Disco Elysium: The Final Cut

released on Mar 30, 2021
by ZA/UM

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is a groundbreaking role playing game. You’re a detective with a unique skill system at your disposal and a whole city to carve your path across. Interrogate unforgettable characters, crack murders or take bribes. Become a hero or an absolute disaster of a human being. The Final Cut adds full voice acting to the game, as well as new quests, more characters and fresh explorable areas.

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this is the kind of game i’d been waiting to experience for Years

Let's get some things out of the way beforehand. There are some things that are mediocre or even bad in DE, which to some might feel like kicking a cow in india, but thats just the way it is.
C O N S :
- steering with a Joypad on a Switch not always felt amazing It's quite impressive that they managed to optimize this for mouse, joypad and even touch, but I encountered some passages that were pretty uncool to control. With a mouse/finger you click where you wanna go and the character would go there. With a joypad you need to guess where you can go and often thats just not possible. Also the running animation doesn't feel dynamic enough to be fun to steer with an analog stick which is also something that doesn't matter with a mouse.
- Interface and items on consoles
maybe I didn't put enough skill points into my real-alter-egos interfacing perk, but first of all, the whole way they handled items and their usage with R3 and L3 is weirdly implemented. As soon as you understand it, its OK but they way they handle this never feels well documented and its a lot of guesswork which item you can put on L3 and R3 to use yourself and which item is just activated when you need it. Second the latter, the activated ones, this was not very well done. You get a prybar and think "cool I got a prybar now" but of course after the first usage you keep it for the rest of the game, believing you might need it as it says it would just open locked things. Guess what, you'll never need it again. And the same thing happens to most items that are not usables like drugs or cigarettes. I guess I'm just too used to have a prybar as that single most important item like in Half Life. But if you don't let me use it, just make him throw it away after it never will make any sense again.
- Some Bugs, freezes. No Armageddon but still annoyances worth mentioning.
- At some points it can happen that you are sorta clueless and thats when it can become a bit bland and frustrating. Usually there are some threads to follow and one leads to the other and there are always dialogues and stuff... but when the game demands you to find that one clue to get the story moving forward, it can become pretty hard and tedious to find that, ending up running around, talking to paople again, searching all possible dialogue trees (including chosing a lot of things that you deliberately didn't chose before to stay in character but then try out because maybe it helps progressing). Its not necessarily a huge strength.
P R O S :
+ ..... I'm kidding, of course I won't list all the great things now like a list as this list would take forever.
I am more and more turning to someone who prefers to only play indie titles for the rest of his life as After Outer Wilds, Disco Elysium is just another game that breaks all known borders of how smart a game can be without ever feeling pretentious or cheesy. It's absolutely highly recommended to watch some making of videos about Studio ZAUM on Youtube as it makes clear, this is just one of those games, that just happen as a result of a lot of happy or not so happy developments, circumstances, a lot of luck and even more work but can't ever be done again like this. If you read Jason Schreyer's books about the hell many companies and especially indie studios had to go through to get anything out, it seems like a paradox that an estonian team that never did a videogame before would create an RPG game to rule all RPG games through .... its writing. I mean seriously?
Well, gamerpeople, the joke's on you, it turns out, that books are still the most immersive medium over interactive media and combining these two might rarely end up being a success. But when it does, it is called Disco Elysium.
I could write a lot more great things about this game, but I feel I should leave it as spoilerfree as this. Maybe the absolutely wonderful soundtrack and of course the voice acting (by the way the narrator wasn't even a voice actor and might be the best I listened to in years) has deserved some special credits.
I am just utterly grateful to be alive at a time when this game came out to experience it along many others for the first time. Needless to say that, while I filled some paragraphs with some cons before, none of them matter anymore wónce you see the credits roll.

Full disclosure, I played this game with a friend closeby where we both voice acted and turned in game VA to classic so we had more room to do so, he also sorta acted as a thinking aid for me when I didn't get something.
I adore this game, it turned me on to hardline dialogue only role playing videogames entirely, and the whole esthetic and framing devices employed here are...mwah, chefs kiss, there are so many moments and characters I will never forget, and so many moments where I felt like I was deep in character yet knew exactly what to say!
Yeah that's another thing! I usually dont like these kinds of games because the main character is built to be such a stand in for the player, and while The Detective is definitely a conduit for the player to interact with the world, I definitely felt like I was encouraged to play the game thinking in a new way. It was less thinking about "what would I do in this situation" and more "ok what would THIS guy do in this situation, what do I want HIM to do" which is so far my favorite way a game can handle a protagonist in this fashion.
I am sure if I were to dig hard enough into this game I would have issues, but I feel like I am pretty secure in saying this is my favorite RPG of all time...so far, like I said I haven't played a lot haha.

+1 The lieutenant trusts you.
+2 Kim truly trusts you.
Will forever be burned and etched into the creases of my brain, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Probably one of the greatest CRPGs ever made. Inventive skill system, intriguing story, and interesting politics.

Best writing ever in a game ever, period!!!!!!.