Dawn of Man review for PlayStation 4

Dawn of Man review for PlayStation 4

07/01/2020 0 By Karl Pendlebury
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Dawn of Man is a survival and city-building game developed and published by Madruga Works.

As the title suggests, you lead a group of prehistoric settlers to form a settlement and help them survive and thrive through the Palaeolithic era through to the Iron Age.

Once you choose a suitable area of the map to create your first mud hut, it’s up to you to make sure your clan has a constant supply of food and water and easily accessible resources like wood, stone and hunting grounds.

The maps are limited but you have plenty of space to roam in this vast scenery. The beautiful mountains on the horizon, the flowing rivers, and the thick forest canopies are like scenes from Lord of the Rings (I’m guessing? I’ve only ever seen the trailers!) Paired with the tribal drum beats and peaceful melody of the pipes, I spent a good while just scouting the area before deciding where would be best to set up camp.
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The normal game speed is very mellow too and once you begin building up your new home, you can just sit and watch your population mill about lazily but don’t get too comfortable! There’s work to be done! Your people not only need to eat and drink to survive, but you’ll also need to begin building more homes and crafting stations to create new tools and clothing to make sure you survive the cold winters.

What I love about this game are the ever-changing seasons. Lovely Spring mornings require you to craft lighter clothing so your people don’t overheat and obviously through the dry Summer months you’ll need to keep them more hydrated so more trips to the river are required. Autumn months are the best time to harvest your crops and as you watch the map turn a lovely shade of orange before the leaves fall and the cold, hard winter snow settles in. Surviving the winter will gift you a Knowledge point and these points are how you progress through your “technology tree”.
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There are many other ways to gain knowledge points; building a new structure for the first time, hunting a certain number of different species of animals, mining a target number of ore, producing a specific amount of tools or weapons…etc. One of my favored ways of gaining knowledge is killing the raiders!

Yup, not only are you struggling to find enough food as your population steadily grows and fighting off the cold weather and diseases through winter, you are going to be under attack. Raiders who stumble upon your village will try to pillage what you have and kill as many of your people as possible. Making sure you have the right weapons/defenses is the only way to make sure you are victorious. It’s not just other barbaric tribes you need to look out for, whilst you’re hunting the wild boars and mountain goats, certain animals will be hunting you and there have been many lives lost to a hungry pack of wolves or angry momma bear. There is danger and death EVERYWHERE!
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Not all animals are out to kill you and as you upgrade your Techs you’ll gain dogs which will help fight off any nearby attackers and further along the tree you’ll eventually learn how to domesticate and capture sheep, pigs, donkeys, horses, and cows. All with their own added benefits (wool, milk, pulling carts etc…) they’re not just a cute addition to your growing village but as long as you have enough food in the stables to hold them through winter you’ll watch their numbers rise too and once they get to a ripe old age (or if you just decide you’re a monster!) you can slaughter them for additional food.

The main aim of the game is to reach certain Milestones through your civilization. Starting pretty easy with accomplishments like “survive 2 years” or “get 20 people in your settlement” you’ll think you’re on the steam train to a platinum trophy… but as you get stuck further into it, you’ll realize it’s not a game you can rush through. I’ve been playing a couple of hours each night for almost a week and still haven’t completed the first “level”! Okay, so maybe I spent a lot of time just enjoying watching my people thrive rather than trying to progress but I’ve been adamant that I’ll beat this map for a couple of evenings now and it’s taking it’s time to get anywhere.

That’s probably my major negative about this game – it’s not for someone who needs to feel that they’ve accomplished something after the first ten minutes. It takes a lot of time and “hard work” (for your clan) to get where you need to be. Luckily, there are 4 different speed modes so if you’re more impatient at times, you can speed things up instead of sitting around waiting for something to happen. (I’ve had the game on in the background whilst typing this review and watching my people wander about their daily business happily and it’s only just (been about half an hour) given me something where I’ve had to press a button – I’m not joking, it’s slow!)
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I guess the only other issue I had with Dawn of Man is that you’ll be building your caveman empire through the ages and suddenly something will happen to knock you back on your ass. I saw a pop-up (you get notifications of events in the bottom corner) that just said “we’re low on weapons” – I brushed it off and thought my people will take care of it, they have the resources and workshops they need, they’ll be back up and running in no time. Next minute, I’m being attacked by raiders who decided to go for my cattle which in turn cut down my main source of food which left me struggling through winter and watching notification after notification that my people were dying of starvation which meant the following year I didn’t have enough manpower to collect resources and create the weapons I needed and so I got caught in a vicious cycle. When things go wrong in this game, they go wrong and so you’d better make it a priority to rectify the situation or you’ll find yourself in a downward spiral to failure.

Still, it is possible to climb back out of your pit and rebuild stronger and better than ever – just be prepared for a lot of gaming hours.

I can’t say I’m the greatest at this game or that I know all the tips and tricks to thrive in this glorious old world – but I can say that I have enjoyed every last second (and there’s been a LOT of them!) of play!

If you’re after a thrill ride, go to a theme park. If you like hours of strategy and something you can really get stuck into go and buy Dawn of Man.

*This Review Code was so generously provided by the publisher for review*

Developer: Madruga Works  Publisher: Madruga Works
Release date: October 20, 2018
Platforms:   PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows, Macintosh operating systems
Platform Reviewed on: PlayStation 4 PRO

Dawn of Man

24.99
9

Final Score

9.0/10