Enhance Games Humanity Humanity PS5 Review Review

Humanity Review (PS5) – On Queue For Greatness

Humanity PS5 Review. The creators of Tetris Effect return with a very different kind of puzzle game in the thoughtful, strange style we’d expect. Discover why Humanity is a savior of the puzzle game genre in PlayStation Universe’s PS5 review.

Humanity Review (PS5) – On Queue For Greatness

Rez Infinite and Tetris Effect are two games I would call transcendent. There’s something about them that elevates them to an experience rather than games. I’m genuinely not digging into hyperbole when I say the end of Tetris Effect in VR with headphones on felt like a spiritual awakening. That’s a heavy weight to place on the next game from this studio. So it’s no surprise it has shifted the goalposts with Humanity.

The basic premise of Humanity is ‘What if Lemmings was made by the creators of Rez Infinite?’ and frankly that sold me, even if I was a tiny bit concerned this wouldn’t be my kind of thing like the studio’s previous games were. Oh how wrong I was.

You control someone that has been transformed into a small glowing white Shiba Inu. The dog must lead an endless stream of humanity to a goal in order to ‘save’ them. You do this mainly by ‘barking’ directions for them to travel, and later, barking instructions such as ‘jump’ to clear certain obstacles.

They don’t die if you send them off an edge by accident like in Lemmings. Instead, they return to the door they entered through and start again. So the stream of people coming out of that door is just one big loop. It’s a smart move because frankly, I don’t think I could have handled the stress of watching a bunch of people plummet into oblivion because I barked in the wrong direction. There’s something more hopeful and ultimately fitting about the endless stream of humanity just pootling along regardless until a guiding paw puts their lives on the right path.

Fresh Transcendence

Each stage is presented as a clean-looking diorama. A cube space in which to fit all the moving and non-moving parts. It still allows for some verticality in these stages. The initial levels are basic Humanity 101 lessons, but more quirks and kinks are added to the setup as you progress. Also, the mystery behind why you, a dog, are leading hordes of humanity through these levels, to begin with, is slowly uncovered in a manner very typical of a THA/Enhance game. There’s something soulful at the heart of Humanity, and it shouldn’t be surprising given what this studio has managed before.

As you get deeper into Humanity, you’ll be leading the humans over large gaps, bodies of water, and large walls as you seek the perfect route through to the end. Whilst the humans are safe whatever you do, there’s a more fragile challenge you can undertake in Humanity. The game features special entities called ‘Goldys’ you can pick up to help unlock levels and other things further on.

These bigger gold figures are distinct from the throng, and need to come into contact with the humans to start walking their path, but if they fall off an edge, you lose them for good (unless you restart/retry). This is where the extra layer comes into the challenge. Humanity’s puzzles are pretty enthralling to solve as it is, but trying to do that and get the Goldys in the same run adds some extra spice to the recipe. There’s plenty of fumbling about during your early time with Humanity as you scrape by each basic solution, but seeing the Goldys you didn’t get just leaves an irresistible compulsion to crack the evolved solution that brings those big golden fellas along for the ride as well.

Tripped Out Ant Farm

Humanity is a change of direction for THA and Enhance, but there’s something about it that undeniably feels like it’s from that group of beautiful madmen and women. I suppose the connecting factor is the almost ethereal dreamlike state it exists in and brings out in you. It’s easy to argue Humanity requires a bit more thinking than REZ or Tetris Effect, but the way this game plays out is not too dissimilar to the trancelike loop those games have.

Having VR support adds more to Humanity. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘essential to play Humanity in VR, but it is undeniable that it adds that special something that dragged the previous games into that almost religious place. In VR, you get a God view of proceedings that makes you feel so powerful in games such as Cities VR and Townsmen. It’s almost hypnotic to watch these tiny people march on through what looks like a tripped-out ant colony.

Humanity also features player-created levels thanks to its Stage Creator. With this relatively simple set of tools, you can add your own vision to the game. There’s already some promise to this, even if it is still in its fledgling stages. More importantly, it feels like part of the overall vision of Humanity instead of just extra ‘content’. Guiding digital people through stark puzzles just fits nicely into the idea of real people creating more places to guide them through. A gameplay loop of humanity.

Dog Walking Has Never Been So Chill

In the preview for Humanity I wrote that it would take something pretty spectacular to stop the game from being another fantastic one from Enhance and company. Unsurprisingly, nothing since has shown much of a dip in form. Like any puzzler there’s an escalation that can bring frustration, but it’s a natural frustration that bears beautiful fruit when said puzzles are solved. In short, Humanity is indeed another fantastic game from this studio.

Humanity is now available for PS5, PS4, and PC.

Review code kindly provided by publisher.



The Final Word

What begins as a charming, simple puzzler grows and evolves into something special. Humanity is one of the best puzzle games I've played in quite some time.