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Following a great deal of success at 2019’s Game Awards, ZA/UM Studio’s detective RPG Disco Elysium has also managed to pick up quite a few Game of the Year awards from various outlets. So, without further ado, here’s a snippet from what PC Gamer has to say about their pick for game of the year:
Andy K: I spend most of my time in Infinity Engine-style RPGs trying to avoid combat and find a smarter way to deal with any given situation, which makes Disco Elysium particularly enjoyable. The sheer number of ways to charm, smarm, or bullshit your way out of trouble makes for an incredibly satisfying RPG, and is proof that you don’t need traditional combat to make a game like this compelling over tens of hours. Disco’s protagonist is one of the most joyously malleable characters in RPG history, from the clothes he wears to the intricacies of his personality. You can truly make your mark on this world through the things you say and do, even if those things are terrible and offensive. It’s your choice.
And here’s a bit on why Shacknews thinks Disco Elysium is 2019’s best PC game:
Disco Elysium’s writing sells the entire experience within the first few minutes. But even after 30 hours of talking and reading, it never lets up and continues to amaze and fascinate. It’s a testament to the talent at work at ZA/UM studio. Not only has the team managed to create a gripping RPG experience, but they’ve brought it to life with a unique visual style, voice actors that will bring you to tears, and writing that will leave you wanting more. Check out the Shacknews Disco Elysium review for even more glowing talk about the Best PC Game of 2019.
There’s also PC World with their Best Game of 2019 award:
Disco Elysium is one of those games—and they’re rare—that make everything that came before feel outdated, instantaneously. One day, RPGs work a certain way. The next, you wish they were all a bit more like Disco Elysium. There’s a beauty to the writing, a prosaic quality that’s rare even in text-friendly RPGs. And this is a text-friendly RPG, one wherein interviewing a suspect might trigger six paragraphs about a fictional car in this fictional universe, or a soliloquy about the nature of reality, or maybe just a dad joke.
It’s more than just the quality of the writing though. It’s how it’s surfaced. Disco Elysium is one of the most reactive games I’ve ever seen, constantly making checks against both your character’s skills and past decisions, then peppering conversations with facts only your specific character would know—for better and worse. Invest a lot of points into Encyclopedia? You may be able to pinpoint the make and model of the gun used, but your conversations will be littered with useless trivia as well. Spend them on Shivers? You’ll be able to connect to the city on a deeper level, feel the energy of its past and present, but that opens you up to as many horrors as it does actionable truths.
The pacing suffers a bit in the back half when your character’s better defined and the investigation is heading towards a conclusion. That’s many, many hours into the game though, and what comes before? It sets a new bar for RPGs—the type of bar that gets people to wax nostalgic about Planescape: Torment two decades after its release, or Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. It’s that good.
And finally, here's Eurogamer with an honorable mention:
In the course of putting your character's memories back together, you also put together the pieces of Revachol. You develop an affinity for the place - not sympathy, exactly, but an understanding of the forces that built and destroyed it: faith and free markets, technology and superstition, disco-dancers and dice-makers, the will of the proletariat, the divine right of kings and the steady encroachments of the unknowable Pale. You visualise bullet trajectories, Sherlock-style, and weave them into the tapestry. You peer beneath the drained murals and sense the particles of oblivion hanging in the rafters of weather-beaten churches.
This is not a world you can repair - probably, it is beyond repair. But, as Lieutenant Kim suggests, you can at least do it the honour of seeing it clearly and arresting, if only for the instant frozen by a single photograph, the slow implosion of the horizon. "Local law enforcement solving one little homicide decides nothing," he tells you, as you look from a motel balcony at the end of your first day in the game. "Not solving it... can have real and calculable effects. Things can always get worse."