Is That A Body? The One Colorfully Dancing? – Disco Elysium Review

Disco Elysium is an artistic masterpiece. One of the greatest games of all time. Melancholy, depression, and loneliness are expertly concealed behind humorous dialogues. An unforgettable experience that makes you laugh heartily while shedding tears.

This article contains spoilers only about the first 10 minutes of the game because I don’t want to spoil the experience. If you haven’t played Disco Elysium yet, I recommend avoiding other articles, guides, visuals, and even songs related to this game.

Disco Elysium: One of the Best-Written Games of All Time

Firstly, it’s important to note that Disco Elysium is not for RPG enthusiasts seeking action or combat scenes. Disco Elysium is often likened to old-school RPGs that gained fame in the late ’90s.

In this entirely dialogue-based game, you engage in conversations with intricately written realistic characters. And sometimes, with the voices inside your head.

Sometimes your inner thoughts converse with your outer voice.

Sometimes you talk with your tie.

And sometimes the city talks to you.

In essence, there’s a lot of talking in the game. I’m not saying there’s no combat, but it’s not a significant aspect. When talking about old-school RPGs, don’t expect something like Baldur’s Gate. Among old-school RPGs, Disco Elysium provides an experience closest to Planescape: Torment in terms of the emotions it evokes in players.

Those who love story-driven games and enjoy character interactions in BioWare’s RPGs are likely to be enchanted by this game.

Character Sheet

At the beginning of the game, as in many RPGs, you allocate points to your attributes to create your character. We have four ability groups: Intellect, Psyche, Physique, and Motorics.

Intellect involves abilities like knowing things, reasoning, and recalling information. Features like Rhetoric and Conceptualization in this group add depth to the game. Conceptualization is the ability to see art in the world, a kind of poetry. Rhetoric is the ability to understand implied meanings. Since the game is dialogue-based, guidance from Rhetoric such as “actually, he meant this” can be quite helpful.

Psyche involves abilities related to our mental state. For example, Volution is our ability to keep our morale high. It’s the inner voice saying, “You’re a champion, you can do it, you’ll handle it. Don’t let these things get to you.” Inland Empire is the inner voice contributing interesting insights. Esprit de Corps helps us sense how policing should be done since we remember nothing about being a police officer… or anything related to our life in the world.

Physique includes our physical abilities such as endurance and strength. Shivers, initially a bit hard to understand, allows us to feel the dynamics of the city in our body, becoming one with the city. It’s an interesting, almost supernatural ability.

Motorics involves perceiving our surroundings, adjusting our posture, and reacting quickly.

How Does Disco Elysium Begin?

With nothing. Only, warm primordial blackness.

Yes, baby! Blackness and nothing!

You loved that, didn’t you?

If you didn’t, it wouldn’t have started like that. Apparently, you’ve walked a path leading to darkness and nothingness. You’ve fought against everything else, running into the arms of nothingness. Congratulations, you’re the victor. You don’t remember anything now. Absolutely nothing. All that’s left is a dark void.

They tell you that you’re a cop. A detective? They talk about a body. A week-old corpse? Hanging from a… tree? Lynched. A week ago? You were responsible for taking down the body. Why haven’t you done it for days?

What have you been doing here for days without even taking down the body?

What? Don’t you remember?

Do I have to read a lot?

When the game was released in 2019, it received very positive reviews. Before the update that included voiceovers for all the text in the game, there were two types of reactions: Those who fell in love with the game and those who got bored of reading.

There is indeed a lot of text in the game because it’s entirely dialogue-based. Sometimes a dialogue with just one NPC can take almost two hours in real life. Words flow. Then something crosses your mind, and you drift into thoughts. The cacophony of voices in your head overwhelms the dialogue with the person in front of you. Then the character you’re talking to looks at you and says,

“Are you okay, officer?”

You’re not.

Not okay.

With the update, having all the text listenable makes the gameplay much more comfortable. By the way, voiceovers are only available in English. If you can understand English conversations without reading, the pain of reading is pretty reduced, at least for your eyes. There’s nothing to be done about mental and emotional pain.

It’s worth noting that the voice actors are amazing. Each inner voice skillfully conveys the emotion it represents. The characters have tones that match their personalities. The people involved in the game’s production, including the story writer Robert Kurvitz, the artist Aleksander Rostov, and the voice actors, including Lenval Brown, have done an excellent job.

And this is the team’s first game.

Will I get bored?

No. If you enjoy reading books, you won’t get bored. Because the game’s story is crafted with quality that surpasses most novels out there.

If you quickly skip scenes and conversations that show the story in the games you play, if you’re counting the seconds for the action to start, there’s a chance you might get bored.

Yes, sire.

If you feel the need to learn and remember everything told to you, there’s a chance you might get bored with the information overload. However, some players really enjoy these narratives. On the other hand, it’s important to remember that your character has just come from nothingness. They don’t feel obliged to listen to a boring conversation. They want to return to the warm and peaceful embrace of blackness. You can cut the conversation by pressing “I’ve heard enough” to stop hearing more. Of course, some characters’ hearts might be broken, but who cares? Hasn’t your heart been broken too?

Is it broken? You don’t know, you forgot…

Just, it feels like your heart was broken. Otherwise, why would you want to stay in nothingness? Right?

The events told in the story are extremely varied. The game’s world is a bit fantastical and, in my opinion, very intriguing. The most amazing aspect of the game is…


The game offers an emotional feast. You laugh, bursting into laughter. In the character’s situation, you laugh at the voices in the character’s head, to yourself even. You laugh while playing the game. You laugh at the character. You laugh at other characters. You become one with the character and laugh together. It’s so funny! Right? Then while laughing, a feeling, a thought comes to your mind. You start feeling sad. Melancholy. Nostalgia. Sorrow. Loneliness. Hopelessness. Exclusion. Failure. Disappointment. Then you realize, you don’t remember any of it. Shame.

Playing the game is exactly like this experience. You are swept away from one emotion to another. Even if you’re laughing, underneath it all, that melancholy, the longing for disco days, never goes away. The character is sad, and you can feel it. This sadness infects you. You feel sad while playing the game. You worry, cry, laugh. Sometimes, you even scream in anger or astonishment. If the other residents of the house don’t know you’re playing a game, they come and ask,

“Are you okay, o’ dear?”

when you’re sitting in front of the screen.

You’re not.

Not okay.

Are you?

We’re diving into a world where nostalgia hits you like a freight train. This game makes you miss things you can’t even remember existed in the first place. You might find yourself singing ballads for things that probably never even happened. And hats off to the writers, seriously! Turning tiny details into an avalanche of emotions? That’s some next-level storytelling wizardry.

If you look closely, you’ll see details everywhere, each whispering its own sad story. Of course, you might not want to look that closely. I mean, how much misery, poverty, and unhappiness can one take? Ever thought about closing your eyes, taking a break, and chilling in the warm embrace of primordial blackness and nothingness?

Yes, baby! Blackness and nothing!

You loved that, didn’t you?

Do you know what else you loved?

The Others. The People on the Street.

In Disco Elysium, almost all characters are crafted with depth. Their background is full of history, they probably also have voices in their heads, and they feel alive with their emotions that hit you deep. It’s not just that they are unforgettable; they also win a permanent place in your heart. They are full of life and life experience.

After all, everyone’s been through something. And isn’t that what matters the most?

Having been through something…

Everyone’s got a story, you know? Some sad, some funny… Can’t learn about all of them, though. Some want to spill it all, some don’t. Can you trust what they spill, though? Are they not lying to themselves while trying to tell you the truth? But can they hide the truth? Doesn’t it show in their faces? Their eyes? Their posture? Don’t the scars of the past leave a mark?

They do.

You’re a detective. Detecting those clues is your gig. Understanding the wounds by looking at the scars, unveiling its story by poking at where it hurts. Finding the inconsistencies, shouting them out, and exposing the culprit. Because there’s always a culprit. Heck, you don’t even need a crime to find a culprit.

That’s life. It happens.

The shame is not on you…

It is on the City of Revachol

Revachol. That’s the name of the city we’re in. Every resident, every crumbled wall, and even the mailbox has seen some stuff. Witness so much pain, and anyone would go insane. The city’s gone mad ages ago. Now, every nook of its madness is just waiting to be explored. It’s dying to be discovered! Can’t call them side quests, though. They’re more like pleas for help from the city to a cop who’s shown up to assist.

But it’s not always melancholy in the city’s hidden corners. Sometimes, you find dance parties in the most unexpected places. Or an empty bottle, maybe a few cents on the curb. And sometimes, you stumble upon your own past, wandering the streets. Of course, your past lives on the streets, homeless and alone. Even you haven’t claimed it, left it to rot on the streets. The city embraced it. Because Revachol doesn’t exclude anyone.

The city introduces itself in a way pretty similar to how its residents do. You may hate it as you get to know it more or fall in love with it. It’s your call, your decision. No one can tell you what to do. But you can tell people what to do. You’re a cop, after all. A bit of an unconventional cop, yes. But then again…

Cops Come In All Shapes and Sizes

What kind of character you’ll be in the game depends on which voices in your head you agree with and which ones you ignore. There’s also this section in the game called the “Thought Cabinet.” From there, you can pick what kind of thoughts you want to occupy your mind. Your thoughts, how you talk to people, which inner voice you listen to—all these factors shape your character and your cop style.

The game’s tagline sums it up: What kind of cop are you?

If you start apologizing to Revachol for embracing the sadness and melancholy that envelops you, adding your own sorrow to the city in pain, you’ll transform into the “sad cop” type.

Maybe you want to become a star. The most beloved, coolest, brightest star in Revachol. Doesn’t the city deserve a disco? The “superstar cop” type is an incredibly fun option.

You can ignore the screams of your inner voices and the city’s inner conflicts. Focusing on the task at hand, the murder you need to solve, feels like a remedy for sorrow. It’s time to pull yourself together, isn’t it? Yes, you can do that. No one can judge you. After all, being a “boring cop” is still a copotype.

In summary, you can be whatever you want. Who can interfere with that? Who can interfere!? Hm? WHO?

Encyclopedia: The Turkish translation of the question “Who?” is written as “Kim?”

Rhetoric: It implies that someone named Kim could interfere, detective.

Encylopedia: Kim Kitsuragi. Your partner.

Should I play it?

Yes, sire.

You’re following Frpnet, aren’t you? So, you must love fantasy. You must love storytelling. Well, this game tells a story. And it does it brilliantly…

Are you someone who plays tabletop role-playing games (Frp)? This game shows you how to write your character.

Are you a game master? This game is a treasure. A shining example of how to create a world and characters within it.

Do you enjoy writing stories? In this game, you see how the smallest details affect personality and relationships. How your attitude towards someone who picks up an item that you dropped on the floor changes… It proves that conveying emotion and authenticity lies in the details.

Some players can be deeply moved by their emotions while playing the game. As I mentioned before, Disco Elysium carries heavy feelings of melancholy, depression, and sorrow. Playing this game when experiencing similar emotions might be emotionally intense for the player. However, there are players online who say that being in similar emotional states, the story has been therapeutic for them.

I want to hear more about Disco Elysium!

It’s impossible to tell you more about Disco Elysium without giving spoilers or repeating myself.

I strongly recommend against searching the game further because even a little spoiler, be it an image, a word, or a song title, could ruin your entire experience.

Avoiding spoilers for this game is genuinely crucial, in my opinion. An unforgettable experience awaits you, and you wouldn’t want to spoil it.

If you’ve decided to play the game by reading this review, I’m genuinely happy. Happiness and great works multiply as you share them. Well, at least I hope so. I hope they multiply. I hope you enjoy the game as much as I do. I hope we continue to see such magnificent works from the creators again. I hope. Truly. I wish. I hope…

Shivers: The city is dark but warm. The lights are out. Someone is sitting at the bottom floor of an apartment, writing under the light of a table lamp. Lost in thoughts and dreams. THEY HOPE.

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