As part of today’s PlayStation State of Play, Humanity was revealed to the public. It’s a new game from developers Enhance, who are the minds behind Tetris Effect Connected and Lumines Remastered.
Judging Enhance on those two titles alone, it’s a given that Enhance is in the business of making (and remaking) fascinating takes on classic puzzle designs. Humanity is no different, being dubbed as “human Lemmings” the moment it appeared on screen.
The description for Humanity reads: “Stranded at the end of the world, people have lost their sense of purpose. You awake as a Shiba Inu and join the people in a series of “Trials” (stages), attempting to guide them towards pillars of light.” There’s a demo out now, so I decided to give it a go on my lunch break.
The game starts simply enough. You have awoken one morning as a dog. An omnipotent voice comes along and tells you that it is your responsibility to lead hordes of people towards a pillar of light. Are you the ferryman who leads these people to the afterlight with a few simple commands? Who knows. At this point, all you know is that you’re a dog.
The first command that you’re given by the voice is the “turn” command. As the dog, you run over to where you want to place the turn command, bark to place it, and then watch as the crowd follows your lead. The crowd follows the prompts, go to the light, and fly up the pillar of light. The first level of Humanity is complete.
With each level comes either a new obstacle or new command. I didn’t have the time to get through all of them before my lunch break was over, but I got through to the fourth level and at that point had learnt turn, jump, and long jump. I also happened upon Goldys, who were extra special people you could collect with your crowd along the way and take to the pillar of light.
The puzzle-solving is a lot of fun, the visuals are simple yet smooth, and there’s no better feeling than running around as an all-powerful dog and barking at mindless drones to tell them what to do and where to go. The Humanity demo is just a taste of what to come, and I like what I’m eating.
That said, I’m curious as to what the underlying message is here with a name like Humanity. Is this a “we live in a society” type situation, where these seemingly unending waves of faceless people are walking off cliffs to their deaths and listening to the commands of a dog to represent the mindlessness of our society? Is this all because we be on our phones?
Are the Goldys a representation of how the rare “unique” people that stand above all else will eventually falter to a crowd? If you lead hundreds of these people off a platform, it’s fine. But if you accidentally lead a Goldy off a platform, the game makes a note of it. What makes these Goldys so special compared to everybody else falling to their seemingly endless doom?
It’s fun to read too deeply into what might just be a simple little puzzle game. With the website boasting 90+ stages that include story elements of a rival group and Boss fights, I’m excited to see what else is in store for the little glowing dog in Humanity.
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