We wouldn’t necessarily bank on it being a great game (yet) but Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is absolutely shaping up to be a fascinatingly unique experience for gamers. Ancestors charts the epic journey from monkey to man, from prey to predator, weaving a tale of pre-history the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

Now, in a new behind-the-scenes trailer, Patrice Désilets, creative director at Panache Digital, has exactly how the process of evolution will work on Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. Désilets is promising a completely non-linear experience; each player will have their own unique tale depending on which areas they evolve first.

As for how players evolve, it’s a case of actually doing, rather than normal leveling up mechanics. Strip a branch and you can create a weapon. Hit two rocks together and your money will learn what hitting does, and in turn how to shape objects. Use a branch to lever a rock and you’ll learn how heavy lifting works. 

Do it and you learn it, basically, and these skills are mapped out on a neural network, unlocking the potential for more advanced skills. It’s not purely a case of turning a single chimp into a walking, talking, human though. Having babies is how this knowledge is passed on, effectively banking the knowledge you’ve earned and passing it down from generation to generation. Die without a child and that knowledge is lost.

Anyway, you can see how it all works in the new footage below and it’s certainly an intriguing watch.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey comes to PC via the Epic Games Store on August 27th, and PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in December 2019.