A day after launch, Disco Elysium is becoming a sensation as one of the most creative and original games we’ve seen in recent years. An open-world RPG doesn’t quite cut it in describing what it offers.
Coming out of nowhere, small Estonian studio ZA/UM managed to create an overnight classic. In the coming years, Disco Elysium may be lauded and referenced the same way as Planescape Torment, Dragon Age, Shadowrun: Hong Kong, or Baldur’s Gate. However, it will be difficult to pin it down as it evades established expectations.
Disco Elysium’s features rundown from four weeks ago is a good start.
The developers weren’t kidding when they talked about absolute freedom. Disco Elysium oscillates between being:
- A noir visual novel
- An RPG
- A point-and-click adventure
- A psychological and philosophical exploration
Set in the dystopian city of Revachol, you wake up with a hangover, as any noir detective would. From then on, how you decide to hone and mix between 24 skills will determine how the world plays out.
Thought Cabinet in Disco Elysium
What they did with the skill system is quite revolutionary, indeed. They have dubbed this system the Thought Cabinet.
Essentially, as you interact with the world, move through it, and talk to the characters, your chosen skills will trigger checks. This establishes your internal dialogue, how you view the world, and which paths can unfold from these skill checks. Every skill check can fail and you can always see the success likelihood percentage.
How you developed your character’s Thought Cabinet will have wildly different consequences.
To be sure, Disco Elysium is set to be one of the most replayable games ever made, as it allows you to explore different personalities and world interactions like no game has ever done — all of that in a mature world that doesn’t flinch from sensitive topics that may offend some.
We can’t wait to see the undoubtedly-massive influence Disco Elysium will have on the RPG genre.
Images/videos courtesy of YouTube, IGDB.