Picture the wide open expanses of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert, peppered with the remnants of an extinct authoritarian regime — bombed-out brutalist buildings, toppled statues, and hollow cities where only ghosts roam.
It’s a real 2020 mood.
It’s the bleak landscape of the fictional Petria, a dystopian country a cadre of eight ragtag characters are trying to escape in a new choose-your-own-adventure PC video game called Road 96, a first-of-its-kind industry collaboration between HP’s OMEN brand of gaming PCs and accessories and Montpellier, France-based indie studio DigixArt.
Road 96 is what’s known as a procedurally generated 3D narrative, where every journey players embark upon will be different depending on the decisions they make. Teased this week at The Game Awards and co-published by HP, Road 96 is set to be released at the end of 2021 as the flagship title of HP’s revamped OMEN Gaming Hub. OMEN Gaming Hub offers tips, tricks, and fun Easter eggs and extras to engage fans and help consumers get the most out of their OMEN devices.
It’s the cornerstone of a broader strategy by HP to engage more people in gaming and with the brand, says Judy Johnson, director of gaming at HP. “We’re investing in hardware, content, and services around it to bring all three pieces together. This is an opportunity for us to reach users on all those levels and give them new gaming experiences.”