Broken Roads, the wonky Aussie Fallout, receives a major update that lets you pet koalas and explains the meaning of sex trophies

Two people standing in front of a mushroom cloud.
(Image credit: Versus Evil)

I quite liked Broken Roads when I reviewed it in April. Its Aussie take on the post-apocalypse was rich and characterful, and I admired its attempt to ground your in- game choices in real moral philosophy. But there's no question that it was a wonky experience, with a world that often felt fragmentary, a confusing questing system, tedious combat, and an abrupt ending.

Since launch, developer Drop Bear Bytes has been working to address the game's problems, dropping a new patch earlier today that makes some substantial changes. This includes fixes to a couple of problems that particularly bugged me during the review.

As explained by the team, patch 1.2 "focuses on all four origin stories" leading up to the gates of Merredin, where the game's second act begins. In the release version, these origin stories were strictly linear affairs leading your right up to Merredin, but Drop Bear Bytes has changed this to let you "access the overworld map and explore the opening areas of the game". Companions you encounter also have "much more reactivity in the origin stories", while certain characters who didn't appear in some of the origin stories now do so.

Alongside these additions are a couple of smaller mechanical changes that should nonetheless make a big difference to the experience. First, Drop Bear Bytes has added a 'fast' mode to exploration movement, which is very welcome since trekking around some of the larger areas at koala pace could get tedious. The studio's also added the ability to target enemies in combat by clicking on their portrait, circumventing the problem of not being able to click on targets when they overlap with scenery/other characters.

Alongside these more substantive changes are an array of more specific tweaks for specific companions and quests, as well as the inclusion of new raider enemies and several new combat encounters.  Finally, there are a few more fun additions, such as the ability to pet dogs, cats and koalas ("But NOT Drop Bears", the developers emphasise) and few new entires in the game's Aussie Slang dictionary, including definitions for phrases like 'Woop woop' and, er, 'Sex Trophies'.

The patch doesn't address some of my issues with the game, such as its underwhelming third act. But Drop Bear Bytes states that work on Broken Roads is "not at all done", so presumably there will be more patches coming in the future. It's clear at this point Broken Roads launched in a state the developers weren't entirely happy with (it was already delayed once from December last year to this April), so it's good to see they're able fix its problems. I don't think I'd recommend buying it based on this update alone, but if Drop Bear Bytes can apply similar changes to the rest of the game, it might well be worth a revisit.