Throughout the story, you play as a faceless teenager trying to escape from the fictional nation of Petria. The president, Tyrek, has become increasingly overbearing in his policies, and in response, people are fleeing the country. The only thing is that he never really knew why.
Road 96 takes a rather youthful approach in its commentary. You find out that the Petria government is definitely overreaching and that Tyrek is a nasty guy. However, other than the suggestion that these teens have troubled pasts and are homeless, there are few indicators of what you’re running from, other than a general bad vibe. There is no ethnic cleansing or religious persecution, and people seem freer to travel other than across the border, and food and money are plentiful enough that people leave it out for you to pick up.