Rambling about Disco Elysium

09/30/2022 - 9:31 PM EST

Mood: Chillin
Drinking: Le Baja Blast Freeze
Eating: Had some Taco Bell a little big ago
Listening: This Harry Du Bois playlist

I finished the game a few days ago by now but I remembered i literally have a website blog. So idk why I haven't talked about the game. I will also have the review I left for it on Steam at the bottom of this entry :3

First off it's just so nice to have a game that feels so fleshed out. I really love worldbuilding, the more of a world an rpg has the more I usually love it. Anything I can build off of is awesome. Most rpgs have some but the ones that stand out to me the most are definitely when they're more creative (like OFF or Undertale/Deltarune) and/or just...very real. I love when the characters all have fleshed out personalities even when theyre small side characters. They all feel like people you would genuinely come across on the street and it's awesome. Fantasy is great but sometimes stuff thats fully fantasy and 90% wish fulfillment isn't really my thing. I don't personally enjoy escaping into 'perfect' worlds, I like my fantasy escapes to be into another's mind in an imperfect world, I like to see the very flawed things start to improve slowly, but still making mistakes. It's far more satisifying to me and also why I love character studies in media. Harry is just a great character for this sort of thing and it's all right up my alley. An absolutely broken man who can't even remember his own name or anything he's done, while the world makes it clear you may not have been very great in the past, but you as the player are given the option to make him improve, make him silly, give him happy moments (or you can continue ruining him! it's awesome to have so many options. I don't think I've seen even half of the dialogue in game.)

I mentioned this on my private twitter but it is also a benefit that the majority of teens/young adults in fandom are usually not very interested in things revolving around middle aged or older men lmao. At least nowhere near the same extent as they do to kids shows. Makes all the fandom content much more tolerable, I would start killing people if I saw the type of discourse that Owl House has when it comes to Disco Elysium. The art is all so great and beautiful that it honestly makes the shitposts even funnier.

I'm out of stuff to add right now but I really reccomend this game. And as promised, here is the review I left on Steam:

"I rarely review games because Im SO bad with articulating my own thoughts and even if I could, nothing I would say would ever feel like quite enough. But I extremely recommend this game.

My friend was very avidly advertising this game to our entire group, and at the time it did seem interesting but not quite my thing. I often tend to prefer brighter games or ones with animal themes, not because I don't like ""serious"" ""gritty"" games (i would not use gritty to describe this game, but I could imagine that someone else might), but because it's very rare they ever have writing that appeals to me, but I was convinced to give it a shot because I had seen some very funny screencaps and bought it during a sale.

Disco Elysium very much appealed to me after only a few minutes of gameplay.

I've played a lot of games, but I don't think any RPG has ever felt so human. Every character in this game is not just fully voice acted like the description says, but every character is fleshed out, even the minor ones, none of them felt like 'just another NPC' at any time, they all felt like people, with their own lives and thoughts. I usually like to play games very silly, choosing the dumbest options just because, and I'm not going to say I didn't do that at all in this game, I totally did (Sorry Harry but you look fucking great in that stupid mesh tank top, cowboy hat, and silk robe, youre never taking it off.) But just going for the silly options felt much harder to do, because I found myself invested in this little city, and it felt wrong to not take some of these in game discussions seriously. I promised myself not to save scum during the game, but there was a few times where I often went back just to try and make sure a character wouldn't have to die. (I highly recommend that if anyone else sees this review and plays though, please have better impulse control than I did. I do feel like you will have a far better experience if you accept everything that happens and keep going. There are some things that will make future events very difficult, but it is never impossible. The majority of things can be done multiple ways.)
There are some other reviews that complain about the politics in the game, thankfully not many people it seems (compared to the positive reviews at least), but a significant amount. I really, do not think this game would work or be as good as it is without the whole political system. Unfortunately, whether you'd like to admit it or not, cops and detectives are inherently political. They work for 'the law', which is a political thing. To try and make a serious detective game without any inclusions of politics is simply holding yourself back, or just admitting that you think "its not 'political' when its MY beliefs". There's complaints that the game leans..let's just say; very heavily left :) But it doesn't mean that the game isn't also heavily criticizing leftist politics as well, both sides get some scathing critique on them, but it can be very subtle at times if you don't understand what's going on in front of you, I will be the first to admit that a lot of the critique for the leftist politics aren't as blatant as the right wing critiques, and some of it won't seem like criticism at all unless you've been in those left leaning communities and witnessed it for yourself. I don't remember if this was another review or a post i saw elsewhere, but for example: (light spoilers, not main plot related) there are two young men who are very communist, but are so wrapped up in their own discussion and superiority for 'reading theory', that they fail to ever take any serious action to help others, even when someone they're somewhat close with is stuck living in a furnace room, while the boys have a 'proper' apartment. (the city as a whole is still very poor, but their room is still accessible, and clearly much higher condition than where she is forced to live.

This game's best decision is absolutely the main character, Harry. He is perfectly set up for this sort of game, he has his own past and personality, but you start the game absolutely blackout hungover. Yes, not blackout drunk, blackout hungover. Harry has lost nearly all his memory besides 'vibes' and some general facts about the world. He doesn't remember his name, what he was like before, and many other things. It is a perfect setup for an rpg character, he may have been someone else in the past, but now YOU are in control, and you get to pick the new person he will become over the course of the game. You can make him get better and stop being an addict, turn him into a commie (or make him a raging fascist), or you can absolutely keep him on the same path and keep him drinking and doing drugs and being a piece of shit. Some things will obviously make the game harder, but again, never impossible.

I can't say much else without entering spoilers, but this is already a fairly long review. So ill end with my own short pros and cons list, moreso just extra short thoughts, and leave it at that.

--Entirely fleshed out world and characters, there is endless replay value in this game, so many dialogue options and skills you can level up, there is always something new you won't have seen before.
--This may be a silly pro, but you can play entirely with your mouse if you wanted to. For me personally my computer is set up terribly right now, and my only options are stretch my arms uncomfortably for extended periods of time, or move my keyboard into my lap which makes it awkward to use my mouse and keyboard at the same time for a game like this. Being able to use only my mouse made it much easier for me to keep coming back to the game
--See everything I wrote in my paragraphs above.

--You better like reading. Or listening. This game is VERY dialogue heavy (which makes the full voice acting very impressive) If you're an impatient person you WILL struggle, even if you really like the game. The further I got into the game the more I had to fight back my own ADHD to make sure I didn't start mindlessly skipping dialogue, and that's from someone who loves this game.
--If you're one of those people who 'hates politics in their games', you probably will not enjoy this game. Like I said above, politics is one of the main reasons this game works so well, and if you dislike that, or if you get annoyed at any form of left wing politics, you will not like this game. There's a reason people joke about it saying it's a "gay commie game". The reverse is also true though, if you're a heavy twitter/tumblr user who starts claiming that ANY fascism in a game is "problematic", you will not like this game. This game is very oriented around people and their own thoughts. When I say the characters are very real I do mean it. An otherwise very nice person in game may suddenly slip a racist comment toward your partner Kim despite how much they try to act like they meant the comment in a 'good way', there is a character bluntly called "racist lorry driver", the game has it's own made up racist slur that is dropped decently frequently by certain characters. The F slur is also used occasionally.
--There are bugs. Quite a few of them. Most are minor and sometimes very comedic (I frequently had a bug where Kim would frequently teleport to the corner of the screen and his model would break for a split second, fast enough that I thought I imagined it the first time), but some of these bugs can be game breaking, and you should save OFTEN. I was lucky enough to not have any problems, but I almost did (one of the comedic bugs I encountered had an npc phase through a fence, which my friend told me I got very lucky because that sometimes softlocks people if he gets stuck) and there are other reviews you can see of some people's horror stories with losing their saves, which is not pretty given how long the game can get. If I had lost all my progress 30 hours into the game I would have been VERY upset."