Genre: Crime Mystery, RPG, Point and Click
Platform: Stadia (Also available on PC, Playstation 4/5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One X and Xbox Series S/X)
Age Rating: PEGI 18
Release Date: 30/03/2021
A code was provided for review purposes.
The room is spinning, I feel queasy. Who am I? What am I doing here? Where the hell is here? Where are my bloody shoes? Welcome to Disco Elysium: The Final Cut, a game about a gruesome murder, amnesia and copious amounts of alcohol but more importantly, a game containing a web of choices. Choices that will lead you down memorable paths, into hilarious situations and wittily written conversations.
I had heard a lot about Disco Elysium when it was initially released on Steam, the buzz on the internet was rife and I knew it would be something I wanted to play. My ears were turned away from major spoilers though as I wanted to experience itself when it came to a platform I liked to game on. I have a PC but I work with the dastardly things all day so I leave them alone, mostly, when at home.
The Final Cut is the Deepest
Disco Elysium: Final Cut is an updated version of the original game with more voice acting, better controls and contains a few tweaks to improve the overall experience. I cannot really comment on it due to not playing the original but from what I have read the updates have been very well received.
I have been playing this deep, murky murder mystery on Stadia, I know, remember Stadia? That’s a conversation for another day but let’s just say the Stadia version ran flawlessly and on my fast internet, which made playing the game a joy. No patches, no installation and I mostly played on my Galaxy S21 with the Razor Kishi controller and it was like I was playing on a portable console. Beautiful.
Who Are You?
In Disco Elysium you are a well-decorated RCM detective who awakens with no memory of who he is, where he is or what he is supposed to be doing. The game is set in the war-torn fictitious world of Elysium which is steeped in history, dripping with backstory and has so much going on behind the scenes it’s at times, overwhelming. It has been a while since I had been in a world so full of life, so murky with detail and brimming with information.
As you meander through this dank, watercolour of a world you will piece together your past, learn what kind of a horrible person, or not, you are and piece together the mystery of this horrid murder. It is a sight to behold to slowly unfold your past and how your actions, dialogue choices and decisions fold into it. It makes your character seem very human, very alive and you are definitely not your average, squeaky clean protagonist, let me tell you!
A Fantastical Torrent Of Data
That was one of the first things that knocked me back about Disco Elysium, there is so much data, language and backstory to absorb. Everyone you speak to will fill you in with more history and narrative. You will be speaking to a lot of people, they are all bristling with information, positively overflowing with conversation, life and drama and it completely absorbs you. Warring factions, music, art and an intricate narrative flood through the game like a thick porridgy Tsunami. Not only that, if you choose it to be, if you direct the game that way, it can also be hilariously entertaining.
Disco Elysium is a slow plod, don’t go in there expecting guns blazing, 360-no-scopes or combat systems, what you get in return is a deep RPG, a very tabletop-like RPG that I adored. I love board games and RPG’s and Disco Elysium is like a living, breathing board game filled with booze, intrigue and murder. This game is governed by both your choices in dialogue and various skill checks throughout the game. Disco Elysium is like a drunken D&D session ran by a psychopath.
A Delicate Ecosystem of Skill-Based Choices
When in conversations, much akin to something like Fallout, you get skill checks. These skill checks take into account both a random dice roll but more importantly your character’s skillset. You have four skills divided into six subskills that make up the 26 parts of your psyche. They talk to you, help you and funnel you into story events and dialogue options. Sometimes you succeed in the face of sure failure but sometimes you fail when you think you are guaranteed to succeed. This all leads to a living breathing system that makes every conversation risky. Every choice actually mean something and it’s glorious.
When you are in these conversations, these twenty-six parts of your personality make themselves heard. You get to pick your archetype at the start of the game and I picked the more intelligent of the selections. My characters stats would drive me to learn more about my environment. Use intellect to get out of sticky situations but unfortunately, I was not great with my fists. These skills can all be upgraded as in most games but let’s just say I did try to smack a large burly chap early in the game and it did not end well.
Graphically, Disco Elysium looks like a watercolour painting. This further immerses you in this twisted world of intrigue. It’s beautiful, horrid and very unique. It’s the same story with the game’s soundtrack. Catchy tunes and grimy undertones accompany your journey to unravel this murderous mystery. All in all, the compelling world-building, great visuals and memorable music all tie together to give Disco Elysium a one of a kind feel, both in presentation and gameplay alike.
On the technical performance side, I had no issues whatsoever, even with the Stadia side of things. The game always ran well and responded quickly. Being able to play the game anywhere on my phone was a joy. I don’t want to mention too much about Stadia but I think game streaming has a place in the video game landscapes future. As long as it improves, both from a price and technology standpoint, I am happy to come along.
Time To Get Your Dancing Shoes On
So, Disco Elysium, simply put, is fantastic. I expected greatness but what I was shown was a masterclass in world-building, story-telling and characters. Normally games that are conversation and text-heavy can be irritating after a while but Disco Elysium is so drenched in clever wordage and backstory that every character, minus perhaps Kuuno, who is horrid, is a joy to explore and talk to. The game plays like a deep tabletop RPG and I adored that. Rolling dice and using your stats to accomplish goals will be different for each player and make further playthroughs different.
Disco Elysium is beautiful to look at, beautiful to listen to and completely encompassing. It runs well, is easy to play and it has some unique things going for it. If you want to solve a mystery, if you want to explore a funny, witty protagonists struggles through a crime-filled thriller, look no further. Disco Elysium is one of the best games of this genre I have ever played. While it may be too slow going for some, what it gives in return is soaked in character. Go and buy it now. I’m not joking, put down the TV remote, stop watching nonsense on Netflix and download it. It’s awesome. Five bottles of whisky out of five from me!
Rapid Reviews Rating
5 out of 5
If you would like to purchase Disco Elysium: The Final Cut on Stadia, you can here.
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.