I never liked politics, let’s just say I don’t believe in it that much. The idea itself does not seem bad to me: some, the elect and theoretically qualified for it, decide in favor of the people. The downside is that in practice these decisions have little or nothing to do with improving people as they focus more on the short-term benefit of those who meet and wield and abuse each other.

What do you think? Do you think that the polls can really make a difference in an election? Do you fight more revolutionary for change, if necessary also with violence? Or do you give it your all for lost and prefer to leave the country in search of a better future outside of it? These questions, this debate, are exactly what they propose to us in Road 96, DigixArt’s new proposal (Valiant Hearts: The Great War) in the form of a road movie turned into a video game.

We are in Petria, a fictional country from which many teenagers want to flee because they are under the dictatorship of its ruler Tyrak. And although they do not dive into all the details of this false democracy, we will gradually discover details such as, for example, that the press is bought as well as the law enforcement officers or that a wall has been built at the border so that no one can go without authorization.

But in Road 96 we will not embody a character as such, but at the beginning of each chapter we will select various anonymous young people who have fled their homes and are trying to cross the border, risk everything and dream of a better future. In the best case scenario, this dream trip can lead us across the border, but it can also be arrested and taken to the grave, or worse.

In the beginning we won’t know too much, everything is presented to us very superficially and it is gradually, with each trip with a new youngster, that allows us to learn a little more about the story that they propose to us. And although the events we are witnessing focus on 1996, practically in the midst of elections, which are increasingly accompanied by protest movements over the situation in the country, we will see that much of what is said and experienced is one As a result of the attack, it happened in 1986. Attack attributed to the Brigades, a revolutionary group that seeks change but which they blame for their use of violence as terrorists.

At the beginning of each story, we can choose a protagonist from three young people who have disappeared. Although the characters we wear are the fewest of them we will only know the energy and money they have, but they will be the link to break down the plot and their characters. In addition, we will acquire skills that we can use to get more resources or information, such as hacking or searching the trash. Skills that the following characters will inherit.

Sonja

We could define this proposal as a road movie in a video game with certain procedural elements, although these elements basically determine the order in which we meet the characters. As for its mechanics, it is based on the selection of different dialogue options that will allow us to move forward one way or another in the plot and meet the characters. But our actions and decisions will also influence Petria, promoting the revolution, violent or not, or influencing the triumph of Tyrak or Florres (the Liberal Democratic candidate).

We’ll meet Sonya, a Tyrak-bought journalist who changes a lot behind the cameras; Alex, a young man with a dream of becoming a video game developer; John, a trucker with a big heart, though he hides more than meets the eye; the criminal duo Stan and Mitch obsessed with Sonya; the police trying to get your son back; the strange taxi driver. All of them have a story that we will gradually discover that every time we go on a new journey the dots come together and that we cannot fully understand until the end of the title. All the stories are interrelated, it is a pity that these characters disappear when they appear, we don’t decide how much time to share with them and maybe when you cross again it will take another teenager already.

Road 96 is a road trip full of difficulties, decisions, but also accompanied by humor. And the fact is that, despite what it means to run away from home to try to escape your country and even if you may die in the process, they ease tension with a sense of humor that suits you very well. In addition, we will have mini-games, not only in arcade machines, but also in others that we will participate in directly, such as dodging cars in a car chase.

And although his music is not very representative of 1996, it is made up of songs that portray very well the struggle of all these youngsters, their hopes and frustrations, this young spirit fighting for their dreams.

A road trip by foot, taxi, or bus; a journey full of danger and hope; a journey that you take alone but that you share with thousands of youngsters who are going through and living through the same situation; a journey of decisions that will shape your fate and that of your country. Road 96 is all of that and more.

A proposal full of good intentions, but one that touches on tiptoe the subject it deals with, telling very superficially about the dictatorship that compels us to make these trips. To have given more depth to the explanation and context of the dictatorship would have enriched a proposal that is a delight in itself. Full of intense and memorable moments when walking through bars, gas stations or lonely streets in search of the way out make you think: Is it worth dying for a better future?