Patrice Desilets rocked up at the PC Gaming Show to show off a little of his studio's upcoming title Ancestors, as well as talk a little about how the game works. You play as the "last common ancestor of homo sapiens" at various points across a 10-million year timeline (worth remembering: our fossil record is both awesome and highly incomplete)), and also play as the group rather than an individual.
The general arc of the game is, according to Desilets, moving from prey to predator. You do this by exploring the environment and, somehow, evolving your own skills as the game moves over these millions of years towards the present day.
I'll be honest, the way this game is described next to what it looks like (a running and hunting type game) does sound like a cheap take on evolution. I don't have a problem with the idea necessarily, but the tagline used here - "can you survive like our ancestors did?" - seems like a question that this game is not equipped to answer in any meaningful way. If you're going to tremendously oversimplify the history of homo sapiens down to exploration and combat, then posit skill trees are some sort of evolution equivalent... well, you might make a decent game. I'm not sure it deserves any greater claims towards answers than that.
We'll find out if my cynicism is justified when Ancestors launches on August 27, initially for PC.