Broken Roads is a bit broken, but it is great heading out on its Australian roads. 

Ever wondered how life in the post-apocalypse would have been in Australia? With Broken Roads, you can experience it. The debut title from studio Drop Bear Bytes may look like the Australian version of the two first Fallout games but it is its own amazing thing with a few kinks of its own. 

Good-looking and detailed

Broken Roads takes place in the western parts of Australia, a place I have never personally been to, but after my 30 hours with this game, it almost feels like I have. Broken Roads is dripping with an amazing atmosphere where the sound design, music, and all-around feeling almost teleport you to the Australian outback. But the highlight of Broken Roads’ presentation is the looks. This game is not only one of the best-looking indie games but also one of the best-looking CRPGs. I am talking about graphics and the Outback esthetics combined with how detailed the environment is. This made it a pure joy to explore and I ended up taking detours more often than not.

Choices matter

While the main story feels a little uneven in its writing and not something I will remember for long, the surrounding lore, some characters, and side stories with different outcomes still stick with me. And yes, most of the choices you make in Broken Roads will have consequences, sometimes pretty directly and sometimes later in the game, and the differences can be night and day. It also has an impact on the ending which comes in five big different endings, but every ending you get will be somewhat personal in the details for you. Aside from a few exceptions in the last years like Baldurs Gate 3, it feels like we have been moving away from decisions that matter in most rpgs, so it’s great to see a small studio going all in with it. 

An intuitive moral compass

As expected from an rpg and especially a crpg, there is a moral system which is a definite factor when it comes to consequences. But instead of a standard god/evil, black/white system, Broken Roads uses four of the biggest moral philosophies to help you make your choices and build your moral compass. Your choices can be either nihilistic, Machiavellian, humanitarian, or utilitarian. As in real life, these are neither bad nor good, just different views on moral choices and what makes up a working society. The moral compass made it both easy to role-play as a character with a certain philosophical view, but it also made me think of my moral compass and what I think about different dilemmas in real life.

Bugs on the road

Broken Roads is filled with post-apocalyptic bugs and digital bugs which hampers the experience a little too much. For every moment when I feel good about this game, there follows a bug that makes me curse out loud. The most annoying bug was when combat didn’t work for me even though no enemies were left and I had to reload way back to continue. But as always with bugs, this will most likely be fixed with time, and it looks like they will have their hands full for a while. 

AI gets lost

The game plays out as you would expect a crpg to be played. To click where you want to go, use action points in turn-based combat, talk to and scroll through a lot of well-written but also less well-written dialogue, inspect different things that give a fair amount of XP, and gear up your character. And all these areas work well even if they’re not improving anything. 

Another complaint I would like to raise about the game is its AI, which is dumb at its best and broken at its worst. Either the AI makes moves that even my 2-year-old wouldn’t make. Or the AI just ends up staring into the warm and ever-stretching desert. Some of this may very well be fixed with time, but some might stay and drag the game down a little even then. 


For such a small studio to make such a big, beautiful, and complex game, is very impressive. While it has a lot of bugs and writing that goes on a roller coaster of very high peaks and very low bottoms, it also comes with a unique and mind-opening moral system and a great-looking world. Even if not all pieces of the puzzle fall into place, it is still a game I will come back to, it’s a game I liked exploring the world and moral dilemmas in, despite the less fun and buggy things. If you are a fan of the genre it is easy to recommend this game. Broken Roads is a bit broken, but I love heading out on its roads. 

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