Navigating a Virtual Australia in Postapocalyptic Ruins

The language barrier is just one of the obstacles that players will face in Broken Roads, a postapocalyptic role-playing game filled with thorny moral choices. With a distinctive nasal twang, the locals pepper their conversations with “crikey,” “sprog,” “yobbo,” “tinny,” “chunder,” “togs” and “hard yakka.” Early in the game, a cocky mercenary is called “a legend in his own lunchbox.”

Some of the terms are defined with an in-game glossary feature, but others need to be puzzled out via context. In other words: Have a go, yer mug.

Broken Roads, which was inspired by the “Mad Max” films as well as the dystopian Fallout games, follows an arduous journey from Brookton to Kalgoorlie in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. Yes, you can stop off at the pub on the way.

The team at Drop Bear Bytes worked hard to ensure that every aspect of the game conveys an authentic vision of the country, whether it was duplicating the distinctive reddish hue of outback soil or developing specialized technology that makes the ruffling of emu feathers feel true to life.

In Broken Roads, which releases on Wednesday for the PC and the PlayStation and Xbox consoles, the player leads a motley crew through a richly detailed, morally complex world. Through dialogue and action, the player is frequently forced to make choices — labeled humanist, utilitarian, Machiavellian or nihilist — that profoundly alter the way the story unfolds.

The game takes place about 150 years into the future, in the wasted ruins of a nuclear war. Some have joked that its vision of postapocalyptic Australia — a strange, forbidding landscape filled with bizarre-looking creatures and vegetation — bears an uncanny resemblance to parts of actual modern-day Australia.

Back to top button