Road 96 review for PS5/4, Xbox Series X/One, Switch

Platform: PS5
Also On: Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC
Publisher: Ravenscourt
Developer: Digixart
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

Road 96 is a narrative focused adventure game developed by Digixart that was released on both Nintendo Switch and PC platforms last year, and has just recently made its way to PlayStation and Xbox platforms. Certain elements of the gameplay are going to be familiar to fans of the adventure games that Telltale was known for producing, in that you?ll meet a host of different characters with various dialogue options that influence the outcome of the story, along with a number of small interactive moments throughout. There?s not a ton of exploration or action here, and you?ll primarily be walking around limited environments as you take on the role of multiple teenagers attempting to flee their oppressive, fictional home country of Petria. 

For the most part, I found Road 96 to be a pretty solid adventure. One of the more unique elements that Road 96 brings to the table compared to other like minded adventure games, is that the story is less focused on the character you are directly controlling, and more focused on the stories and outcomes of 7 different NPCs that you encounter. Each of these characters are very distinct from one another, with different views on the politics of Petria and its upcoming election, along with a few interesting twists along the way. Also, this isn?t just a one and done run across the border, you?ll have a set number of stops along your path, and once completed, you?ll pick up the role of another runaway. This allows you to encounter the same NPC?s as before but in different locations, unveiling more of their story as you go along. 

Thankfully, those stories are also worth exploring, making Road 96 a pretty enjoyable experience throughout each journey. I will say that some of the written dialogue can be a little rough in spots, but it?s generally not distracting, along with some voice acting that tends to be a little uneven as well. But the overall plot, which involves a hotly contested upcoming collection, an extremist group called the Black Brigade, and a historical terror event that?s not quite what it seems, makes it worth working your way through those rough moments. It helps that Road 96 also gives you plenty of side activities that go beyond expanding the story, including little moments with various mini-games that help break up your trip out of the country into fairly distinct, non-repeating sequences. 

I played through Road 96 on a PlayStation 5, but I think regardless of platform choice your overall visual and technical experience will likely be similar. This isn?t a huge budget game by any means, but Road 96 works well within its limitations with a distinct art style for the world and characters within, giving it enough of a visual pop to make it stand out from other games. Likewise, the soundtrack is solid, but not necessarily one that I?d seek out after finishing the game. The music in Road 96 is utilized well, and also employs the only collectible element within the game, but after finishing my first full playthrough I couldn?t bring to mind any particular track that stood out to me. 

If you haven?t had a chance to check out Road 96 when it was released last year on Switch and PC, then I think the PlayStation and Xbox releases are certainly worth a look. It?s not a time consuming or challenging experience, but it?s an entertaining adventure game with a neat gameplay hook that will likely keep you interested until the end.

Note: Ravenscourt provided us with a Road 96 PS4/PS5 code for review purposes.

Grade: B