There was a game from the eary 2000s which had a similar look and feel to it... I got it, Evolva.
Basically you started on a ship with 4 different alien creatures (one fast, one beefy, one stealth and one for long range I think) and as you killed creatures they dropped DNA. Collecting lots of DNA from a hand to hand style creature meant you could push more hand to hand DNA into which ever of your 4 creatures you liked.
You controlled one of the creatures at a time while the others followed a long and auto-assisted until you switched to one of them.
Anyway for some reason your article made me think of that game, does it sound similar or have I wondered off down nostalgia lane?