• Publisher: ZA/UM
  • Release Date: Oct 15, 2019
Metascore
90

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Nov 7, 2019
    100
    Disco Elysium is not only a deep, innovative RPG, but is also one of those pieces of art that emerge maybe only once a decade. The Belarusian developers brutally throw the loneliness, struggles and helplessness of modern human into the players faces and leave them to deal with it. Disco Elysium not only offers a very deep and engaging story, but also mixes it superbly with some top of the line role playing elements, and gives you one of the most special experiences in recent years.
  2. Nov 4, 2019
    100
    Disco Elysium is a mad, sprawling detective story where the real case you've got to crack isn't who killed the man strung up on a tree in the middle of town--though that in itself, replete with dozens of unexpected yet intertwined mysteries and wild excursions into the ridiculous, is engrossing enough to sustain the game. Rather, it’s an investigation of ideas, of the way we think, of power and privilege, and of how all of us are shaped, with varying degrees of autonomy, by the society we find ourselves in.
  3. 100
    Disco Elysium blew my mind with its radically simple but deep approach to roleplaying. Its world and characterisation are brought to life by artistry and writing that are nothing short of astounding. Somehow, the stars aligned with absurd ambition, sheer fledgling talent and a decade of pen and paper storytelling in the Elysium universe to create something truly special. Is Disco Elysium the best RPG of all time? I can’t make that call. Is it the best game I’ve played all year? Absolutely.
  4. Oct 21, 2019
    100
    So deep, so well-written, so pleasant to watch, so funny and so dark, so clever, so free and replayable : for sure Disco Elysium is the kind of trip you will remember. One of the best RPGs ever made.
  5. Oct 21, 2019
    100
    There’s depth, hundreds of hours of replayability and above all, an experience you won’t forget. With humour, panache, wit and genuinely touching moments, this is a hell of a story.
  6. Oct 16, 2019
    96
    Disco Elysium is a unique blend of noir-detective fiction, traditional pen-and-paper RPGs, and a large helping of existentialist theory. Its twisting plot, cast of memorable characters, and sheer depth of choice combine to create an experience that begs to be savoured. A few minor gripes aside, it hits on almost every single one of the marks it sets out to achieve and left me yearning to spend more time in its world.
  7. Nov 4, 2019
    95
    I loved it, though I barely understood much of it. It's a wild ride despite being mostly walls of text. It's the only game where I honestly couldn't say what I thought my character would do at any given turn because I felt I barely knew him, and that was, I feel, by design. You're getting to know him as you're making the choices that define him. Like you are, in a way, with yourself in real life.
  8. Nov 1, 2019
    95
    Disco Elysium is a difficult game to describe, but it’s easy to recommend. One of the most inventive games in recent memory, it’s an often cynical, mean-spirited RPG that’s nonetheless full of beauty and humanity. While its obsession with the nastier parts of the human psyche will definitely turn some people off, the depth of its story and systems reward a deep dive into the mire, as do its beautiful art and writing.
  9. Oct 28, 2019
    95
    One of the most intoxicating and dazzlingly dense RPGs of its generation that deserves to be in the GOTY conversation.
  10. Oct 28, 2019
    95
    Disco Elysium goes straight to the hall of fame of RPGs where it will sit right besides Planetscape Torment. A true masterpiece.
  11. Oct 15, 2019
    95
    It's impossible not to fall for Disco Elysium, from its intriguing murder detective work to the world it depicts, not to mention the voices inside your own head. It's an experience that could easily make the top of some Game of Year lists and for good reason.
  12. Nov 1, 2019
    94
    Disco Elysium is the triumphant return of the spirit of Planescape: Torment. A triumph for fans of interactive fiction and cRPGS, with a fascinating world and a exciting story that adapts to the character you want to be.
  13. Oct 15, 2019
    93
    I’ve never laughed this much while playing a game. Well-read, nihilistic, dark, and intellectual, Disco Elysium is like your favorite poli-sci professor huffed paint and ran naked through the quad.
  14. 92
    Disco Elysium is a little great masterpiece that, due to slow gameplay and its impressive quantity and quality of dialogues, cannot be appreciated by everyone. Unfortunately for them, of course.
  15. Nov 6, 2019
    92
    So what’s Disco Elysium about? On the one hand, I don’t want to spoil a single second. But on the other hand, nothing I could say would have enough context to qualify as a spoiler. It takes place in Revachol, a fantasy city in a fictitious world. It’s like a cross between Portland and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, in what could be the steampunk 1890s, the funky 1970s, or modern day. The story is nakedly political, involving a dispute between a union, the company, and the scabs who want to get back to work. There are multiple factions of racists you’ll have to rhetorically contend with, and various hucksters trying to make a buck. The world is not our own, but the fantasy of it allows the game to dig really deep, and I considered political views I hadn’t had to confront in years.
  16. Oct 25, 2019
    92
    A brave and absolutely brilliant take on RPGs, that despite its many inspirations manages to stay brilliantly unique. One of the most exceptional surprises if the year, and a must play for anybody who loves this complex genre or good writing.
  17. Oct 15, 2019
    92
    The thing about Disco Elysium is that my experience of it is completely unique to me, such is the dizzying variety of skills, stats, thoughts, and conversation options on offer. You could play through it five times and still not see everything, so there's no one experience to assess. But I can say with certainty that it's one of the finest RPGs on PC if you value depth, freedom, customisation, and storytelling.
  18. Nov 12, 2019
    90
    This investigative RPG surprises and delights with its complex world, fantastic dialogue, and ability to convey a constant struggle with the warring facets of one’s own mind.
  19. Nov 11, 2019
    90
    Quotation forthcoming.
  20. Nov 10, 2019
    90
    An utterly original RPG that sets new genre standards for exploration and conversation systems, and a brilliantly written tragicomedy about our inability to release the linchpins of our identity. Even when they hurt us.
  21. Edge Magazine
    Nov 10, 2019
    90
    Disco Elysium's skill system is a marvelous reworking of calcified genre conventions. [Issue#339, p.100]
  22. Nov 8, 2019
    90
    Even for those inexperienced with text-heavy CRPGs, it’s hard to imagine anyone won't find at least something to admire in Disco Elysium. Highly recommended, and sure to be a GOTY contender.
  23. Nov 3, 2019
    90
    With the quality of writing and the inventiveness of design, Disco Elysium brilliantly faces the traditions of role-playing. In doing so, it paradoxically succeeds in overcoming them where more "innovative" titles have failed, demonstrating that innovation is not enough as the sole aim and motivation to make a great game, but that a great game can be, by virtue of its qualities, innovative.
  24. Oct 25, 2019
    90
    Disco Elysium is an impressive RPG that eschews combat for conversations and introduces an engaging world that rewards inquisitiveness.
  25. Oct 23, 2019
    90
    Disco Elysium is an amazing RPG with a great detective story and a lot of freedom for the players to complete the adventure the way they want to.
  26. Oct 21, 2019
    90
    Disco Elysium is my game of the year.
  27. Oct 18, 2019
    90
    The game offers one of the most fascinating, unique, and fulfilling portrayals of the human mind.
  28. Oct 17, 2019
    90
    I didn’t expect to find another game this year as conspicuously well written as “Sunless Skies,” or as adept in its use of noir as “Neo Cab,” but here it is.
  29. Oct 17, 2019
    90
    Disco Elysium is a noir cRPG made of the dream-stuff: it's complex, politically involved and a true piece of art. Sometimes it can be slow, but it's a wonderful trip.
  30. Oct 17, 2019
    90
    Disco Elysium is a powerful uber-creative experience that plays with our human condition showing us what we are and what we can be. The gameplay is deep and the production values are stellar, especially in the writing department.
  31. Oct 16, 2019
    90
    Disco Elysium wants to get you in touch with the voices in your head. This detective RPG calls back to the old Infinity Engine games like Planescape: Torment and Baldur's Gate, but it put a unique spin on everything. With a beautiful oil painting aesthetic, it also features a system that treats your skill like additional party members, each with their own opinions on your actions. Ultimately, every lengthy run-though of Disco Elysium is about the consequences of your choices and actions, adding up to some fantastic stories. A great, surprising entry into RPG canon.
  32. Oct 15, 2019
    90
    In many ways, it's a brilliant game.
  33. Oct 14, 2019
    90
    Despite being just the first title to be produced by the independent developers of ZA/UM Studio, Disco Elysium is undoubtedly an indie masterpiece that will be regarded as one of the benchmarks with which we compare all future endeavours in the isometric RPG genre.
  34. Oct 15, 2019
    88
    Disco Elysium is a true success in its field. The writing is clever and insightful, offering a thrilling story and tasty dialogues. The different choices available through the skill system allow every player to have a completely different experience based on his skill tree, offering endless replayability. The artistic direction and music are both diversely inspired and should satisfy any fan of the genre. However be aware, if you want a action-packed gameplay, Disco Elysium is a classic Point'n Click.
  35. Oct 30, 2019
    87
    A few aspects are a tad rigid, but the possibilities and options, especially in building and enhancing your unique character are something very special.
  36. Nov 11, 2019
    85
    The heart and soul of Disco Elysium is stumbling through success, which has a certain charm to it. Sometimes that road is bumpy and restricted, but the fluff behind those bumps is at least interesting.
  37. Nov 5, 2019
    85
    Disco Elysium is one of the most interesting games we’ve seen in decades in terms of its themes and writing. A conversation heavy investigative RPG that leans very heavily on the genre’s pen and paper roots. We’ve not seen this type of RPG in quite some time, and certainly not one as well executed as this. If you like your RPG’s densely worded I think you’ll find a lot to like here.
  38. Oct 21, 2019
    85
    An excellent role-playing game that will delight lovers of the genre but does not serve as an entrance for new players.
  39. Oct 17, 2019
    85
    Occasionally obtuse and slow, Disco Elysium excels at delivering one of the best role-playing game experiences in a very long time with exceptional writing, world building and mechanical immersion.
  40. Nov 13, 2019
    84
    Disco Elysium is an experience that other developers will be hurrying to unpack so they can try to steal some of its magic. It's been a long time since a video game story has gotten its hooks into me quite as this one has. Despite some shortcomings, I'll be remembering the characters and moments from this adventure for years to come.
  41. Nov 7, 2019
    80
    A refreshingly original, visually striking adventure with a wonderful world full of detail. Beware, however, the extreme amount of written dialogue, reading of which will be your full-time occupation.
  42. Nov 6, 2019
    80
    Disco Elysium deserves applause for having a singular vision and generally bringing it to fruition through its art, writing, setting, characters and gameplay mechanics which suggest the heyday of classic isometric RPGs. At the same time, it can feel joyless and self-consciously weighted down by its bleak vision of the world, despite a steady drip of cynical, eccentric humor. Disco Elysium was perhaps the best example in years of a game that I appreciated but didn’t much enjoy.
  43. Oct 21, 2019
    75
    Disco Elysium is an intelligent game with lots to say, but struggles with its tone while saying it.
  44. Oct 21, 2019
    70
    A fiercely original take on traditional computer role-playing games that often seems unrefined and self-indulgent but is still a welcome shake-up of genre norms.
This publication does not provide a score for their reviews.
This publication has not posted a final review score yet.
These unscored reviews do not factor into the Metascore calculation.
  1. Oct 18, 2019
    A verbose and rich psychological roleplaying game that doesn't offer enough choice in the role you play.
  2. Nov 11, 2019
    There’s unexpected joy in the little moments of Disco Elysium.
  3. Oct 16, 2019
    I also wish Disco Elysium were shorter, if only because I’d love to play through it as a completely different character on a completely different trajectory. Pick up a smoking habit! Tell everyone I lost my memory! Beat people up! I rarely get to replay games, especially ones that are 50-plus hours long. It’s hard to imagine seeing everything Disco Elysium has in store. Maybe that’s a good thing though. After all, what I’m getting is mine—something Jon Ingold told me when I first demoed Heaven’s Vault, the idea being that you can only have such a unique and personal connection to a game if it’s also possible to miss out on other parts. And hey, I have a loooooooong way to go in this first playthrough. That’s worth celebrating as well. I can’t wait to see what’s still in store. I think I might even find my gun soon. If I’m lucky.
  4. Nov 5, 2019
    The way the game’s systems interact, holding true to their own rules while allowing you to stray so far in multiple directions, turns Disco Elysium into a pure role-playing experience that feels wondrous and unique compared to its peers. I never feel like my lack of certain skills hinders my ability to progress; it simply pushes me toward more interesting solutions. When I play Disco Elysium, it plays back. [Polygon Recommends]
  5. A masterpiece, but flawed, and proof positive that if ZA/UM can do flawed masterpiece for their first outing, they might already be chipping away the flaws in time for their next.
  6. Nov 5, 2019
    Disco Elysium is one of the best roleplaying games you could hope to experience, provided you're looking for something savagely dark, political, and introspective...Bearing a brutal wit and a deep, contemplative story about depression, addiction, societal struggles, and everything in between, Disco Elysium is one of the most fascinating games you can play this year.
User Score
8.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 256 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 38 out of 256
  1. Oct 15, 2019
    10
    A unique Game of a kind, that revolutionize the RPGs with a level of writing rarely achieved elsewhere.
    True Detective plus Bukowski meets
    A unique Game of a kind, that revolutionize the RPGs with a level of writing rarely achieved elsewhere.
    True Detective plus Bukowski meets Pixar’s Inside Out where your thoughts and psyche are your skills and they talk to you.
    Just a masterpiece.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 16, 2019
    2
    If you are easily impressed by pretentious walls of text and think that a mixture of stereotype dark noir characters, alcoholism andIf you are easily impressed by pretentious walls of text and think that a mixture of stereotype dark noir characters, alcoholism and unappealing environments make for a deep experience, you are in for a treat. Just soak in that negativity, revel in pointless exchanges and a skill tree that adds a constant rain of arbitrary checks with every step you take. Never forget that you are playing a masterpiece, and every seemingly wasted minute you put into this will inevitably elevate you above those who dare question it's genius. Don't forget the planetscape reference. Full Review »
  3. Oct 18, 2019
    4
    First i wanted to note that i played Planescape: Torment right before the release of this game, so any comparisons i make have nothing to doFirst i wanted to note that i played Planescape: Torment right before the release of this game, so any comparisons i make have nothing to do with nostalgia or rose tinted goggles.
    Unlike the greatest written game of all time - Planescape, Disco Elysium falls into every possible pitfall of its genre. In no particular order:
    1) The writing is bloated and self-indulgent.
    Unlike what most people claim, Planescape was very concise and to the point. It respected your time and didn't waste it on meaningless paragraphs on paragraphs of text, that in the best postmodernist fashion mean absolutely nothing to the player. Planescape was never a diarrhea of words. Lore dumps were contained and almost entirely skipable(especially important on the subsequent playthroughs). Planescape trusted you to be smart enough and figure out less important parts of the world yourself.
    Disco Elysium is the opposite of that. Prepare to spend tens of hours of playtime on the text that has absolutely nothing to do with the tasks at hand or the dialogue. It came to the point that i now believe that you could cut 2/3 of the text and the players wont miss anything but fluff. The fluff is not as terrible and boring as in Pillars of Eternity, but there's more of it and its there to pad the playtime and validate someones degree in writing.
    2) Show - don't tell.
    The game is all "tell - don't show". You will read so much interesting(and unnecessary) history and lore that you will ask yourself, "why im in this boring **** looking for bottles, instead of those cool places".
    3) The humor is cringeworthy.
    Authors seem to think that "im so random an quirky" is funny. Needless to say if you don't like this type of humor, all of it will fall flat on its face.
    4) Politics and other controversial topics are all bark, no bite.
    Authors said that they will tackle politics and they did. Its done in the most limpdicked way possible, consisting mostly of "im a nihilist Morty" style of writing. One moment the game pretends to be edgy and dark(you can kill a minor and say you want to **** one), another its censoring words that you used when you were in a middle school. In the SAME scene.
    It laughs at every stance(by representing them as stupid), while trying(and failing) to pretend that it doesn't have a dog in the fight. If you do all 4 political stances as a separate playthroughs you will easily figure out what are the politics of the authors.
    5) The only actual gameplay is "collect the bottles".
    At first i though it was a joke aimed at Life is Strange, with its meme bottle collecting gameplay. How wrong i was. The rest of the game is walking and reading simulator with a dice game thrown in every once in a while.
    Say what you want about Planescape being a book and not a game, but it had a robust rule set, decent combat and fantastic spellcasting. On top of having better writing and story.
    6) Soundtrack is all over the place and almost never fits.
    Quality of the OST varies greatly and yet again reminded me of LiS. I also currently playing Persona 5 and i nearly threw up in my mouth after listening to some of the Elysium compositions. Ironically soundtrack of the game is a far cry from the fabled "disco life".
    7) Environments are nothing special.
    Given the lack of gameplay, one would expect it to look absolutely fantastic. In my opinion(and this is the first and the last time i will use this word) Planescape looked more atmospheric and interesting.
    8) Bugs
    I started the game with get the shoe quest being impossible to finish because the second shoe disappeared after i interacted with it, without giving me the usual internal dialogue. Reloading fixed nothing, i had to quit the game and start a new one.
    Dialogue window sometimes locks up with no text being displayed, and no option to close the window.
    I wasted a day researching an idea, only to then notice that it bugged out and stopped despite claiming that its internalizing.
    Some other minor bugs i cant remember from the top of my head.

    There are several other problems i have with the game and its developers, but i will not drag this out any longer and force you to read another blanket of text. Leave that to the game.
    Full Review »