Human history is both very long and fast. It took us over 10 million years to become humans and evolve from hominids to homo sapiens, and about 5000 thousand years to become who we are today. Our history is truly huge and games often show different eras of humanity. This is an experimental thing, but I decided to trace the history of mankind in games, from the earliest times to today. Taking into account how many historical games, and even more so about different regions, we have, it is impossible to fit everything into one modest material. Therefore, I will take at my discretion one or two projects, which in one way or another best reflect the key periods of human history in games. I also include games that focus specifically on our world and not an alternate universe. Only small fictional locations are allowed. Again, the sample is too large. And I apologize in advance, there will be a lot of Ubisoft here.
Earth without people - 10 million years BC
Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey
Personally, I do not know of a game that has a more ancient setting than that shown in Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. And at the moment, it reflects the beginning of human history in games. I am amazed that today I can write at the computer while sitting at home, only for the reason that once upon a time some monkeys simply could not sit still, and in their attempts to survive they found new habitats and came up with incredible things for their time.
In the game itself, you do this. We explore the environment of the cradle of humanity - Africa and try to understand how things interact in the world: we create the first weapons, apply the first primitive medicine and evolve from a simple hominid to Homo sapiens. We acquire new skills and fix them in the neural network so that our next generation will be smarter and stronger than the previous one as they grow up, from time to time we make evolutionary leaps.
This game is primarily about the diligence of our ancestors, who found new ways to continue their kind.
Far Cry Primal - Mesolithic
The next step in our history is shown in Far Cry Primal in 10 thousand years BC on the threshold of the Mesolithic era. People already live in tribes, customs, hierarchies, beliefs and taboos are being formed. People create weapons from wood and stone, use the first drugs, and tame animals.
What cannot be taken away from Far Cry Primal is the authentic atmosphere and wildness of a person. Everywhere people see spirits, consider them a part of their life, and also already speak their own language. More importantly, we become participants in the destruction of Neanderthals by the Cro-Magnons, which is a key turn in the history of our species.
Dawn of Man - Iron Age
The Dawn of Man strategy takes over from Far Cry Primal. She is also a link between primitive times and the ancient world. The setting evolves throughout the game. It begins in the Mesolithic and ends in the Iron Age 2000 BC.
In the game, we develop our settlement, raise livestock, discover new tools, technologies, start cultivating land and materials. Starting with a seedy settlement with huts made of wood and animal skins, we end up with a city surrounded by a stone wall, an abundance of fields carrying food, and farmlands with cattle. The emphasis is on resource management, because this is where the world as we know it begins.
Assassin's Creed Odyssey - 431 BC
With smooth steps, we arrive at another key era in our history. Ancient Greece was the most developed and progressive state at that time, in which science, medicine, as well as a magnificent culture, architecture and spiritual heritage appeared. Alas, by this time people have become what we know them now - conquerors, ready to kill for the sake of their values, views and territory.
We play as Kassandra or Alexios during the long Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta, which lasted 30 long years. However, even the mass bloodshed does not prevent us from enjoying this era and the company of the first geniuses responsible for the creation of philosophy, mathematics, the development of navigation and medicine. We owe a lot to Ancient Greece, it is great that we can immerse ourselves in her world and see it for ourselves in all its glory.
Total War: Rome II - the end of a past era, the beginning of ours
But Total War: Rome II shows us the heyday of another great power, but already at the beginning of our era - the Roman Empire. Despite the fact that in the game itself you can play as any state and turn the course of history, at its core, Total War: Rome II shows us the era of the rise of one of the most powerful empires in history. We are offered various plot companies that take us both to the 50s BC and to the Crisis of the Roman Empire in 270 AD.
Kingdom Come Deliverance - XV century
Oh, the Middle Ages. How many beautiful and terrible things are in this word at the same time. This was another important stage in our history and there are quite a few good games in this setting. But no matter how difficult it is to guess, Kingdom Come Deliverance, with its emphasis on realism, shows this period at a decent level.
Playing as a young rural guy, we become a participant in the conflict in Bohemia, between King Wenceslas IV and his brother Sigismund. The developers from Warhorse Studios tried to convey the atmosphere of the Middle Ages so strongly that they even begged historians for such a fact to which they could not give an answer: how people of that time behaved in the church, how they walked, what gestures they used. But even without such detailed information, we were perfectly shown the dark times of humanity, when the whole world was at war.
Modern times of the XIV-XIX centuries
The time has come for great geographical discoveries, scientific breakthroughs, a culture of romanticism, humanism and entrepreneurship. It is rather difficult to indicate a specific game here, because there are a lot of projects about this era.
This is practically the entire Assassin's Creed series from the second part of Syndicate, which takes us from the Renaissance to the French Revolution, the American Revolutionary War, and the beginning of industrialization.
This is both Total War Empire and Napoleon Total War, dedicated to the capture and creation of colonies.
Naval Action, dedicated entirely to conquering the seas during the Golden Age of sailing and creating amazing ships.
In general, we can say that these and many games showed us how we are getting closer and closer to our modern history, century after century.
Red Dead Redemption 2 - 1899
And now, millions of years later, our modern history has come. And here it is no longer enough to remember the eras, because progress has reached the level when it is worth talking about decades in games. Since the twentieth century, every decade has been important for us in one way or another and has changed our world. Therefore, we will talk about the Newest time in games separately. We'll end this list with Red Dead Redemption 2.
Why RDR 2? It's just that one of the main conflicts of the game is the junction of eras and generations. The main characters understand that their time has passed, new orders, cities, laws began to form. Civilization began to slowly move towards globalization, which it will reach in 100 years.
Railways, universal education, ubiquitous medicine - all this awaits us ahead. And here the era of the old world ends.
The Topic of Article: Video Game History of Humanity.