Highway 96 guarantees the fun of the open highway and the surprising. Possibly freedom. Possibly loss of life. A lot in between. The strolling, driving, and hitchhiking journey from French studio DigixArt, coming later this 12 months, faucets into the spirit of basic highway films, from Simple Rider to Thelma and Louise, the place encounters with the surface world are unusual, life-changing, and probably deadly.
“The highway journey construction was the right canvas for us to really feel the random nature of touring by yourself,” says Yoan Fanise, Highway 96’s inventive director. “Whenever you journey as a backpacker you don’t know who you are going to meet, what’s going to occur, good or unhealthy. That’s the essence of a highway journey, and of life.”
This confrontation with the unknown is only one manner that video games are proving to be preferrred hosts for the highway journey style. What unites highway films and novels, severe or comedian, is how they carry the social background into focus, shining a lightweight on cultural tensions and marginalization, all whereas their characters reconnect with one another, and themselves. A latest crop of highway video games are doing all this in a manner that feels particularly pertinent to our instances.
Highway 96 isn’t nearly journey. Set in a dystopian land that blends ’90s Arizona with Soviet totalitarianism, you play an adolescent fleeing to the border, by any means accessible. Fanise explains that the political points of the sport have solely turn into extra related throughout growth. “We began scripting this story three years in the past,” he says, “largely impressed by 1989 iron curtain historical past and the struggles of nations like Venezuela or North Korea. However not too long ago we have been shocked by the similarity of actual occasions that occurred in ‘fashionable democracies’ such because the USA.”
As in lots of highway journey tales, the liberty of journey clashes in opposition to conservative values and legal guidelines. However there are additionally hints of resistance and alter, as you make selections to assist your self and probably have an effect on the broader political scenario. The sport’s procedurally generated encounters must be essential right here, as every restart produces random mixtures of Highway 96’s characters, together with a cop, a truck driver, and a pair of clownish robbers.
“That is the largest innovation for a story sport,” says Fanise. “We builders don’t know, even from the beginning, which character and sequence you are going to get.” The circulate of the sport, he explains, alternates between open exploration and car journeys the place relationships develop. “This creates a really good rhythm and allows deeper discussions in regards to the state, the politics, and the intertwined tales of the eight major characters,” he says. Who you determine to journey with and the way you bond with them ought to result in extremely assorted views and outcomes.