Disco Elysium is an isometric role-playing game inspired by the Infinity Engine style games like Planescape Torment, developed by ZA/UM and released in 2019.
While the game received “Game of the Year” nods from several publications including some perfect or near-perfect scores, the team never stopped working to make it even better and the result is Disco Elysium: The Final Cut available now on PC and all consoles including making its debut on Nintendo Switch which is where I have been lucky enough to experience it.
The Australian Classification banned the game for release initially due to well, stupid reasons, but that was reevaluated and thankfully they came to their senses. Yes at times the game hits controversial notes, but it’s a social commentary made up of dark parody and when a player does misbehave the game punishes you for doing so.
Disco Elysium has “Art” written all over it. The creators are made up of novelists, artists and musicians and the result is a brilliant satire that is likened more to a classic painting evoking emotions and forcing you to think about how your decisions have an impact on those around you and how you must try to make the best choice even though it’s sometimes just the lesser evil.
The control system feels like it was made for PC and that conversion to the Nintendo console is problematic. Movement on the left analogue stick is fine but the clunkiness comes from the right stick which can be hit and miss at selecting targets of interest. It’s not game-breaking thought but is worth mentioning as something you’ll just need to get used to.
Player and character dialogue are heavy in this deep narrative journey and that is one of the main improvements made over the other versions, it’s now all accompanied by a voiceover, so it’s less skim reading and a far more immersive experience. Especially when you hear the voice of your inner thoughts being portrayed by Jazz musician Lenval Brown, whose deep dark tones will pull you right into the game.
The Final Cut also brings other residents of Revachol to life with the total inclusion of one million professionally voice acted words by actors from all over the world. This gives the multiple diversities in the city true representation.
You’ll also find brand new political vision quests where you explore unseen areas with deadly encounters. These side quests are brought about by your political leanings while playing the game and have no real impact on the main story, but hey, who doesn’t want more game?
One thing you rarely hear about is just how funny Disco Elysium is. I had to check the credits multiple times I searched for the name “Neil Gaiman” but it wasn’t there. I assume that even though he didn’t write on this project the team must be heavily influenced by his works including “The Sandman” and “American Gods” but also to some extent it reminded me of Douglas Adam’s “Dirk Gently”. That dark satirical atmosphere in a deep and rich world that at times pushes the boundaries between right and wrong only to teach us important lessons.
In fact, Disco Elysium is inspired by the tabletop RPG “The Sacred and Terrible Air” that was written by the lead writer and designer Robert Kurvitz. A genius at work.
Disco Elysium – The Final Cut is the definitive edition of the ground-breaking, multi-award-winning open-world role-playing game with unprecedented choice and consequence. While the game is born for PC and lives comfortably on consoles, it’s on the Nintendo Switch where I’ve been able to truly immerse myself in the world even though at times the controls can be a bit clunky.
Disco Elysium The Final Cut is a near-perfect masterpiece scoring a 9.5 out of 10.