How to start....I'm only about 4 hours in but this game has me captivated like nothing else this year. Imagine Divinity in a european future as a drunk cop and the most conversational freedom and detail I've seen in a game in ages. Beautifully drawn world, hilarious and intelligent writing, and insane replayability. In my few hours I've already blown quite a few skill checks that led me to discover entirely new routes to progress, harassed citizens, collected bottles for recycling, and succumbed to my own psyche insisting that I take up smoking cigarettes again. Any adventure game or CRPG fans need this NOW.
You folks need to play this!
This popped up on my radar yesterday after the great reviews. It looks fantastic. I've added it to my wishlist and thinking of playing it fairly soon.
One question I have is how difficult is it? Do you have to do a lot of puzzle solving and obtuse trial and error sort of detective work? Or can you just go through doing what you like?
@gerrid:I've played another hour, its definitely possible to progress after many failures, plenty of failed skill checks had different, sometimes more complicated workarounds. Some you can re-attempt after developing the related skill further as well. Its definitely obtuse in the sense that you can make something happen by being a weirdo, but there is a fairly detailed quest log to point you in the right direction as well.
@finaldasa: Its silly, but the writing is violent and poetic at times too, it definitely doesn't feel like a spoof of a game by any means.
I'm very into it thus far and how aggressively weird it can get. I've seen some stuff that suggests you can get into some really crazy bullshit, at least far more crazy than my mostly strait-laced (Superstar, but also Boring Centrist) cop has dealt with.
I'm not going to throw around any serious qualitative comparisons until I finish it, but it's already a better tribute to Planescape Torment than Tides of Numenera was.
It's on my radar for sure, but I've got a lot to play right now. Will try to get into it around the holidays, it sounds great from everything I've heard. Austin seemed pretty apprehensive about it on the latest WPR but he only played two hours I think. Most other impressions and reviews are glowingly positive.
Bought it on sight but I haven’t had a chance to start it yet. I have a week-off coming soon and I hope to do a deep dive in this and Outer Worlds.
My only hope is that there’s not too much combat, it always has been my least favourite part of the Infinity Engine games back then. I bought it knowing it’d be interesting to me but without reading too much about it to keep the surprise intact, so I know absolutely nothing about the combat and if it plays a big part in the game.
This game won't be for everyone but it is pretty damn revolutionary in what it is doing. I don't know of many RPGs that push for Choice & Consequence as hard as this game. I mean the different combinations there are for builds and how it affects your conversations and interactions with NPC's and what you can do and see is staggering.
It provides so much replay value. And the writing is just terrific. And the art for the skills and portraits is impressive, to say the least. This is not a game that comes around often, this is one of those unique moments of a small knit group of very talented people making something truly special together.
I'm not sure how to describe it fully since i'm barely an hour in. As of now, it's reading a crime novel with choose-your-own-adventure elements. There's absolutely some tabletop in there based on the literal dice rolls, but this is a (very long) novel through and through. Consider it's a FIFTEEN YEAR PROJECT it's clearly ambitious and from the tiniest slice I've played, quite fleshed out in its ways.
Protip: you don't need to and shouldn't do the video game thing of going through all the conversation trees. The NPCs will call you a weirdo or whatever and it'll end up badly. Roleplay this guy! He's a big weirdo!
Looks like we got one from Alex and Abby! https://www.giantbomb.com/shows/disco-elysium/2970-19707/free-video?autoplay=1
I’m absolutely adoring the game right now, I do have issues with it but they’re small compared to everything this gets right.
One thing though, I currently feel somewhat stuck. I have three leads that will open the next day but it feels like I exhausted what I can realistically do until those open. Reading a book help pass time but it becomes dull quite fast. I still wish there were other ways to pass time. If you have tips I’ll take them!
Ok so I got this last night and tried it on Steam in-home streaming. Works like a dream on that by the way, perfect candidate for that sort of set up.
After about 3 minutes talking to the mirror I knew I was into it, and when I died because I turned on the ceiling light and the shock of it stopped my weak heart, giving me an instant game over, I knew I was all in. Also busted my knee trying to punch that scouse kid throwing rocks at the victim's corpse.
I'm here because I was disappointed in the Quicklook and would recommend anybody looking for opinions on the game seek out additional sources of coverage.
The way this game handles the actual RPG 'mechanics' (Skill points and dialog trees specifically) is something I haven't really seen before, and it makes the game worth picking up later on sale even if you don't think you're into 'reading' your way through a thirty+ hour game. If you *are* intending the play the game, and you aren't sure what kind of character you want to make, I'd highly recommend creating a custom characters with two of your 'attributes' (Intellect, Psyche, etc) at '4' and two of your attributes at '2.' The extremes can be fun if you have a specific character concept in mind but you'll get the most 'interaction' with your skills if you have a large number of them slightly above average.
I thought the game was great, and that some misunderstandings about the game combined with a brutish character build tainted the Quicklook. Make a dude you wanna role play!
*trigger warning for cis men don't @ me*
Gotten further into this game after having a very bad first impression with it. I've pushed past the initial cringe I get from much of the writing, and started to enjoy the game for its structure and complexity. I've opened up the whole map I think (except for maybe 1 small area). For me, the writing is seriously juvenile, but it's structurally well-written. The choices feel good, the characters' stories are teased and unveiled creatively, and the core story and its supporting sub-plots are all doled out in a very satisfying manner.
To be more specific, what I can't stand is the *way* it's written. It's just shy of meme-y, just shy of 4th-wall breaking, just shy of insufferable. It feels like it was written by Reddit (70% cis straight white males -- no really go look it up -- that think they're on the bleeding edge of 'progress' when they're really just boring centrists disguised as milquetoast liberals). There was a time in my life, maybe 10 years ago, when this would have been the near-pinnacle of gaming for me, but not anymore. I do like it though, and I'm going to finish it.
I hope to be swayed even more by the end.
I started out a bit blown away by how much it held firm to CRPG style gaming...but as I go, it just isn't grabbing me. While I'm not sure I agree with the perspective that it is centrist, it does feel very juvenile at times. Or...to put it another way...its writing feels like whomever was writing it was constantly patting themselves on the back for each overly flowery turn of phrase.
I still love that it exists and am glad to see it doing well. I think I was just hoping for more.
@sethmode:hah that's kind of how I felt with it. Like the creators were sitting behind me waiting for my reaction and appreciation after every 'witty' or self-indulgent chunk of dialog. It just needed more subtlety.
@development: how would you characterize “cis white straight male” writing? I’m not baiting - I’ve seen the term used before and googling gives you 100 different takes on the matter.
I should say I've since gone back and finished it and I really like the game. A lot. And after hearing from outside sources that the devs are communist it kind of informs more of the dialog. I'm one myself, so I'm not saying that as a bad thing. The problem is they still frontload the game with a lot of objectification of women while offering no guarantee to the audience that the game itself is not that sexist; so, for many women or people like me, I wouldn't be surprised at all if they loaded it up because everyone was talking about it and then just walked away after 40 minutes thinking "oh.. it's... just reddit personified; of course it's popular. Oh well, not for me." I shouldn't have to read that they're using VO from members of one of my favorite leftist podcasts to start recontextualizing their pov. Basically, if they cared more about women the first 2 hours of the game would be written to reflect that. And no I'm not saying they should even remove anything; I'm saying they could've swapped some stuff around. There's a way to preserve the integrity of the writing and still create a more approachable game. If they truly didn't care what women thought, then sure, write whatever, but I don't believe that was their wish.
And to actually answer your question: cis means a person who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth. White means they're white, and carrying all the associated unfair advantages they may not even be aware of (there's so, so many). Ditto for 'male'. Putting that in writing would mean to just... write. No matter what the writers do they're still going to be exactly that, so all their writing is that as well... albeit less-so if they're getting edits and input from non-cis-straight-male people. But, in the case of something like Disco Elysium, it also means making those 3 things glaringly obvious to the reader.
Also sorry my previous post I was high on caffeine and I was being an asshole on purpose. Okay I'm still high on caffeine
I’m only 1.5 days into it, but I think it’s not doing it for me. If we can take a step back: D&D and other pen-and-paper RPGs essentially offer two things:
-wargaming, where you establish shit like you’re 20 feet from an enemy, the enemy has half-cover, and you hit the enemy if you roll X
-roleplaying, where you design a character and can decide how they would interact with the social and natural world around them
Most video games have increasingly focused on the war gaming, and only some of the more revered CRPGs have anything close to a decent emphasis on roleplaying in addition to the wargaming mechanics. So I see why Disco Elysium stands out, in that it ENTIRELY focuses on the roleplaying mechanics, and has no wargaming. Any “combat” that occurs is as much of a one-off, singular skill check as any “suggestion” or “empathy” roll. In this respect, it’s like all the end of year Beastcasts with Austin, where he chooses a RPG system with deliberately simple mechanics and a focus more on storytelling/roleplaying than wargaming. Disco Elysium might be the video game that is closest to achieving something like Fiasco, though it’s still missing that essential give and take between the player and DM, because in video games the DM/game sadly cannot improvise.
So yes, the skill system is refreshing, and I wish it were in a game I liked more.
I think I just find the setting tedious? Like, for all intents and purposes it’s set in 90s Earth, with the history slightly different, but more or less the same set of ideologies and current level of technology and also disco happened. The game takes place in essentially Hong Kong but if it was in Europe, as far as I can gather. I just find it exhausting that the game has a fake Korea, fake U.N., fake Marx, all with different fake names. If you were so set on making a nonfantastical modern day setting, why not just set it on actual Earth, but do some alternate history and say WW2 and/or the Cold War went differently. At least the names would make sense and all I’d have to memorize are the historical differences. I’m guessing it’s deliberate that there is no codex because it’s “not that kind of game”, and instead they give you big in-conversation info dumps from characters like Joyce. But I feel that it gets too jargony in making me remember all these made up names for what are pretty clearly analogues to Earth races and nations. Hell, this year we saw Fire Emblem: Three Houses take place in fake Britain, but at least it had the decency to put a library in-world that would give you the quick summary of history of each country. I feel like Disco Elysium either needed that, or I wish it had Pyre’s system of letting you mouse over proper nouns mid-dialogue for background detail, even if that background detail was limited to what your dumbass amnesiac brain has heard since the start of the game. The game references its history and politics constantly, so I feel like it needs SOMETHING like a codex, instead of the lore being scattered across dozens of different conversations, some repeatable, some not.
Also, I want to generally praise the overall insanity of the writing. It’s truly nuts. But I still think it’s gamey as hell when the game still has a version of the paragon/renegade thing in it. There’s just too many instances where in normal cop interactions, they give you 4 options that clearly map to [superstar cop/apocalypse cop/boring cop/the other one]. Or when someone asks your opinion on anything to do with politics/cops/labour rights/anything, the options clearly map to [communist/fascist/centrist/neoliberal/some kind of free market libertarian]. I guess I wish the dialogue options were more naturalistic, instead of all of a sudden wandering into a set of dialogue options that is like “Once again, espouse one of these political ideologies to your cop partner/a random person on the street.” Like maybe mask it better, throw some options in alongside those choices that also seem like a valid answer to the given question without overtly moving any of these meters up or down. Just like paragon/renegade, the options are so shallow. All of the answers lack any nuance, and your answer just boils down “workers are great and always right/nationalism is great and always right/the market economy is great and always right/I’m an apolitical coward if I don’t aggressively take any of the prior stances.” I mean, if you wanna tell me that the game is actually a satire of political discourse on Twitter, then my hat is off to them, they’ve done it.
Anyway, it might be a symptom of me being still relatively early in the game (is 1.5 days still very early?), but the story could not be less interesting to me. I’m just not intrigued at all. Like, yep, my character is a piece of shit with (seemingly) non mysterious, alcohol-induced amnesia. Yep, some guy got lynched for what seem like very mundane reasons. I like the game’s bizarre writing of the 24 character traits and the colourful cast of characters and that’s the thing keeping me playing, but I could not be less interested by the actual detective story. There’s just no interesting hook to it at all.
@bisonhero: I would say that 1.5 days is still pretty early on. I think an interesting strength and/or weakness of the structure of the game is that the various twists that might hook you about the murder can be discovered at wildly different playing times depending on what skill checks you pass. It stays true to how the game wants to structure itself but could definitely see it leaving some to feel like the plot is too boring for too long at the start.
Personally, I thought the pacing of the main plot ended up being pretty good but what I'll remember about this game are some of the great characters and side stories that you come across in the world.
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