Publisher: Koch Media
Platforms: PS4, PS5 Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Serise X, PC
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 14/04/2022
Review Rush was supplied with a review code.
Road 96 is a deep narrative based adventure game that gives the player loads of choices, some that are life and death.
Its 1996 in (totally not based on a real country) Petria. A totalitarian regime controls Petria on the edge of a heated election. Teens want to leave rather than stay and be a part of Petria. Getting to the wall.. I mean boarder to escape the country.
You play as six of these teens attempting to get out of Petria, where you start with each one is on Road 96. How you get you cross the border is up to you. Hitchhike, steal a car, get the bus, or will you even make it out? Your choices determine the story.
There is so much going on in the story regarding choice, it is hard to talk story without spoilers. Let me just say that some of these stories do not go where you think they would.
How To Escape?
Road 96 takes a first person look at your travels and interactions. This is nothing new, and you will find nothing new in gameplay. Walk about, talk to NPCs, reply how you wish and let the story play out.
This is Road 96 biggest draw, that each teen has a totally different story each time you play with making a string of different choices. The controls do not need to be anything new as long as the substance of the game is enough to keep the player engaged.
The story its self is enough to keep most players engaged. However, the biggest stars of this walk has to be some of the NPCs you are going to meet. The first character you meet is a news presenter. Who is shown on the TV as a nice, approachable and somewhat sophisticated woman. When you meet her, she is crass, obnoxious and sounds totally different. (Never meet your heros). To one of the creepiest characters ever; the cab driver, Yeah, everything is just off about him. And everything in between.
After completing the narrative, there is an incentive to go back in and play again. Each of the teens will gain new abilities to unlock, new dialog and information.
The first thing you will notice about Road 96 is the blend of realism and cartoon ascetics. These two aspects, combined with very vivid colour pallets, make for some really nice eye candy.
Overall, Road 96 is a walking simulator with plenty of choices to change the story. With some very interesting NPCs. Road 96 really encapsulates the saying “It’s the journey, not the destination that’s important.”
If you are a fan of walking simulators or the choose your own story, with a sociopolitical twist it games this could be for you.