Broken Roads Review – IGN

This might sound familiar:

A devastating tragedy has ushered in the apocalypse, forcing people to adapt to a harsh, lawless climate. Australian studio Drop Bear Bytes has crafted a classic turn-based RPG set in a post-apocalyptic Australia, featuring an unforgiving desert teeming with man-eating spiders, raiders, and bloodthirsty kangaroos. While the premise of Broken Roads is well-trodden territory, its promise lies in an intricate morality system intertwined with traditional RPG elements. However, after 30 hours of gameplay, it becomes evident that Broken Roads falls short of its ambitious goals and feels somewhat incomplete.

Character Development and Plot

The circumstances surrounding the formation of your adventuring party may vary based on your background, but ultimately, the bond between characters feels thin and unconvincing. The narrative leads you to the town of Brookton, which is swiftly attacked by raiders from a technologically advanced settlement and razed to the ground. The characters and plot of Broken Roads lack depth, with minimal personality traits beyond being hardened survivors. The storyline revolves around finding a new home for these individuals, raising questions about your involvement and the trust placed in you by strangers. Unfortunately, the character interactions and plot points, including the introduction of magical realism elements, lack proper setup and execution.

Morality System

At the core of Broken Roads lies a morality system that aims to delve into complex ethical dilemmas prevalent in the post-apocalyptic world. Unlike other RPGs that simplify morality into rough alignments, Broken Roads employs philosophical principles and a detailed questionnaire to gauge your character’s beliefs. While the concept is intriguing, the execution falls flat due to limited control over consequential decisions and the lack of impactful narrative changes based on moral choices.

Gameplay Experience

Broken Roads predominantly consists of fetch quests, diluting the sense of survival urgency in the Outback setting. The gameplay often involves tedious tasks and unclear objectives, leading to frustration and monotony. Combat encounters, while sparse, present challenges due to a simplistic UI, unengaging enemy AI, and repetitive battles with little variety or strategic depth.

Australian Setting and Writing

Despite its shortcomings, Broken Roads shines in its detailed Australian setting, filled with local humor, slang, and cultural references. The writing captures the atmospheric essence of the Outback, although voice-over narration may be lacking in quality. The attention to detail in representing the Australian landscape is evident, adding a unique touch to the game experience.