An Essential Narrative
As time goes by, it becomes more complex to develop entertainment experiences that involve the player, however, Studio ZA / UM dazzled the industry in 2019 with the launch of an RPG adventure called Disco Elysium, which finally arrives on Nintendo Switch. in its final version. The development of the title in question began three years earlier, in 2016, when the Estonian novelist, Robert Kurvitz decided to give life to the creative team of the aforementioned study, after having tried his luck with the conception of a role-playing board game in the purest style by Dungeons & Dragons with sci-fi touches and steampunk.
At the beginning, it had been contemplated that the game’s setting would take place in a simple location to be able to launch it in 2017, but the scenarios were expanding and its arrival on the market was delayed for almost two years, which was more than justified and It exceeded all expectations. Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is an extremely innovative and immersive production that is characterized by an unprecedented narrative with availability of several languages including English and Spanish, which knows how to handle the transitions and the tone of the dialogues very well, mixing sarcastic, humorous overtones and philosophical. The interference of the narrator is one of the strengths since it brings spice to the conversations that you will have with other characters in the course of the plot.
Throughout this adventure written by the novelist Robert Kurvitz himself, you take on the role of a careless police officer who faces the task of solving a crime that worries Revachol, a city that has been affected by crime, poverty, corruption , the trade union unions and the legacies of communism. However, throughout your mission, you will not only have to fulfill the main objective of the protagonist but you will have to deal with your own existential conflicts, which have tried to be evaded thanks to the shelter of alcoholism. The beginning of your journey in this game is sublime, since there is no previous context about the character’s life and you will have to discover it as the story progresses.
One of the most interesting aspects is the personality that you can give to this detective, a member of the Revachol Citizen Militia, since you can select three different archetypes such as Intellect, Psychic and Physical Motor, or failing that, create a personalized facet of according to your preferences. The profile you have chosen in your adventure will have different causes and reactions in the decisions you make. One of the most rewarding elements in this experience is getting rewarded for the different decisions you make regardless of whether they were correct or not.
From a global perspective, the title has an isometric view where you can easily zoom in and out of the camera, while incorporating the genre of the click and point. Its main focus is a non-traditional RPG mechanic where the gameplay is centered on the actions you take during each of the dialogues and on dice games based on probabilities of success and abilities. Fans of the traditional Dungeons & Dragons board games will quickly identify with the mechanics of Disco Elysium and it will be very simple to immerse yourself in the fictional world that captivates you with its history and the mystery that surrounds it. Each roll of the dice awards a result with a rating ranging from trivial (roll of six or more) to impossible (roll of 18 or more). Although you can only roll two dice with a maximum value of six on each of them, the additional points of your roll will be influenced by the character’s abilities or certain items that you have equipped at the time you have decided to trigger the decision to random.
It is worth noting that the main character not only has health energy that can be affected, but also has a morale bar that makes a difference throughout many moments. The skill enhancement options are robust, and the detective can be outfitted with multiple diverse apparel and accessories to meet his objectives. There are permanent and temporary abilities, the former are obtained as you progress and level up; the latter are acquired thanks to the equipment of specific items, such as an item of clothing, for example. The items you have in your inventory will also help you to solve certain puzzles that will have a direct impact on the decision and reward system.
Disco Elysium has been influenced by video games such as Planescape: Torment and Kentucky Route Zero, as well as the television series The Wire and True Detective. In addition to the various genres that influence its playability, Studio ZA / UM has taken character design, voice and soundtrack very seriously. For example, the soundtrack was composed by the rock band British Sea Power and the audio casting includes heavy metal musicians such as Mikee Goodman. On the other hand, the complexity in the narrative and their respective dialogues, forced the developers to create mini stories that would facilitate the incorporation of decision trees, to later interrelate them with each other, with the aim that a global and global collusion could be achieved. standardized.
Focusing on the main mission whose playable horizon is ten days, will take around 20 or 25 hours, while immersing yourself in the totality of the secondary objectives, can extend up to 100, so the exploration and addiction to discover new secrets, is fully guaranteed. The gameplay in Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is focused on investigating and discovering everything that is within your reach and on many occasions it is difficult to differentiate which are primary and secondary missions, making the experience more absorbing and investing a greater amount of time to your departure, with the intention of discovering what will happen with the interaction you have with all the characters in the game.
A highly creative element is that time does not pass in a traditional way, but will do so depending on the decisions you make, that is, with each mission you complete or according to the lines of dialogue you have read, the minutes advance on a different scale of speed. In the same way, there will be actions that you cannot take, because although they are available in your decision tree at the time of the narrative, it is not feasible to execute them due to the limitations in the personality class you have chosen at the beginning of the adventure, forcing you to that in a new game you complete the pending tasks. The behavior of both the town of Revachol and its inhabitants will adapt as the hours go by and there are certain missions with a specific timing.
One of the facets that most caught my attention is that despite your ambition to be able to follow up on all the missions, it will be necessary for you to sleep and you cannot stay awake for 24 hours, adhering to the reality that every good detective must fall asleep at a good time to be able to stay fresh and lucid in making decisions. In another section, throughout your adventure you will collect books and reading each one of them will cause the clock hands to move faster. In summary, it is vital to pay attention to each of the details that are presented in the story, because although one of these may seem inconsequential, days later it will have gained great relevance and even, if you think that you have already had all the necessary interaction with someone, you can return to them later and there will be new conversations and associated missions.
The Final Cut includes a new mission that you can access between the third and fourth days of the game centered on the theme of a “political vision”, where the protagonist will be able to acquire ideas based on moralism, fascism, ultra-liberalism and communism. Ideological experiences are exclusive and independent in this part of the game, that is, if you want to access each of them, you will have to pass the game four different times. As in the main adventure, the dialogues based on the political side are majestic and the contrasts between such philosophies are extremely perceptible and they adapt with great ease to the personality of the detective and the moment in which the story passes, feeling like a additional content intended from the beginning of production and not as an improvisation.
If the soundtrack was already remarkable in the first edition of the game, the definitive version incorporates jazz music by the artist Lenval Brown, in addition to that now around 1.2 million extra words have been added, making all the characters that appear on the scene, They include dialogue and voices so you can learn more about each of them and offer a more immersive touch to the narrative. Similarly, the story of Disco Elysium is focused on the interaction of the unorthodox detective with the co-star who goes by the name of Kim Kitsuragi and to whom new lines of speech were added, making the chemistry between them even better.
Exploiting the Switch
One of the biggest benefits of this version is that in addition to the traditional controls, you can take objects or tell the character where to move through the touch function if you play in portable mode. In addition, the dialog boxes and selection menus have been optimized so that an approved experience can be enjoyed both on the television and on the handheld device. Unfortunately, not everything is perfect. The loading times when accessing some sections tend to be long and if there are many elements that interact on the screen, slight problems arise with the audio, the camera and the mobility of the character becomes slower. Another error is that the game closes suddenly due to an unexpected error, making it one of the priority weak points to improve in an eventual performance update.
An Extraordinary Work
There is no better way to experience Disco Elysium: The Final Cut than to play it yourself, because although it is an independent title, at this moment it is difficult to find another similar experience in the world of entertainment due to the way in which its narrative conveys success and failure, as well as the political and social ideologies that concern its protagonists in a fictional world overshadowed by corruption and poverty. It is highly satisfactory how it manages to retake the mechanics of the traditional boards of role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, adapting it to the current era where originality becomes increasingly difficult to achieve. Disconcerting and unpredictable are the best adjectives to describe the creation of Robert Kurvitz, since when you think that the story has become very long and dark, it takes unexpected turns to keep you hooked and wanting to know the outcome of it, no matter if You want to become the best detective or be a deplorable cop as a human being.
If you are a fan of role-playing games, passionate about reading and lover of acid humor, it is an essential game in your collection since it is one of the best playable and narrative experiences in recent times that finally reaches the hybrid console of the great N and that immediately includes it in the top range of its extensive library. For the gamers Explorers who are open to trying a new experience will not regret it and will easily get hooked. On the contrary, it is not a suitable title for people looking for a casual and carefree experience, since it is necessary to immerse in the narrative and dedicate a considerable time to it either to finish the main story or to focus on the secondary missions.