Looking Ahead: Disco Elysium

I’m still well into the thick of things in Supergiant Studios’ outstanding Hades (I’ve only beaten the lord of the underworld a handful of times, which means there’s huge hunks of story left to unlock), so it’s not as though I have nothing to play. Additionally, with one more divine beast to defeat, a final showdown with Ganon, and myriad side quests complete, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is nowhere near close to being wrapped up for me. And I have Supergiant’s second game, Transistor, on deck as well.

Image result for disco elysium

All that being said, I’m looking ahead to ZA/UM Studios’ Disco Elysium to make its way over to the Nintendo Switch sometime this summer. I first heard about this game on Christ and Pop Culture 25 of 2019 list, and have been researching and checking in on the porting progress ever since. Note: the game debuted as a CRPG, and while I would have loved to pick this up awhile ago, my 2011 Mac Book Pro was most assuredly not up to the task of running it. Polygon has a nice update on the final cut edition of the game as well as an interview with lead writer Helen Hindpere (“Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is the game the team had ‘dreamt of launching’”). There’s also some accompanying killer art work.

So what’s the game about?

I’m still not entirely sure. As much as I’ve read and watched on the game’s conceit and design, I’ve tried to avoid narrative spoiler as much as possible. I know that you play a detective who can’t remember who he is, but is tasked with solving a murder. You traverse a fictional world (with over 6,000 years of history), interviewing all sorts of folks, and the choices for both words and deeds are vast, and determine the type of person you are/become. There’s no combat, but there is a unique skill system, the Thought Cabinet, which dictates the choices presented. There’s over a million words in the script, 500k of which were written by Robert Kurvitz, a self-proclaimed failed novelist.

The story, the characters, the choices, the skill system, the richness of the world, all make this must-have game (for me) when it drops on Switch this summer.

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