Disco Elysium Switch Review

The RPG genre has been one of the most defining in the gaming industry since its inception. Even the most annualized sports and first-person shooter franchises are bound to have elements like the Create-a-Class system, which is effectively a diet RPG mechanic. Yet, despite their reach, there has rarely been an RPG so rich and engaging that its name deserves shouting from the rooftops. Disco Elysium was one of the few games to earn that title, and now it has a new home on the Switch.

From the very beginning, Disco Elysium rang in players’ minds that this was not a traditional experience. Instead of starting with a noble hero taking his first steps in an adventure, it puts the player in the shoes of an outdated detective with a substance abuse problem. The protagonist has no memory, has a hideous face, and has destroyed the relationship with the scene when the player takes the first step.

Those are the foundations of the character, but Disco Elysium’s foothold is how it allows players to evolve from there. Players can choose to be physically strong, highly intelligent, or a master of esoteric skills. Each prototype has its pros and cons, but they all ultimately serve the goal of solving the game’s main case, which is figuring out why a dead body is hanging from a tree, and apprehending whoever put them there.

disco  elysium  karaoke It is this setting and degree of freedom that gives Disco Elysium its unique flavor, one that is completely different from any other game in the genre, or even in the medium. This isn’t a game that relies heavily on a combat system or realistic graphics. Instead, players are rolling their moves and receiving hyper-stylized visuals. In fact, the gameplay depends almost entirely on the exploration and dialogue systems. The strength of Disco Elysium is that it has one of the best scripts ever written in a video game.

The way Disco Elysium presents the scene to the main character is very captivating. Even for those trying to play “serious” characters, they’ll get into ridiculous situations so frequently that they’ll start to break down, like in an early clip where the player is confronted by a man who seems to have lost his gun with ulterior motives. This, combined with the player’s amnesia, results in an original and unforgettable scenario.

Nor are scenes like this alone. In fact, they’re subtly intertwined in a way that makes every bit of Disco Elysium dialogue memorable. There are no memorable fixtures in Disco Elysium, and since all of its elements are carefully crafted at every moment, there are bound to be something that stands out. The game doesn’t just show the player a book on the table, it also shows them a nearly torn tome that’s been randomly placed on the gueridon. It takes what might be a bare-bones description and paints a true picture, no matter how inconsequential the object or location.

disco  elysium  gate  confrontation It certainly helps that the game world has as much personality as the NPCs that inhabit it. Disco Elysium’s setting in Revachol – a dilapidated city of many cultures – has a long and sinister history. It has real struggles that reflect the state of the world today, dealing with racism, sexism and class struggle. And, even better, it allows players to engage with these issues in meaningful ways, dealing with them seriously or lightly depending on when and where. Even in the comical tone of some sensitive encounters, there’s nothing out of place.

NPCs are also as rich as the city they live in. Some are flattering, some not so flattering, but almost all of them have a unique and detailed feel to them. Many of them are interconnected and really make the player feel like an outsider in the community, with each player archetype adapting to a different feel, which is where Disco Elysium gets its replayability. The same scene will be different depending on the identity of the player.

All of this is backed up by one of the most magnificent soundtracks in gaming of the last decade, if not ever. Disco Elysium’s soundtrack is well worth listening to outside of playing the game, fluctuating between somber and lively depending on where the player is in the world. It becomes an incredible outfit as players move throughout the city, exploring what each location has to offer.

disco  elysium  student  communist From a mechanical standpoint, there are only a few issues with the Disco Elysium. The only serious thing is how the game handles its health and morale systems, which are mostly healthy. Depending on player behavior and the results of skill checks, these bars will occasionally deplete, although they can be restored with healing items. should be often.

This isn’t a problem if certain dialogue kills the player almost instantly, but it happens from time to time and it can be a major annoyance. This is especially true when a player passes a check with a low success rate, only to have the win wiped out shortly thereafter. It’s a disappointing element of the game, and it might motivate players to put their controllers down for a while if the frustration feels too severe.

Beyond those game endings, though, Disco Elysium makes losing fun. It’s normal to completely screw up a conversation or a physical gesture from time to time, and players will get a situation where they’re being fooled in a humorous way. That’s always a setback, but it’s mitigated by charming dialogue.

For those looking to play on its newest platform, Disco Elysium is perfect for the Switch. The game occasionally has some FPS issues when pulling back the camera and moving around the world, load times are longer than other platforms, but the game still runs fine. Those with other more powerful systems may notice a difference in performance, so keep that in mind, but it’s the best way to play games on the go, with the possible exception of gaming laptops.

It’s worth noting that Disco Elysium is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the Switch’s Bluetooth update, as a decent pair of headphones should make the soundtrack sound better, not to mention the other ambient sounds that adorn the city of Revachol.

Those who have been waiting to try Disco Elysium have no reason to hold on any longer. The game is now available on almost every platform and is well worth playing. It’s unlike anything else, and it sidesteps the question of what developers ZA/UM will try to make next.

Disco Elysium launches on October 12, 2021 for Switch. Game Rant obtained the code for this review.

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