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Dawn of Man

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Picked up this title last Friday and have been very casually playing it since.  It managed to be the next shiny thing that drew me away from No Man's Sky ... however briefly.  It's available over at GoG and at Steam for an easy price/value.

Gameplay is often compared to Banished, but that is an overly simplistic comparison.  They don't play the same, that is their strategies are not the same ... at all.  Perhaps the biggest reason for the comparison is they're both survival games that use the Unity engine, and graphic styles/presentation are similar (but different).  Generally reviews are mixed.  Personally, I think many gamers these days are just whiners who don't have patience and who try to rush quickly through without considering the consequences or ramifications of their actions.

This game is for thinkers and long-term planners.  Those who are not in a rush will find it relaxing as well.  If you rush too quickly to tech up, or to expand your population, you can set yourself up for a much greater challenge than if you had carefully considered whether and when to jump to the next era or even to build that extra tent/hut.  Can you afford to do it?  Do you have the infrastructure in place to support that choice?

Some criticize that the game is too easy, but also complain that it is a pointless waste of time because there are no longer any animals to hunt, or that their tribe's members kill themselves trekking half-way across the map in winter without proper clothing.  That's the thing ... the game is easy ... to recklessly paint yourself into a corner.  You can either exhaust local supplies and forage further and further from your home, or you can carefully create a surplus of one of the many commodities and trade for items you need from the periodic traders that visit your village.  You don't need to slaughter anything and everything that moves within sight of your camp, but you can.  Just don't complain that there aren't any more animals to kill and you're running out of leather or hides when you could have been creating weapons, or logging renewable timber, and trading for those hides.  Don't complain when you send your villagers off halfway across the map in the Fall when they're wearing their light clothing, and expect them to return in time before they succumb to hypothermia.  Villagers have very small inventories (depending on gender and age) and they don't keep multiple changes of clothes (or weapons or tools) on their person; they store them in the village for use when they need them.

The game can be brutal.  Children who wander too far from camp may get eaten by predators hiding out in the woods.  Said predators also prey upon local game, so it is wise to form up a hunting party to kill them to protect your game resources.  Hint: herds of animals will renew as long as breeding pairs survive.  But you have to consider whether you have sufficient technology and numbers of hunters to challenge that dangerous predator or prey animal (note to self: it is very hard to kill a mammoth, even one previously damaged, if all you have are little wooden sticks)

I started one game and a few years into it, my village nearly went extinct after the one remaining Adult Female in the tribe was struck by lightning and killed.  Yeah, bad luck for sure.  Fortunately, a stroke of good luck came my way, and a small group of unaffiliated humans decided to join my village, thus adding at least one more Adult Female (and one Young Female) which then prolonged the tribe's ability to survive. For a while there, it was a total sausage-fest.  I've since taken that village into the Bronze Age, and the current population is nearing 80 members strong.  We've hunted and killed packs of Cave Lions, Wolves, and Cave Bears.  We've also tamed wild horses, sheep and cattle for our domestic benefit.  We now farm many, many fields of grain, have productive orchards, and farms growing a couple types of vegetables.  We have BEER!  We've staved off raiders from beyond our lands, and have undergone efforts to construct massive stone circles (e.g., like Stonehenge) to meet our tribe member's spiritual needs.

I have one more era to improve and pass through ... the iron age.  But I'm not in a rush to get there.  I'm enjoying the journey thus far.  That and I have a few more megalithic stones to drag back and complete our second stone circle.


Edited by Elovia
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