Disco Elysium is an instant classic. Review

От Yraa #2G, #ability, #action, #active, #Adds, #air, #amazing, #ambition, #AMD, #AMD Phenom, #analog, #announcement, #API, #app, #ARC, #arrived, #attempt, #bag, #Ban, #Band, #bank, #Bee, #BioWare, #bit, #Black, #blood, #Blue in the Face, #board, #body, #bottle, #Britpop, #build, #called, #card, #case, #cat, #caught, #cell, #CES, #check, #choice, #Choose, #cinema, #class, #classic, #clock, #Color, #Coming, #compete, #complete, #computer, #cons, #Control, #Core, #couple, #created, #date, #day, #days, #deal, #debut, #DERE, #detail, #Detailed, #developed, #Developer, #Disco, #Disco Elysium, #Door, #Drawing, #drive, #dual, #Dungeons & Dragons, #dynamic, #Ear, #early, #ease, #Edge, #ELE, #elegant, #Elf, #Elysium, #Emotional intelligence, #enter, #entire, #Estonia, #EVE, #EVO, #evolution, #Expectations, #expected, #experience, #Express, #Extra, #Extreme, #eye, #face, #failure, #fall, #finally, #Fire, #fires, #float, #Francis Bacon, #Free, #Freedom of speech, #Full, #fully, #future, #game, #gamers, #games, #GeForce, #Gen, #GENE, #GHz, #good, #Graphic, #graphics, #Graphics card, #great, #ground, #GTH, #hard, #heart, #high, #honest, #house, #ideal, #image, #instant, #Intel, #Intel Core, #intelligence, #interesting, #IOS, #Journey, #Kentucky Route Zero, #king, #kit, #lead, #LED, #level, #life, #Limbic system, #limit, #line, #list, #lit, #lite, #long, #lots, #Lucian Freud, #main, #man, #Master, #Mate, #Meet, #memory, #Mind, #mini, #Mix, #Mnemosyne, #mode, #modes, #Motion, #mountain, #move, #NEC, #NEX, #Night, #NVIDIA, #obvious, #October, #Office, #Official, #Open, #opening, #OPPO, #option, #order, #Pass, #Pen, #person, #physical, #place, #Planescape: Torment, #platform, #play, #playing, #power, #powerful, #present, #Presented, #PRO, #Radeon, #radio, #RAM, #rate, #rating, #ray, #read, #real, #Reality, #Reasons, #receive, #received, #record, #Red, #reference, #release, #rest, #return, #review, #rid, #ring, #roll, #run, #Sense, #set, #SIM, #single, #slot, #small, #SoC, #sound, #special, #stand, #start, #station, #story, #strength, #strong, #style, #stylish, #suffers, #survive, #system, #Tab, #tablet, #tag, #Talk, #talking, #terms, #thin, #time, #Top, #Travel, #triple, #turn, #turns, #Unexpected, #View, #virtual, #Voice, #watch, #water, #WAV, #ways, #Weird, #Wind, #window, #windows, #Windows 10, #Windows 7, #word, #words, #work, #Wormhole, #worth, #YouTube, #Zdzisław Beksiński, #Zen


Genre RPG
Publisher ZA/UM
Developer ZA/UM
Minimum Requirements Windows 7 or higher, Intel Core i3-2115C 2.0 GHz or AMD Phenom 8550 Triple-Core 2.2 GHz, 4 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 520 or AMD Radeon HD 7450 graphics card with 512 MB VRAM, 22 GB hard drive
Recommended Requirements Windows 10, Intel Core i5-650 3.2GHz or AMD Athlon X4 740 3.2GHz, 8GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 940 or AMD Radeon HD 6850 with 1GB VRAM
release date October 15, 2019
age limit No
Platforms PC
Official site

Consciousness slowly returned to me, but why? Through the rumble of emptiness, I hear some voices — are they here, nearby? Maybe behind a wall? Or maybe in my head? It seems that the limbic system is talking to me — its words are bitter and full of desperation. But not only the body hurts, but also the soul. Only I have no way to realize why. The weight of the past has fallen through somewhere along with memory, and I only vaguely feel some kind of irreparable loss and unfinished business. The corpse swaying on the tree outside the window seems to remind me of them. It seems that we still need to get up and turn our faces towards time, sadness, the cruelty of our existence and impending death. And also towards the ringing disco. Mnemosyne took my trail.

⇡#Bonfires of ambition

At some point, the investigation of the murder (to be quite precise, chatter with everyone you meet and curiosity) will lead you to a semi-abandoned office building, which has been affected by a curse that destroys any business within its walls. Spoiler: this curse is capitalism. But we will learn about this later, but for now it remains to wander among the remains of someone’s ideas. And among the ice cream companies or the creators of special skis, there is also a room with webbed corners, in which everything indicates that someone overly ambitious tried to create a grandiose role-playing game, but suffered a resounding failure. Studio Fortress Accident went bankrupt and abandoned empty attempts out of the blue to make a masterpiece. This could and should have been a reflection of reality. No wonder — where are the small studios, when even Bioware suffers one setback after another. The age of epic RPGs has long since passed away, and who would even dare to take a swing at something that mixes Planescape: Torment and Kentucky Route Zero. This is too much — a game like this would never come out anyway. And even if it did, it’s scary to imagine how disappointed picky lovers would be. deep story role-playing gameswho received something that does not correspond to ideals. However, if you like, try it, you have two dice and one roll. (FROMknock of dice on the table.) TWO 6S.

  Don't leave the room, don't make a mistake

Don’t leave the room, don’t make a mistake

In the time since the announcement in early 2016, not only the game, which at the start was called No Truce With The Furies, managed to change its name, but also the Estonian studio itself, which bore the name Fortress Occident (bingo!), And, it seemed, its debut creation, which has grown from tabletop sessions to modified Dungeons & Dragons, just has no chance of coming out. The swing was too great, and there were too many cases when inflated ambitions led to the deepest failure. But the game came out, and not too late — and exceeded any expectations.

Disco Elysium was originally created as a board game — and traces of this approach are everywhere. The role-playing system is very simple, but at the same time elegant: 24 parameters are divided into 4 ability groups, which you define at the very beginning when creating a character, then they do not change; the points you gain for gaining experience you invest directly in the parameters, which can also be influenced by all kinds of objects, events and thoughts. In addition to the cabinet of parameters, you have a cabinet of thoughts — ideas that appear in your head or brought by someone from the side can be internalized (considered) or forgotten; points can be spent on acquiring new slots or just throwing out unnecessary ideas from your head. Thinking is free. Thought forms themselves give you some bonuses, but they can also take something away — nothing is known in advance, you will have to choose them with your heart.

  Weirdest and most adorable skill grid I've ever seen

Weirdest and most adorable skill grid I’ve ever seen

In the dialogues that the entire Disco Elysium actually consists of — yes, there is no combat system at all, you also have to wave and shoot with your fists in the dialogue window, throwing dice — every now and then all kinds of skill level checks are carried out and, depending on the result, they open or skip new branches and directions of conversation. From time to time, especially important checks appear — and here everything is already determined by a die roll, added to the required parameter, of course. It sounds a little boring, like almost any description of the role-playing system, but it removes all boredom as if by chance, you just have to look at the list of skills itself and break into absolutely any dialogue in which you, your interlocutor, perhaps your investigation partner Kim Kitsuragi will definitely participate , different parts of your consciousness (oh yes, here very developed internal dialogue), as well as sometimes your chic tie with complex colors and no less complex nature.

The abilities are simple, one might say classic: strength, agility, intelligence and sensitivity (emotional intelligence). Relying on strength and coordination cuts off many paths in dialogues, and the palaces of the mind are rapidly emptying, but a strong cop will be able to break in — and this is not at all an extra opportunity for a law enforcement officer. Disco Elysium allows you to play in this style — and it’s a lot of fun to do it.

  The ability to collect eggs in a fist is an indispensable skill for any cop

The ability to collect eggs in a fist is an indispensable skill for any cop

The hero has almost completely lost his memory (no, we don’t respawn in the morgue every time after death) — you are, in fact, a newcomer to this world and you can complain about dissociative amnesia to the doctor. He — another spoiler — will not help. But you are also a cop who arrived at the scene of a crime and instead of investigating, went on a drinking binge. There were obviously reasons for this — there will always be reasons for alcoholism, but murder will not reveal itself. This will have to be done together with a temporary partner who arrived from another site, while digging up much more important things at the same time — how this world works, how to survive in it, and whether it is worth trying to do it at all.

⇡#man in full growth

Disco Elysium is a police drama. Noir Detective. A detailed political commentary, applied, albeit to a fictional, but for some reason so familiar world. Thinking about the lonely voice of a man in the raging chaos of the universe … Uh, no, it already carried me. But the game actually exists outside the genres, it floats freely between them, swaying between sometimes polar emotions. From funny to dreary, from gutter puke to existential musing, this is one step away. In a dizzying change of tone, Disco Elysium can compete with the best examples from the world of cinema, like Memories of a Murder.

  It's a fiasco, bro

It’s a fiasco, bro

And all this, I repeat, is presented primarily through the text. Here it would be to akimbo, clear your throat and start shouting out in syllables: Gra! Fo! Ma! Neither…

Not at all. If, when creating your creation, you make such a powerful emphasis on one of its properties and completely focus the attention of the public on it, then it must be performed at an transcendental level. And yes, it is. Disco Elysium is written grandiosely — and all this endless array: from continuously branching and sprawling dialogues to laconic, but accurate descriptions of the environment and truly charming texts that even stand behind the parameters of the character and those very ideas in the Thought Cabinet.

The flow of topics that you can talk about in Disco Elysium does not weaken: jokes about the masculine community in the police station, graters about the role of psychoactive substances in the formation (well, rather, destruction) of the individual, highbrow discussions about the essence of art, a very deep immersion in a variety of political issues. At some point, I caught myself thinking that for half an hour I had been conducting an extremely interesting dialogue about liberalism. With a computer character. Using pre-prepared replica options. And it’s extremely interesting. The creation of ZA/UM does not concentrate on one thing, banging on this door until you are blue in the face, but somehow manages to not lose focus and remain very solid; the tone and themes change, but the style and direction are impeccable.

The action of Disco Elysium takes place in the fictional city-state of Revachol, living under external control after the suppressed communist revolution — there are no direct analogues for this place, it is a collective image of our world. But with due certainty, we can say about the time — this is the 70s of the twentieth century, the decline of the disco era. But at the same time, the flourishing of freedom of speech and thought — in the process, you can listen and express absolutely any views: preach socialism, find common ground with the fascist, become a faithful adherent of racial theory, clearly follow the moralistic doctrine … The game will not condemn and will not dictate the «right line» , your path is open — someone will call it unscrupulousness in our politically correct age, but such a stunning freedom to go along the crooked path and not get horns and pitchforks at the end of it is amazing.

  No one will deny me style.  At least he can't do it while the blood is gushing from his eyes.

No one will deny me style. At least he can’t do it while the blood is gushing from his eyes.

I remember how incredible it seemed to play in Planescape: Torment with a dynamically changing «character» of the character in terms of «evil», «law-abiding», «good». Disco Elysium doesn’t have that oscillating arrow, but there are points that you earn in your political and «human» piggy bank — and you won’t be billed at the end. You decide what you are worth, you will have to play this role with full gear.

Disco Elysium, with all the vastness of themes and the power of the literary basis, is a fairly chamber game in the elementary spatial sense of the term. During the first two game days (very real clocks are ticking here), we do not get out of the quarter at all, consisting of a dozen houses. This is one single investigation. A case of a hanging man in the Martinez waterfront, from which we never leave until the end of the game. But this «storm in a teacup» also has a downside — every new cellar you manage to climb into, every fresh corner awakens such a furious spirit of travel that you feel like Percy Fossett, finally reaching the Lost City. The tightness here does not look artificial, as it was in the reincarnated Deus Ex, for example, where a myriad of various organizations crowded on a patch. Here, it quite naturally grows out of the storyline — although, of course, the real reason for such concentration was the financial limitations of the studio.

  Humility is the refuge of losers

Humility is the refuge of losers

These restrictions, of course, affected both the graphic style (classic isometry, the lack of detail masked by watercolor), and the fact that the characters only have voiced opening lines (I wonder who could voice the text for more than a million words?), And rather modest timing of the soundtrack. But at the same time, all this is full of charm: painful, as in the case of in-game drawings, which seemed to be worked on by an artel of Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon and Zdzisław Beksiński, or noble and stylish, like music written for the game by a wonderful Britpop group British Sea Power.


On your journey, the main route of which will run through the Inland Empire, you will not only meet many interesting interlocutors, but you will definitely crystallize your archetype. More precisely, a copotype — you will become either an art cop, appreciating the drawing left by blood on the floor, or a cop-with-guilt, continuously apologizing for your past. Or maybe you will become a hobocop — rejecting the material world and spending the night on a cozy bench in the park. Those who have rejected for natural reasons, of course, it is quite difficult to get a living here. Unless you take bribes, of course.

To be honest, you can talk about Disco Elysium endlessly — so I’ll just stop. I will exhale. I’ll take off my knitted hat with a couple of holes. And salute unfamiliar friends from Estonia with a plastic bag for collecting bottles. You made one of the best games I’ve played in my entire life.


  • incredible level of text;
  • carefully and tastefully written world;
  • interesting story;
  • freedom of choice and wagering;
  • disco!


  • high requirements for the knowledge of the English language by the player — and localization is not expected in the near future;
  • physically painful to read the dialogue in other games after.


Of course, even old-fashioned gamers who abandoned these virtual entertainments of yours as soon as Black Isle fell apart will not be called technological Disco Elysium, but this dirty world, written in blurry watercolors, is very addictive. The style is impeccable.


Each character is at least a little, but voiced, which adds a couple of necessary colors. The music by British Sea Power is good. And here you can also take a radio tape recorder on your shoulder and announce the surroundings with a blunt-nosed dolbilov. I have only one complaint — the disco itself is still not enough here.

Single player game

A literary-centric story full of unexpected references and non-standard accents. The investigation of a murder, which turns out to be just an occasion for a detailed reflection on humanity as a whole and the path of a particular person in it: bitter, funny, ridiculous, tragic, stupid, noble.

Collective game

Not provided.

General impression

Disco Elysium comes from some special world full of idealists who think it’s okay to release a game in 2019 that consists almost entirely of rather complex and artsy text. From a world where deep story-driven isometric RPGs are at their peak. From a world where strict adherence to your idea helps to move mountains. Where is this world? Through what wormhole can one get into it?

Rating: 10/10

Learn more about the grading system


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