Broken Roads is a brand new narrative-driven RPG full of exploration, turn-based combat, and an intriguing morality system. Sound good? Well, the best news is that it's just been revealed for Nintendo Switch.
The game arrives as the debut title from Aussie indie developer, Drop Bear Bytes, and has players making their way across a desolated Australia, experiencing a story of survival, introspection and community through its hand-drawn isometric props and environments. We've got a nice little selection of screenshots further down if you want to see more.
Before we get to those, though, we thought it worth highlighting this morality feature. According to the developer, the system is based on four areas of philosophy: Utilitarianism, Nihilism, Existentialism and Machiavellianism. Your actions both determine - and will eventually influence - your in-game choices; the decisions and dialogue options you take will affect your character's moral compass, essentially meaning that you can't go for an evil option and then immediately follow up with the noblest option.
· All-new post-apocalyptic setting
· Unique morality system influencing dialogue, quests and character development
· Authentic Australian locations and environments
· Blend of traditional and original RPG mechanics
· Up to 6 party members
· Turn-based tactical combat
· Hand-drawn artwork
· A content-rich and densely-crafted world
Speaking to the developer reveals that a number of the core team are fans of countless cRPGs and tabletop RPGs like Dungeons & Dragons. The inspiration no doubt helped to craft this morality system and could well lend itself to an engrossing experience on Switch. Here's what the team told us:
"We're really proud of our Moral Compass design, both for what it opens up from a gameplay perspective, but also because it results in greater consequences for player actions. I like the idea of ensuring some kind of consistency of character during your play through. I mean, players can not simply do the ‘good’ option for one quest and then choose a more ‘evil’ solution immediately after. Rather, they will need to behave somewhat consistently as they gradually shift their character’s World View."
"The quests in Broken Roads are being written in such a way that there's far more than just a right or wrong way to complete them because, hey, moral dilemmas that life throws our way are far more nuanced than, say, the light side/dark side split we see in Star Wars. By going this route we're forcing ourselves to think about writing each scenario from a range of perspectives, and consciously designing so as to avoid falling into the trap where only the 'good' playthrough clearly results in the best experience and rewards.
"There's a formula beneath the moral compass that adjusts your World View depending on how close to the fringes of an 'acceptable' action that was for the character. Something largely in line with how you see the world won't have a large effect, but if a choice you make is really testing your moral boundaries, you'll see a larger shift as a result."
Are you as intrigued about this one as we are? Make sure to share your first impressions with us in the comments below.