Disco Elysium Screenshot 1
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Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium is a groundbreaking open world role playing game. You’re a detective with a unique skill system at your disposal and a whole city block to carve your path across. Interrogate unforgettable characters, crack murders or take bribes. Become a hero or an absolute disaster of a human being. Unprecedented freedom of choice​. Intimidate, sweet-talk, resort to violence, write poetry, sing karaoke, dance like a beast or solve the meaning of life. Disco Elysium is the most faithful representation of desktop role playing ever attempted in video games. Countless tools for role playing.​ Mix and match from 24 wildly different skills. Develop a personal style with 80 clothes items. Wield 14 tools from guns to flashlights to a boombox, or pour yourself a cocktail of 6 different psychoactive substances. Develop your character even further with 60 wild ​thoughts ​to think – with the detective's Thought Cabinet. A revolutionary dialogue system with unforgettable characters. ​The world is alive with real people, not extras. Play them against each other, try to help them, or fall hopelessly in love. Disco Elysium's revolutionary dialogue system, with partially voiced characters, lets you do almost anything.
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Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

I will never emotionally or socioeconomically recover from this

Review from Steam

This is probably the game that touched me the most in my entire life.
After a certain age, the fascination and surprise for things tends to decrease. I see my nephews completely hallucinating about some new Marvel movie and I remember my young self watching Lord of the Rings for the first time. That sense of surprise, wonder, excitement I swore had been lost.
Until I came across this game.
It is a game that subverts the idea of ​​winning, that reinvents a genre, that creates a new art, finally reading it in the form of a game in its definitive form.
But it's not for everyone. It is a game for those who like to read, for those who want to read. Maybe it doesn't really bring the adrenaline and action that some expect in a video game, but it does bring a very audacious depth of reflection that has translated better into game format than any media. A Disco Elysium book wouldn't make the same sense.
Immortal Game.

Review from Steam

In top 5 games I have ever played. Am old, been playing games a long time. First review I have ever posted.

Review from Steam

It is not a game, it is an experience. A very special one and totally unique. And it can be the best one you had in a lifetime of gaming.
I have finally reached a THOUSAND HOURS playing this game. So I guess it is time to review it. Every viable choice and path, probably saw all the dialogues, I dare to say. I really did everything possible, researched all the alternatives, even explored the most grim and absurd outcomes, just to see how far your freedom goes. I did it all. And it really gives you the most absurd amount of choices and risks to take. All the perfect choices, all the wrong ones on purpose. And usually, there is no wrong path to take. What kind of cop do you want to be?
Disco Elysium gave us all hope, the genre of the CRPGs may not be dead yet. The level of the narrative is outstanding, the quality of this writing I never saw in a game before. The artstyle is mesmerizing, has its unique flair and it confer more char personality, and those characters really make you feel something, they go beyond archetipes and simple conflicts, they have souls, pasts and internal struggles. So does the city in ruins, a eternal reminder of mankind's brutality. You may be surprised how deep and complex the characters can be. Always unexpected, they can make you laugh, really cry and hate them, at once. And it the thought cabinet mechanic utilized were genius, it viabilize the elaboration of a quirky persona, as well as your rebelous self-conscious personality traits that can manifest themselves whenever they see fit. Your feelings and instincts may step in with their opinions, but so can your Horrific Ugly Necktie. Take them seriously its up to you.
The plot and and the politicial context has social sensibility, subtle criticism to EVERY kinda of ideology or political alignment (and you can choose whichever you want, you can even choose multiple and lie to multiple people). It satisfies everyone. It mocks all the shortcomings of any position in smart ways as well, while not losing it seriousness and the deep philosophycal questions. It really raises a lot of ethical dilemmas. Of course, you can ignore most of that and dedicate yourself to drug addiction and alcooholism too. Whatever you decide, the adventure is UNIQUE and will be a different journey to everyone. The important think is never choose anything that would cramp your style.
As I said, it is not a game, it is a experience. Unique for each person. One that really changed my life and my perspectives, I am really grateful for all the time I have put into this.
And I really look forward to the future of ZA/UM Studio.

Review from Steam

this game is not only eye opening but also horrifying in a self reflection way. There is amazing dialogue/story and insane creativity in the frame they chose to tell this story from. I have over 400 games in my steam library and this is the only game that didn't only shake me to my core but encouraged me to make changes. This game taught me what it is to hate yourself but find redemption. I have never been moved by a game until this experience. The single only shame about this game is that this studio hasn't released another project yet. I didn't like or love this game, I connected with this game and made some changes based on its horrifying description of very real issues.
I guess its worth a snag.
11/10 a masterpiece

Review from Steam

We all have our different mediums.

Disco Elysium doesn’t really feel like a game made by developers, but rather as a game made by writers who decided to tell a story through a video game. As such, it is a game that innovates quite a bit, even if it isn't particularly well-made from a technical standpoint.
Generally, detective games tend to be too linear, not leaving enough room for you to piece things together yourself. Disco Elysium does more than enough to scratch that particular itch.

You take on the role of a detective with a vast array of skills, 24 to be exact, separated into four categories the game calls Attributes: Intellect, Psyche, Physique and Motorics. As the game has no combat system, these skills will most notably come into play when encountering skill checks, either during conversations or when interacting with objects in the environment. For example, the Physical Instrument (Physique) skill will come into play should you need to break down a door or a window, while Empathy (Psyche) will be taken into account when trying to emotionally connect with a character you’re talking to. These checks are separated into White checks and Red checks. Red checks can only be attempted once, while White checks can be retried by leveling up the relevant skill... Or by doing some detective work on your own. Other than that, your skills are influenced by the clothes you’re wearing, time limited buffs that come from consumables, and Thoughts - perks that can have varying uses and are unlocked by specific actions you perform.
The aforementioned detective work comes into play when dealing with hidden modifiers most, if not all, of the active checks in the game have. These will impact your rolls either positively or negatively, provided you’ve fulfilled certain requirements. For example, let’s say you have a suspect you need to persuade into working with you, with a White check of your Authority skill standing in your way. However, earlier in the conversation you’ve said something that made the character take you less seriously, thus earning yourself a negative modifier on the roll and failing the check because of it. If you’re out of available skill points, the check will remain locked, and you'll need to head out in search of more XP so you can try again. However, before managing to level up, you engage in conversation with someone who knows your suspect and acquire some incriminating information you can confront them with. You do so and receive a positive modifier on your Authority check, which unlocks it and helps you pass. Thoughts can affect checks in similar ways. You have a huge amount of freedom in almost every interaction you’ll come across in Disco Elysium, leading to impressively dynamic storytelling opportunities. It is a game that benefits from multiple playthroughs, as not every character will be able to pass every single check once the more difficult ones start rolling in later in the game. However, the true beauty of it comes from how your Attributes and skills affect conversations outside of checks, and in turn develop your character's personality.
During every conversation, the game will constantly be performing passive skill checks in the background that determine whether or not your skills will talk to you. I mean that quite literally, as skills will chime in during conversation to advise you on how you should act, what to say, as well as provide information on your conversation partner. Not only can the same conversation have a different outcome based on your skills, but your perception of it can completely change as well. You can even argue with them on the validity of their advice. Sometimes, more of them will want to advise you on the same issue, getting into fights with each other. They all have their own personality, so think of it as carrying 24 additional characters wherever you go.
Disco Elysium’s writing is definitely the best I’ve seen across all of the games I’ve played, even the handful of those I’d say I like more. No word is wasted and anything can come back into play later on. Even all the background information on the game's expansive world doesn’t feel out of place and can affect future conversations should you bother to read, or listen through all of it, as the entire game is voiced. Hell, even simple flavor text doesn’t feel the least bit tacked on, as It helps in establishing the numerous characters you’ll come across - to the point where I doubt there’ll be a single NPC you don’t have a thought-out opinion on. The way the text box takes up the right side of the screen, while the left side is dedicated to letting you admire the beautiful, painterly visuals of the scene you’re currently in, allows you to read and navigate these prolonged conversations with ease. I could go on about how good the writing is, but I also wish to talk about the negatives, as well as something else that beating the game had made me think about.
Disco Elysium has its faults. While I don’t mind the lack of combat, having the entirety of the gameplay rely on dialogue and skill checks makes it drag a bit in the second half. The animations could use some work – some of them are unbelievably stiff – and the pathfinding for a game in which a good amount of time is spent walking from place to place is frustrating. The performance is fine, but I’ve encountered a good number of graphical glitches; sudden changes in lighting, flickering icons and certain text and images appearing where they’re not supposed to. Sometimes, the game would soft lock and prevent me from interacting with anything until I reload a save or tab in and out. Music would fail to play at times, leaving key scenes completely silent, save for the dialogue. It's a shame, since every track has the ability to further solidify this game as the Iconic Moment Generator it already is once it plays properly. The voice acting I found to be hit-or-miss, with most of its strength coming from the writing rather than the performances. It also notably varies in recording quality. Some of it is also missing, or is straight up mismatched with the text on screen.
So, what happens to the verdict then?
We’re all guilty of calling a game a “work of art” at some point or another, as a way to emphasize that we’re not just talking about one that’s damn good, but also surpasses what it means to be a video game and gets elevated to this mystical status where it gets to hang out with all the big boys of the art world, such as books, paintings, sculptures or other things you might find when you go visit a museum or a gallery. Wouldn’t it be strange if we applied this standard, that only specific titles within a medium are considered art, to other forms of expression? Say we compare two paintings, where one is a depiction of an important historic event, and the other merely a beautiful portrait? An abstract art piece to some really good fanart you saw online? Is a fun 250 pages long sci-fi novel a lesser work than a 1000 pages long monolith, full to the brim with existential dread, written by some Russian dude in the 19th century? Would you rate any of these on a scale from one to ten? Probably not, as it is kind of redundant to label pieces that have had so much impact on the world with a score. It all boils down to video games not being around for long enough and being primarily viewed as an entertainment medium rather than an artistic one.
Disco Elysium’s faults aren’t that severe, but If I give it an 8.5 because of them, does that mean I consider it a lesser experience than a game which, while not as ambitious, is an excellent RTS with great gameplay, no technical issues and okay writing, I gave a 9 to?
It’s all a bit melodramatic, I agree. But, how would you feel assigning a number to a famous painting, which would make me come across as too pretentious had I name-dropped it here?

Review from Steam

The best book I have ever played.