Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey, the next game from Assassin's Creed creator Patrice Désilets, will be a story-led episodic action-adventure but also an open-world sandbox.

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Speaking to Game Informer, Désilets explained how his team was planning to improve upon the limited playtime found in other episodic games.

Not only do such titles often lack replayability, but players are left with little to engage with between episodes and so sometimes give up on a series when it is only part-way through.

"[Ancestors] is an episodic, narrative-driven game where we leave you there with the toy in between episodes," Désilets said. "If your goal as a caveman is to harness the power of fire, once you meet that objective you are left in an open world to experiment with that fire, try to survive, and pass your knowledge along to your progeny."

The game will flit through history and feature numerous protagonists in many different settings. Each will allow players to relive a key moment in the evolution of humankind.

Désilets has more than 20 scenarios in mind, such as the early domestication of animals, the revolutionary discovery of penicillin and the first Moon landing.

The game's story will not centre around war or fighting, and instead focus more on the gradual progress of human civilisation and survival.

"You'll have the sequence of the amazing, huge bush fire that you have to flee with your family," Désilets said of an early level, "and the only way to survive eventually is to turn around and use this fire.

"You go back to your tribe and build a fire, and then it's systemic. After this it's your adventure until I come back and say, 'There's a new adventure for you.' You could call it a mission or a level - we still haven't decided what to call it - but each time we introduce a new feature that is laid with the story of humankind...

"We're putting a lot of Hollywood stuff in, and then we leave you with a systemic, persistent open world where it becomes Day Z or Minecraft. But instead of blocky, it's triple-A quality environments in this bubble."

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Tom Phillips

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