Disco Elysium – The Final Cut

Disco Elysium – The Final Cut

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23/12/2023 toolmxh.com


Review game Disco Elysium – The Final Cut, Best Hits

In Disco Elysium, as in all great detective stories, what seems straightforward at first turns into so much more than that, and things get even weirder from there. It takes the tried-and-true mechanics of tabletop role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons and twists them around a grim story of poverty, violence, and a society on the verge of collapse. It uses some original game mechanics, like debating against 24 different parts of your own brain, along with expertly crafted and well-written dialogue, to create a story that will stick with me for a very long time. And, for some reason, it makes all of this entertaining and, surprisingly frequently, humorous. With a fully voiced cast and more side missions to complete, The Final Cut elevates an already fantastic game.

Disco Elysium’s basic idea is as follows: Over the course of the 30-hour story, you will need to figure out how a body ended up hanging from a towering tree in a hostel’s backyard. However, this central mystery is far from straightforward, especially considering that you start with a severe case of amnesia caused by a hangover. Not only can you not recall your own name, but you are a police officer investigating a homicide. Your sniveling limbic system fights against the ancient reptilian brain, a part of your consciousness that you literally converse with, trying to convince you to give up on your quest. It soon becomes apparent that this is more than just a whodunit; rather, it’s a journey that will test your ability to resolve crises on a deeply personal and societal level as you fumble around your destroyed bedroom looking for pieces of your former self. It’s an exquisitely crafted isometric role-playing game that provokes thought at every turn of its artistic streets.

Learn, Little One, Learn

When you first launch Disco Elysium, you have to choose whether you want to be a bruiser (think Marv from Sin City), sensitive (think Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks), or intelligent (think Sherlock Holmes). However, they differ in how your anonymous gumshoe is initially assigned and how choices are presented to you, offering a unique gameplay experience for each. For instance, if you start with the Intelligent build, your high Encyclopedia skill level will immediately inform you that you have woken up in the city of Revachol. But if you start with the Sensitive option, you won’t know where you are and will have to piece together the same data. The best thing about Disco Elysium’s skill system is that your decisions always have an impact. For example, even though a sensitive person doesn’t know where he is, he can start looking for hints by questioning his necktie. Indeed, in a true sense.

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Disco Elysium’s skill system is great because your decisions always have an impact on the game’s outcome.

If you feel that isn’t varied enough, you have the option of creating your own detective from the ground up. The four main pillars of your character sheet are motor, physique, psyche, and intellect. Like Intellect’s Encyclopedia, each of these consists of six incredibly bizarre skills, each with unique bonuses. Would you like to earn the respect of the public? Allocate points to authority. Consider intimidating a witness. Boost the total of your physical instrument. Do you want to chat with that tie? Start fiddling with the Inland Empire measurement, a la David Lynch.

These abilities not only steer you in different directions, but also have their own unique voice that your detective hears during conversations and is displayed in the dialogue window. When you have high half light (a skill that lets you question suspects with more force), your brain may tell you to just punch the suspect in the face, but when you have high empathy, you may hear a voice telling you not to press too hard during a victim interrogation. They function as both a progress gate and in-game advice. Every 100 XP you gain—which you can obtain by either finishing tasks on your quest list or just by interacting with people and learning new things—earns you another skill point. You’ll have to carefully consider how you want to use them because leveling up does not happen very often. Still, it never feels like you’re waiting too long for the next skill point, and it feels about right.

Because of its extensive use of skill management, Disco Elysium plays unlike any other video game I’ve ever played. If you swap out all of Divinity: Original Sin 2’s turn-based combat for vintage LucasArts point-and-click missions, that game might be the closest comparison. Skill checks, which are interactions based on a combination of a dice roll and your stats, go hand in hand with solving puzzles. Your chances of rolling successfully increase with your number for the necessary skill. This mechanism resolves everything, including violent situations and conversation options as well as ledge jumps.

Because of its extensive use of skill management, Disco Elysium plays unlike any other video game I’ve ever played.

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But wait, there’s more: Disco Elysium doesn’t actually have traditional combat. Punching out is a matter of your detective’s will, and the penalties are typically verbal instead of physical. You mostly have two tools at your disposal: a roll of the dice and your (occasionally) silver tongue. Choosing the right conversational approach is often essential to resolving issues—not just with other people but also with the numerous voices in your head. Compared to more action-oriented RPGs, it’s a refreshing change of pace and a really enjoyable way to handle thrilling scenes. In Disco Elysium, I actually found that constructing my character sheet and chatting my way through situations was far more engaging than repeatedly slaying enemies with +2 blades.

For those familiar with Bethesda role-playing games, you will also notice that clothing has an impact on your skills, both positively and negatively. Donning a replica of the hat worn by the fictional detective Dick Mullen can increase your Encyclopedia score by one point. Efficient costume changes come in handy when you have to make a dice roll that initially appears too challenging. When faced with a mural in a particularly seedy area of town, I once had to use a lot of Shivers, a technique that allows you to “raise the hair on your neck” and “tune into the city” to interpret your surroundings. My character had a low Shivers stat by default, but I soon had enough by changing my jacket and wearing some fancy shades to increase the likelihood of my roll to an alluring 72%. I took a chance, got lucky, and quickly changed back into my outfit of choice.

Every one of these situations is a mini-puzzle where you try to increase your stats by using the items in your inventory. This is where a little creative thinking is required. Additionally, you can increase your own performance by drinking alcohol or using drugs, like speed. These cost you your health and morale, but they momentarily strengthen an entire pillar of your character sheet for an hour of gameplay. But I never really thought there was much of a risk involved, so I wound up taking drugs on a regular basis to get that much-needed push over the fence. To be honest, I never really had to fiddle with my inventory, and I wish I had more excuses to. For the most part of the adventure, I found myself wearing the same clothes, though there were moments when I wished there had been a little more challenge. Fortunately, Disco Elysium’s compelling main narrative kept me interested throughout, so I didn’t miss the game’s lack of difficulty.

Fortunately, Disco Elysium’s compelling main narrative kept me interested throughout, so I didn’t miss the game’s lack of difficulty.

In addition to developing your skills, you can also spend points in your thought cabinet—a special mechanism that transforms mental inventory into abstract ideas like Communism, recollections of your favorite flavors, or even the simple misconception that you’re a rock star. It fits in perfectly with the idea that in Disco Elysium, your mind plays a major role in half of the action. Internalizing a thought that you have discovered on your journey can lead to a number of benefits. These range from special traits to XP boosts and stat increases. They can also have some serious drawbacks, but part of the fun is speculating on the potential advantages of pondering over something like the “Volumetric Shit Compactor” for some time.

After gestating a single thought for seven hours, I received a perk called “The Wompty-Dompty Dom Center” that granted me 10 XP whenever I utilized my Encyclopedia stat in conversation. However, it also deducted two points from my Suggestion stat due to my self-proclaimed “pretentious wanker” nature. It’s a very strange system, in part because every time you finish a thought, a brand-new, incredibly grotesque illustration painting appears on your screen. This reminds me of Francisco Goya’s “Black Paintings” period, which are filled with ominous imagery that bespeaks a dark vision of humanity.

Moving with the rhythm

In the once-proud capital of the world you wake up in, Revachol, society seems a thing of the past. The area you’ll spend the most of your time in, Martinique, is a poor center of resentment and unhappiness, but it’s also a fascinating place to be. Everyone seems unhappy from the outside, maybe with the exception of those few who are hungrier than others and have a rapacious fist for power. It’s a masterfully rendered portrayal of a decidedly ugliness; you get a sense of the sort of place you’ll be spending more than thirty hours exploring right away; snow gently patters down on deserted cars, dilapidated buildings loom over the streets, and shattered statues honoring a long-forgotten battle serve as a constant reminder of what transpired here.

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Vision Quest: The Final Cut

The Political Vision Quests are among The Final Cut’s most significant additions. There is only one of these four optional objectives available to you per playthrough because they are mutually exclusive. These objectives provide 20 to 30 minutes of enjoyable, new detective work and maintain a connection to your political inclinations throughout the story. They do a great job of teaching you more about the world and quirky characters of Revachol, one of Disco Elysium’s main draws, even though they don’t directly affect the main plot.

Many of the dialogue choices you made influenced your character’s leanings, from fascist to liberal and everything in between. The original release included a lot of political theory. Whatever route you chose, there never seemed to be a satisfying conclusion or payoff, though. By including these quest lines toward the end of the story, The Final Cut offers precisely what was lacking and lets you dedicate yourself entirely to a particular school of thought.

I decided to embrace Communism during my playthrough of The Final Cut, which led to an odd, perplexing, and ultimately enriching conversation with two new characters I wouldn’t have otherwise encountered. One of the main draws of Disco Elysium has always been Revachol and its socio-political past, so I was naturally delighted to learn more about it while also having more chances to develop my protagonist and help him find his place in the world.
The density of a game’s world can occasionally feel overwhelming with maps dominated by icons and vast stretches of land begging to be explored. Disco Elysium never overwhelms you with a lot to do; instead, it encourages you to take your time and learn everything at your own pace. It’s up to you to decide whether or not to believe what you find; after all, you are a detective.

You’ll probably want to click on each prompt as well, and it’s difficult to overlook any because you can highlight any clickable item on the screen by holding Tab, which is a very helpful feature that many adventure game fans are familiar with. Disco Elysium is important because it never hinders your progress, even though its dialogue and phrasing can be intentionally obscure at times. Despite the rapid growth of my task list, I never felt overwhelmed by the incredibly dense experience; the menu clearly lists tasks with ample indications of the desired achievements.
An exaggerated Francis Bacon seems to have painted every new face on a canvas, resulting in an exquisitely rendered portrait.

The central aspect of this is the diverse group of characters in Disco Elysium and how their tales connect to your own and the world they live in. An exaggerated Francis Bacon seems to have painted each new face’s exquisitely rendered portrait on a canvas. Each person’s background can be inferred from a few phrases spoken in their presence or from a cursory glance at their face, indicating their fully developed nature. They include Evrart Claire, a cunning union boss who resembles Jabba the Hutt, and Cuno, a foul-mouthed boy who enjoys hurling rocks at your subject’s suspended corpse (he is, to be honest, a little shit). In Revachol, it’s uncommon to come across someone kind, so when you do connect with someone and engage in a dialogue that verges on being courteous, it’s even more remarkable.


Disco Elysium is a distinctive mash-up of classic pen-and-paper role-playing games, noir-detective fiction, and a heaping helping of existentialist philosophy. The intricate storyline, ensemble of endearing characters, and overwhelming amount of options combine to create an experience that begs to be savored. I found myself wanting to spend more time in its world because it achieves every single goal it sets out to accomplish. With new quests and a fully voiced cast of characters, The Final Cut eliminates all of my minor complaints from the original and turns Disco Elysium from an already amazing role-playing game into a must-play masterpiece.

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