Disco Elysium

A friend bought this for me on Steam a few days ago and I gotta say so far its one of the most entertaining and immersive computer RPGs I’ve played in a long time. The writing for the dialog is sharp as hell and the limited voice acting is amazing well done when it is there for characterization that perfectly sets the tone for when you read the remaining dialog in conversations.

The core conceit, piecing together who you were, what the case is, and who you want to be simultaneously interacting with aspects of your persona is just great. I replayed the first day multiple times with multiple builds feeling out the different kinds of interactions and probabilities on checks before I settled in on a 4323 Special Skill Perception build that met what I wanted for my first playthrough.

Easily the most interesting thing I’ve played all year already.


Hey, don’t get ahead of yourself, a better one might sneak in on day 365 ~_^


Yeah I mean I was half laughing at myself for getting it the last week of the year and it handily beating out the competition. There’s a bunch of games that came out in 2019 I’m still really interested in but haven’t had the time/money to pickup yet which could conceivably be contenders but the styling of Disco Elysium alone probably puts it head and shoulders above the rest.

Just finished my first play-through of Disco Elysium.

This is one of the best written games of all time. Its up there with the great old school C-RPGs (Planescape, Fallout 1 and 2) and some of my modern favorites like Witcher 3 for its ability to world build, characterize and explore a ridiculous range of humanity and real world topics through a fictional setting. Philosophy, political theory, racism, economics, class war, ethical gray areas, art theory and criticism, its all there and more.

The character trait system they use to represent ability and personality traits is just a huge breakthrough in RPG storytelling. By having aspects of yourself argue against one another, chime in with helpful or not helpful advice (automatic passive skill checks during dialog) and information you the developers were able to simultaneously introduce a wealth of characterization, customization, and lore in the way a novel’s prose might. I also really liked that re-doable vs 1-time attempt checks were signposted via color and descriptors: you could try that lock and if you fail go back again when your stats were higher or this is a really risky conversational gambit and once the words leave your mouth there is no going back.

I went with a 4 INT 3 PSY 2 PHY 3 MOT build with Perception as my Signature skill. Was going for a smart and emotionally intelligent cop that knew how to use his hands, but was not physically going to take too much (jokingly Rick Deckard build).

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Picked up the artbook & soundtrack DLC on steam not only because the music was just that good, but because I basically wanted to throw more money at the weird east european art collective who made the game to make more things.

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Noah Caldwell did a great video essay on Disco Elysium that just came out last week. Great deep dive.