Disco Elysium

released on Oct 15, 2019
by ZA/UM

A CRPG in which, waking up in a hotel room a total amnesiac with highly opinionated voices in his head, a middle-aged detective on a murder case inadvertently ends up playing a part in the political dispute between a local labour union and a larger international body, all while struggling to piece together his past, diagnose the nature of the reality around him and come to terms with said reality.

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One of the best games I've played recently. Fantastic storytelling and atmosphere.

This game fundamentally changed how I look at what games can be (for better or for worse). The first time I ever played an "RPG" and actually felt like I could represent myself in the game's world. I've played it many times over and I feel like every time is at least somewhat novel - sure you'll do the same things in some playthroughs, but the overall context is almost never the same. I'm sure there are other CRPGs from the earlier days of gaming that did all this stuff before. But, playing this, a contemporary game - in a landscape where most big title games are grand hodgepodges of every genre with a battle pass to maximize engagement - was the most refreshing game experience I've ever had

In Disco Elysium, you will run up to a phone, try to prank call a bunch of people, and then you'll end up calling a very special number. You'll find a woman on the street and you'll randomly try to hug them because you're a lunatic, and then that hug will matter a lot later on. It keeps your attention outside of a lot of smart game design decisions by making sure there's something special at every turn; every facet of this game is so rich and clearly treated with the care that it deserves.
People do a disservice to this game when they call it weird or niche; it's very accessible, but it's accessible in the best possible way; the cliche setup and the juvenile exterior make way for the game's best moments, and the things that not everyone may care about are left on the side for the people who appreciate those things to enjoy on their own terms. A joke fictional book about a branch of communist belief where class consciousness gives you telekinesis is amazing and hilarious and a poignant commentary on leftist futility and not something everyone will care about and I'm glad that's not going to get in the way of their experience and they can get irrationally obsessed with something I may have not while going through the beautiful world and narrative the (unfortunately, former) employees of ZA/UM had crafted for us.

One of those games that just reaches out to you and changes who you are.
It's not afraid to talk about the horrible side of people and society.