A look at the abyss

A look at the abyss

“Disco Elysium: The Final Cut” was released this week without much fanfare on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Google Stadia, and also as an upgrade for the PC. Since the original PC version was released in the fall of 2019, I have been looking forward to the console release. ZA / UM has now given a full-fledged police role-playing game audio output, which should suit those who don’t want to read long scripts on TV. However, you can still see the PC roots in RPG in a big way. As I was able to find on the test, this is especially true of the positives – but now and then the negativity as well.

Important note: I was not able to play through “Disco Elysium: The Final Cut” completely, because like everyone else, I was only allowed to start the release on March 30, 2021. The game hit the PlayStation Store relatively surprisingly after it was not available for order. Advance before. With approximately 9 GB, it is extremely thin to download. There should also be a physical copy with all kinds of rewards – but only in the summer of 2021 and At $ 249.99. This is a thing for true hardcore fans.

Currently, “Disco Elysium: The Final Cut” is also not yet available for Xbox and Nintendo Switch consoles. These platforms also won’t be available until summer 2021. Now I have a role-playing game myself On Sony PlayStation 5 play. Before I get back to the bits and pieces, join the story: “Disco Elysium: The Final Cut” takes you into a dark world in the not-too-distant future, where a cop murder is supposed to happen in a dismal city. The game has a lot in common with titles like “Cyberpunk 2077,” “Persona 5 Royal,” or “Yakuza: Like A Dragon,” but most likely with “Planescape Torment” or its indirect successor, “Torment: Tides of Numenera”.

So there is not a single battle in the classic sense. Instead, in the beginning, you distribute Trait Points to characteristics like the psyche, intellect, and body of your character, just like in a pen-and-paper role-playing game. Depending on the traits you place more points on, you start with higher skills. However, these skills are not a guarantee of a successful approach. If a Skill Check is deserved in a particular situation, then the dice are actually rolled. You have a chance for success up front and you can then decide if you want to try your luck.

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So it can happen that you are unlucky with the bounty of empathy despite a 90 percent chance of success. But sometimes these options are amusing, especially since you can run most skill tests again after a while. If you lack physical strength and dexterity and want to catch your raincoat from an air, it may fail at first – and it can get discouraged accordingly. Your “life energy” consists of two values: health and morals. Health can deteriorate if you feel desperate from physical demands or otherwise strain your personality. Conversely, failure with mental tasks can lower your morale.

For example, I wanted to impress a bookseller’s daughter with my police tastes, who went completely wrong. A kid’s disappointment then flooded my character’s mood and sank in spirits. When health or morale reaches zero, the game is over. However, in the gaming world or in stores, you can always find medicines that will feed you again. Even a good night’s sleep completely heals the character. Since getting to bed has its drawbacks at first …

Because in the beginning the hero was a wreck who dismantled his hotel room while he was drunk. So you have to pay every day up front, and that’s a challenge. Making money is tough because you can find a few cents on the street every now and then, but that’s it. With a plastic bag, you can at least go to collect the bottles, but other than that you have to hope for the support of your partner Kim Kitsuragi. The latter not only acts as a keyword in hairy situations, but also has its own opinion. So you can either be good with him or frighten him.

This is how you work with everyone you meet in “Disco Elysium: The Final Cut”. Not only do you argue with the other characters, you also have inner monologues. This is solved in a very interesting way, because different aspects of the character enter into dialogue with each other. For example, sympathy and authority can oppose each other and suggest very different approaches in the event of a racist truck driver. In general, there is no simple moral system: You decide how to develop your character with his decisions.

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These decisions have not only external consequences, but internal consequences as well. For example, if you always apologize for your drunken excesses, your brain quickly suggests classifying it as an “sorry cop.” If you verbally offend the working class, you might emerge as a communist. But you always have a choice if you want to tolerate these proportions. Then it is developed in the character’s idea locker. It sounds complicated, but it’s like Loot or Perks, as we know it from “Fallout”: you simply get certain penalties and rewards through “thoughts.”

This also applies to the different clothes you get in the game. The fun thing about it is that you never feel like it’s just refreshing the stat. There is always a logical story behind it: Anyone who wears ugly sunglasses, for example, loses their charm, but shows his self-confidence, whatever happens. Or those who contemplate physical perfection get rewards if they swagger without a shirt, but have limited their logical thinking.

The opportunity to develop new ideas often arises from amusing situations, but sometimes it stimulates the thinking itself. Do you really want to develop silly ideas about race theory just to get past a tough guy who is physically superior to you? This is a decision that not only baffles the main character and her partner. With “Disco Elysium: The Final Cut” I was always in close contact with what was going on on screen, so I automatically decided how I would likely interact in reality.

Technically, the game is a little mixed up at launch. Unfortunately, the title doesn’t keep 60fps constant and the process is still very stuck to the roots of the PC. For example, it is often difficult to inspect objects in the game world and you have to tick them twice or press the X button multiple times because the first attempt is ignored. This should be more flexible. It didn’t spoil me the fun of the game. So I can live with jagged edges because RPGs are so beautifully written. Every dialogue deserves to be read and heard. But it should be the case, because even one-on-one conversations can be very long and take 15 minutes or more if you exhaust all dialogue options.

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The graphics use a very effective watery style that I really like personally, even if the game exudes a lot of heartache. It’s nice that the developers added a lot of black humor. Often this is just ridiculous. Musically speaking, there’s British C Power’s Spartan music, which I actually found on my playlists from time to time before ‘Disco Elysium: The Final Cut’. In general, the acoustic range is somewhat reserved so it is only welcome that there is now a full audio output.

Every once in a while, I had the error that the letters became muted after all – restarting the conversation fixed the issue in every case. The audio output (in English exclusively) is very successful and the characters are well represented. You can also prepare texts in German, even if you compare the excerpts and if in doubt, I will be inclined to use the original text. Especially since the mixture of spoken English and written German bothered me personally.

As I said, I didn’t play with “Disco Elysium: The Final Cut” – you could probably invest between 20 to 30 hours until the end credits flashed across the screen. I’ve really liked the title so far and it can also fulfill my expectations with its clever narration. In particular, it is very natural how the various quests fill in the notes of the hero and how the strings stack up here. Many of the missions are optional, but all dialogues are consistently high quality that you would like to take with you everything this game world has to offer.

In this regard, I would like to recommend “Disco Elysium” to those looking for an RPG with narrative depth and who enjoy the calm needed after the first 10 hours of gameplay. If you appreciate vintage role-playing games, you have come to the right place.

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