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Disco Elysium Review

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Posted: 8 months ago, last updated yesterday.

Author: Ben Kendall, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Disco Elysium The Final Cut is a role-playing game set in the fictional city of Revachol where you play Harrier "Harry" Du Bois who must solve a complex murder. Unusually, your choices and actions not only determine how the story unfolds but affect Harry's mental cacophony of competing personalities. What starts as a whodunnit, soon evolves into an exploration of human brokenness, empathy and how mental health affects everyday life.

Harry wakes up in a run-down cafeteria with a hangover and amnesia, and must solve the case of the lynching of an unidentified man. The world has a rich history evoked by its watercolour visuals. You explore, talking to characters, gleaning information and collecting clues. You can choose to help characters with side quests or stick to the adventure. These extra tasks help you to piece together your checkered past and ulterior motives, betrayal and jealousy. Ultimately, the conclusion depends on the choices you make along the way.

The game stands out for its unique skill and character development system. As you talk to suspects, thoughts lodge in your psyche in a way that affects your personality. You might, for example, consider living on the street to save money. This thought affects your identity, making you more compassionate. This grants new abilities that enable you to progress in new ways.

As this continues, these thoughts become interwoven in your head, debating and questioning each other endlessly. It's an impactful way to experience the interior mental instability of your character, but also enables you to advance the story.

DetailsGame Details

Content Rating: PEGI 18

Release Date: 15/10/2019, updated in 2020

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 25 features

Developer: @StudioZAUM

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 16 hours and 40 hours to complete. The game's detailed story will take you through the city of Revachol, offering side quests and other distractions from the main plot. This can extend the experience considerably.
 
Players: This is a single player game.

CostsCosts

Disco Elysium usually costs £32.99.
 

Disco Elysium: The Final Cut

PlayStation Store PS5 £32.99
PlayStation Store PS4 £32.99
 
Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut, has full voice acting to the game, adding new depth to the characters and increasing the game's accessibility. It has more options in interactions between you and the Revachol citizens that expand the lore and immersion. You can buy The Final Cut on Xbox, PlayStation and Stadia, but if you already have it it will release as a free update to the existing version on all platforms.

The Final Cut comes in 2 editions. Regular Edition and Collector's Edition. The Collector's Edition includes a physical copy, a map, an art book and a sculpture. The Collector's Edition can be purchased for £250.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Content Rating

Rated PEGI 18 for violence.
In the US, ESRB state: Rated 17+ in the Apple Store for Infrequent/Mild Profanity, Crude Humour, Fantasy Violence, Frequent/Intense Alcohol, Tobacco, Drug Use.

AccessibilityAccessibility

The details in this report are for the Final Cut version of the game, which has fully-voiced dialog.

You can adjust the text size, although this doesn't make it especially large. You can zoom in at any point to get a clear view of the scene and make the characters and objects large and easier to differentiate.

The "detective mode" option highlights all of the interactive objects in green and allows you to cycle between them for ease of access and exploration and to ensure you don't miss anything.

here isn't a tutorial or an immediate opening goal, so getting started and learning controls can be difficult. You will quickly begin to acquire missions that give you direction, and eventually a map.

There is not a difficulty setting to make the game easier, but there is a "hardcore mode" that can be selected to make the game more challenging.

There are a few instances of screen flash, which are forewarned by talking about "taking a photo" or "shooting a gun" in the preceding dialogue, but there is no way to disable or avoid them.

The game map isn't available right away. When it becomes available the information it provides is a rough sketch of the town and a list of skill checks that are available (whether or not they are locked for you) which shows who the name and portrait of who you go to see them, as well as the general area they are found in. This list of skill checks is not sortable in any way, so the map isn't really useful for navigating spatially, and can be confusing as an organizational tool. Fast travel is available for some regions of the game via the map, and fast travel locations are identified when you locate a new area, but there is no tutorial or guidance on how to use this feature in game, which increases the confusing layout and use of the map.

There is a pressure applied from the beginning in regards to outstanding debt and coming up with money every day to continue paying for lodging, which may feel really stressful. There are also a small number of non-critical missions that are time sensitive in relation to the in-game clock (must be completed on a specific day or time), these are noted in the journal with a clock symbol.
 
Our Disco Elysium Accessibility Report documents 25 accessibility features:

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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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