultures to pick from with more epic associations than cheap nature documentaries on the Discovery Channel.

    • That’s because Australia on the whole isn’t filled with dickheads who like invading other countries to hide their own failures a la America. Our culture is shutting up, minding our own business and not being wankers unless it’s warranted. We’re a country that’s a result of the British attempting to genocide dissidents of the British Crown. I think not giving a toss about global influence is a standard of our culture since Britain’s “global influence” is what landed us here in the first place on account of that “influence” being a fondness for mass murder.

      • 25 years ago I’d have agreed with you. Sadly, after John Howard, Tony Abbott and peak Evil Murdoch Empire we’ve become just as much a bunch of jingoistic, worship authority, salute the flag, parochial punch down morons as everybody else is.

        • Yeah there is a fair bit of that, but failure is catching up with us pretty fast. Bad policy idealism won’t last much longer, hopefully…

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