Friday, May 1, 2020

Disco Elysium (PC)

Disco Elysium menu screen
Developer:ZA/UM|Release Date:2019|Systems:Windows (PS4 + Xbox One later in 2020)

This week on Super Adventures, I'm playing Disco Elysium, a brand new game that's the opposite of obscure. Everyone's heard about it, everyone knows about it. But I have to write about it anyway, because it was a surprise birthday gift and I'd be some kind of ungrateful monster not to. It's a bit of a roll of the dice though, seeing as I could end up writing a whole essay here on why it's bad and I hate it. Which would be awkward.

Fortunately the game's got immense critical acclaim, so it seems like a pretty safe bet. In fact I often hear it compared to The Outer Worlds, which came out shortly afterwards and deals with some of the same themes. Or, to be more accurate, I heard people saying "Outer Worlds' biggest problem was that it came out right after Disco Elysium instead of right after Fallout '76". It's apparently narratively masterful in a way that makes the writing in other video games look like video game writing by comparison, plus it's got a name that sounds like a boat in a James Bond movie.

It originally had the title No Truce with the Furies attached to it, but that was apparently only ever supposed to be the project name. Personally I think they made the right choice going with Disco Elysium, as it's got a nice sound to it, it's distinctive, and it's a lot quicker to type. Plus 'disco' is also a Latin word meaning 'I learn' and the game's all about learning things, so it's being clever.

Okay, this is a story driven detective game based around mysteries, so this article is inevitably going to be full of SPOILERS. But I'm only going to play it for exactly one in-game day, so I hopefully won't ruin too much of it for you if you haven't played it yourself. Plus I'm going to pick all the boring options to ensure there's no risk of anything interesting happing and preserve all the wondrous fuck ups for you to discover on their own.

I should also mention that the game is full of bad words, depressing themes, gruesome descriptions, and opinions about politics, just to let you know what you're in for. Not that you'll necessarily see much of it in my article.

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