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‘Detroit: Become Human’ – A Game That Knows Exactly What It Is

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What does it mean to be human? It’s a question that philosophers, artists, and scientists have attempted to answer since the dawn of recorded history. Why was humanity, of all the species on this green earth, selected to bear the singular burden of conscious thought? Unfortunately such questions have no universally accepted answers – at least none that we are currently capable of providing. That doesn’t stop David Cage from attempting his own exploration of such ephemeral conundrums in his latest magnum opus, Detroit: Become Human.

Cage and his studio have been criticized ever since the 2010 launch of Heavy Rain for being less concerned with implementing compelling gameplay and more with the creation of interactive movies. That Cage alludes to himself as an auteur certainly hasn’t helped matters, as such “highfalutin” language is liable to put off the majority of the gaming populace who tend to see games as a form of entertainment, not as high art. The quick time event driven and dialogue-heavy nature of his work often results in the perception of Cage as a wannabe movie director in-waiting. In fairness the point stands: both Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls felt more like cinematic choose-your-own-adventures than anything else. However, the same thing could be said about the point-and-click adventures released by Telltale Games ever since their surprise smash hit contribution to the The Walking Dead franchise revitalized an otherwise defunct genre. Detroit: Become Human is a game that exists in exactly the same vein and doesn’t deserve to be judged overly harshly because it unashamedly wears its brain on its sleeve rather than its heart.

The narrative of Detroit: Become Human is heavily informed by the likes of Blade Runner and West World but Cage has never been one to be overly troubled by the anxiety of influence. Set just two short decades from now in the year 2038, it tells the story of a burgeoning robotic revolution that sets its three principle android protagonists Kara, Connor, and Markus all battling in their own way for the rights and survival of their kind. The underlying arc is entirely linear, but there are multiple intersecting branches to the story that allow players to determine exactly how they arrive at the foregone conclusions of its various endings. No matter how it unfolds or ends, the story can be familiar at times but it’s nevertheless told in a fresh and engaging way that allows it to succeed on its own terms.

Each of the main characters serves in some fashion to highlight the deficiencies of us, their creators. Over the course of a masterfully constructed plot that covers a surprisingly robust range of social and political issues, the central performances of Valorie Curry, Bryan Dechart, and Jesse Williams are always brilliant resulting in some of the most touching scenes I’ve encountered in my time as a gamer. There are a few bum notes in the script – understandable given that it’s at least 2000 pages long – that could have proved disastrously hilarious were it not for such sterling work from a skilled and dedicated cast. At all times the action is supported by a surprisingly affecting soundtrack written by a trio of experienced composers known for their film and television work. From the opening moments where Philip Sheppard’s sweeping symphonic étude for Kara dominates the introductory credits right up until John Paesano’s synthesized strains play us out to the final seconds, players are treated to one of most gorgeous scores in recent gaming history. This goes a long way to restoring my faith in the old fashioned theme tune that seems to have been mostly abandoned in favor of the sprawling post-modern soundscapes that pass as game music these days.

Titles from Quantic Dream have never been known for the quality of their game mechanics, and Detroit: Become Human makes no attempt to move away from the formula of their previous releases. Player ability to interact with the various environments and locales of near-future Detroit is entirely limited to contextual button prompts and quick time events. From opening doors or climbing ladders to acrobatic fight scenes or frenetic traversal sequences, every action is determined by a series of context-dependent controller inputs. Granted players are given the option to select difficulty modes that increase the challenge of the quick time events that define almost literally every single second of a playthrough, but that never fundamentally alters the experience in any significant way. This wasn’t particularly impressive or interesting when it first came to the fore and time or familiarity hasn’t improved matters. Being restricted to such limited interactive possibilities means that players are never really given the opportunity to fully engage with the game world.

The resulting experience can feel rather transitory as player options are often curtailed in order to meet the requirements of the design. This is a problem with the point-and-click genre in general but it is a particularly glaring issue here because the world that the developers have built is one so full of lavish detail that it begs to be explored. That potential sadly goes to waste because of the on-rails nature of the gameplay. If the team had been given more latitude to expand the control scheme and game mechanics to match the under-utilized scope of the expertly crafted environments then that could only have been an improvement. Having said that, clunky and routine as the quick time events are, in this instance they do an admirable job of conveying the logical and consistent behaviors and actions of machines. The game is predicated on a vast array of options; some of which are inconsequential, whilst others drastically alter how the story plays out. Each command prompt entered in isolation can be dismissed as nothing more than a basic input, but when considered as part of a greater whole they each become inextricably connected links in a chain of events forged by moment-to-moment player choice.

Choice, self-determination, and the freedom to exist on our own terms are inalienable human rights. Without them we would be nothing more than bio-organic mechanisms performing rote functions until we die, devoid of any method to explore our consciousness to its fullest extent. The emergence of consciousness in technological machines of all types, from advanced computers to anthropomorphic robots, is a long established trope in science fiction stories across the genre spectrum. Mankind’s obsession with our own seemingly inexplicable possession of self-awareness provokes us to constantly debate if we are either the unique creation of a higher power or just an accident of evolutionary happenstance and cosmic folly. Narratives in which we become the creator of new life in our own image have always been preoccupied with the notion of our worthiness not only to assume the mantle of godhood but also with whether or not we ourselves deserve to be supplanted by the fruits of our intellectual and creative labors should they prove superior. Which for better or worse they almost invariably do.

In her capacity as guardian, Kara proves fiercely protective and resolutely compassionate in ways that no human had otherwise demonstrated themselves capable of being. However it ends for you, hers is a tale of bittersweet anguish that admirably demonstrates that even when our lives are at their lowest ebb there is still some measure of hope to be found. Connor, the investigative android assigned to assist in the pursuit of emotionally unstable deviant machines, is the embodiment of naivety. His initially good intentions are methodically undermined by either his growing awareness of the horror of the situations he finds himself in or by his unwitting participation in a grand conspiracy against android and human alike. Markus, the carer turned revolutionary would have to represent our desire for justice and retribution. His fight for android recognition takes him from his comfortable home with artist Carl (adroitly voiced by sci-fi veteran, Lance Henriksen), to the hideaways of an underground movement, and eventually to the barricaded city streets. In their own way, all three of the main characters draw attention to the fact that the line between terrorist and freedom fighter, and the distinction between heroism or villainy in everyday life is a lot less clear-cut than most would like to think it is.

It would be all-too-easy to classify the narrative of Detroit: Become Human as a somewhat dated metaphor for America’s perennial problem with race relations. It’s made particularly evident by overt references to slavery and highlighted by world design which creates segregated spaces for human and android characters. Whilst there are obvious parallels between the androids’ quest for recognition as living beings and the struggle of African Americans for freedom and civil rights, to confine interpretations of the scope of the game’s narrative to that one aspect does it and such subject matter a disservice. What truly lies at the core of the game’s story is an examination of socio-economic class. In our supposedly meritocratic world, class is something of a dirty word and is widely believed to have been consigned to the history books not long after the end of the Cold War.

But for those of us at the sharp end of the stick, as it were, class is still very much a reality and is largely the single greatest divisive factor in societies the world over. Whether people like to admit it or not social class, or economic status, does more to determine our life choices than race and gender combined. The androids in Detroit: Become Human aren’t modeled exclusively on a single ethnicity or sex, rather what defines them as a group is the fact that they are expected to do all the dirty, dangerous, nasty, and just plain boring work that society has decided they should do. Just like billions of us around the world today, they are expected to perform the same tasks without question and with no choice until they eventually cease to function or are replaced with more efficient, newer models.

Cage’s androids wake up, they do their jobs and then they shut down day in and day, year after year, with no thought given to the consequences of such relentless servitude. The reason that labour disputes are so ruthlessly curtailed in reality is because the people who control our lives and determine our functions, understand that if we were all to realise the truth of our situation and act to change it, then the world that the 1% rule so haphazardly and unjustly, would come to an end in an instant. The developers of Detroit: Become Human may not handle such subject matter with any great deal of finesse or subtlety, but they are at least addressing it and that might just be a first for the gaming world. I don’t think any other game, with the exception of perhaps the Deus Ex series, has ever really even attempted to broach the subject of class in a meaningful way. In a world where zero hours contracts, the gig economy, and wage subsidies from central governments are the norm for the vast majority of us it’s very salient of Quantic Dream to attempt to highlight the dangers of treating an entire section of the population like they are disposable tools.

Detroit: Become Human is by no means perfect, but what flaws there are can generally be overlooked if you’re not hellbent on lampooning it simply because David Cage penned the script. Although the gameplay, such as it is, can be clunky and some of the scenes do feel like they provide little more than extraneous exposition but on the whole it is a best-foot-forward moment for Quantic Dream and stands out as one of the most impactful and meaningful gaming experiences of 2018. If you’re not a fan of Cage, his work or the controversies that surround it then feel free to give this game a pass. However, if you’re the kind of gamer who relishes the opportunity to truly guide a story from beginning to end then I’ve no doubt that Kara, Connor, and Markus might just be the androids you’re looking for.

Chris is a Cambridge, UK based freelance writer and reviewer. A graduate of English Literature from Goldsmiths College in London he has been composing poetry and prose for most of his life. More than partial to real ale/craft beer and a general fan of sci-fi and fantasy. He first started gaming on a borrowed Mega Drive as a child and has been a passionate enthusiast of the hobby and art form ever since. Never afraid to speak his mind he always aims to tell the unvarnished truth about a game. Favourite genres: RPGs, action adventure and MMOs. Least favourite genre: anything EA Sports related (they're the same games every year!)

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. DevilGearHill

    June 22, 2018 at 1:59 am

    A pretentious David CaEg feelsfest. Just rewatch Westworld, people.

  2. david grimes

    July 2, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    great review. iv just posted a comment elsewhere on this site on another article accusing the writer of needlessly bashing the game. good to see not all the staff of this site sing from the same hym sheet.

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Game Reviews

‘The Touryst’ Review: Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

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There’s an acceptance of a certain rhythm when traveling alone: often an itinerary-less trip will be filled with quiet solitude and uneventful meandering; yet, when those exciting moments of interaction and discovery are inevitably stumbled upon, they tend to be of the highly memorable variety. The latest offering from Shin’en Multimedia, The Touryst, shrewdly captures this relaxing, energizing roller coaster. It’s a quirky little getaway that encourages players to explore its gorgeous voxel island delights at their own pace, letting them bask in the peaceful surroundings and doling out treasure for those curious to seek it out. The result is a soothing weekend sojourn of puzzles, platforming, and mini games under the sun that is also winds up as one of the best indies on the Switch.

There’s no doubt that atmosphere plays a big part in what makes The Touryst so successful, as the vague setup and sparse narrative casts a mysterious aura over the proceedings. Who our mustachioed vacationer is or why he agrees to find glowing blue orbs for some random old man is pretty much left to the imagination. Is the player curious about what they could see and find out there among the green palm trees, sandy beaches, monolithic temples, and sky blue waters? Then they will follow their nose regardless of the lack of any story motivation, and The Touryst has sprung its trap. The urge to see the sights and have an adventure is a must here, and so the wandering begins.

Luckily, The Touryst is filled with charming things to stumble upon around almost every corner, be that a scuba diving boat operator on a Greek isle that facilitates swimming with the fishes, a seaside dance party in need of a hi-tech energy boost, or a bustling business center complete with an arcade, art gallery, and movie theater (for those times when you just need to sit down for a while). Personality abounds, as long as friendly players aren’t shy about talking to strangers (the best way to get the most out of a trip to a new place). No matter where one’s feet take them, there are plenty of mini-stories at play thanks to the native inhabitants and fellow tourists, with these weirdos offering interactions both puzzling and profitable.

But there’s more to life than racking up coins via side quests; there’s something eerily odd buried beneath the tropical destinations of The Touryst that beckons to be uncovered by just the right explorer. Towering mounds filled with ancient devices and clever puzzles hold secrets that promise that this vacation will be one for the scrapbook. These short ‘dungeons’ are the meat of the game, providing a variety of platforming and logic challenges that range from overt to opaque; sometimes even finding the way in to these ominous structures is a puzzle in itself, which only further drives an overarching sense of discovery.

Smartly, The Touryst rarely telegraphs solutions to its tests (or in some cases, that there even is a test), and instead encourages experimentation. Inside temples, players need to determine why certain lights are glowing and others aren’t, understand how sequences work, pay attention to rumbling feedback, and decide just how to deal with once-dormant mechanical creatures that now awaken to stand in the protagonist’s way. Things can seem opaque at times, but Shin’en has managed to hit that sweet spot that keeps poking around from getting too frustrating. But just in case, there are plenty of beach chairs and cabana beds to lie down on and think. Or, just soak in some rays and enjoy the scenery.

Regardless of the difficulty players may or may not have with the crafty puzzles or surprisingly challenging mini games (good lord, surfing and those 8-bit arcade throwbacks can be tough), The Touryst is still a sight to see. Shin’en has created a buttery smooth island-hopping environment that is a pleasure to peruse. Go off the beaten path and enjoy the gorgeous sunsets, gently pixelated waves, crunching grains of sand, and flopping flora. The visuals seem so simple, yet at times can be stunning to behold, especially when spotting some of the smaller details that have been added to make these place come alive. A depth of field style entices players to see just what that blurry landmark off in distance is, and the soundtrack seamlessly shifts between relaxing and intriguingly uncanny. That developers have achieved this with what are surely the shortest load times on Nintendo’s console makes the experience all the more immersive.

Like most vacations, The Touryst is destined to be over too soon for some players, but trips like these aren’t meant to last forever. The five hours or so it takes to see all there is to see is highly satisfying throughout, and the vague hint at the end of a followup will have many Switch-owning puzzle fans looking forward to getting future time off.

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Game Reviews

‘Shovel Knight: King of Cards’ and ‘Showdown’ Review: Really Spoiling Us

It’s a Yacht Club Games overdose this holiday, as the Kings of Kickstarter are back with two new entries in the Shovel Knight franchise.

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It’s a Yacht Club Games overdose this holiday season, as the Kings of Kickstarter are back with, not just one, but two new entries in the Shovel Knight franchise. Not content with just releasing another new character’s twist on the original formula, Yacht Club has also developed their own fighting game in the Shovel Knight universe. It’s to the developer’s credit that two simultaneous releases can be of this quality, but valid questions can also be asked as to whether the original formula has gotten stale, and whether Showdown’s new concept does the series justice. Fear not, for both questions will be answered in this bumper, two-for-one review!

Shovel Knight: King of Cards

King of Cards is the latest re-tread of Shovel Knight, and this time the emperor’s new clothes are the regal duds of King Knight, who is on a quest to become the greatest player in the kingdom of the card game Joustus… without really having to beat that many people at it. After the stoically heroic Shovel Knight, the dastardly cunning Plague Knight, and the broodingly enigmatic Spectre Knight, King of Cards’ protagonist embodies an enjoyable dose of pompous entitlement. His quest isn’t all that noble, and he really can’t be bothered to do a lot of hard graft to reach his goal. Thanks to the typically witty script, King Knight shines as a loathsome oik who doesn’t pay attention to any advice he’s given, and would rather have a fight, or cheat, than actually get better at Joustus.

Shovel Knight
This a late-game bout of Joustus, which shows how complex it can get.

Joustus might not really be all that important to King Knight, but it adds an entirely new element to the traditional Shovel Kinght gameplay. Those players who are a sucker for built-in card games (myself included) will find a lot to enjoy when stepping away from all the platforming and fighting to engage in a round of Joustus. The game is played by placing cards, one at a time, onto a grid with the goal of having more of your cards placed on top of gems than your opponent.

All cards contain abilities and can be used to shove opposing cards out of the way (and off the gems), with advanced cards used to blow up, slam or recruit those of the other player. It all starts off simple enough, but can get really brain-taxing as the story progresses, and grows to be a real highlight of the game – and one of the better card-games-within-a-game I’ve played. Cheat cards can be bought to give you a leg up for trickier opponents, especially as the winner of each game gets to take one (or three if you control all gems at the end of the round) card from the loser.  

Shovel Knight
Platforming at its satisfying best. Y’know, without actually touching the platforms.

Outside of Joustus, King of Cards will feel pleasingly familiar to fans of the series. As in previous entries, the levels all share the same look and gimmicks as the original Shovel Knight, but are reshaped to adapt to the new abilities of King Knight. He has a shoulder barge attack that launches him forward, across gaps if need be, and will send him into a spin on contact with enemies or certain types of walls and blocks. This spin move acts very much in the same way as Shovel Knight’s shovel pogo attack, and allows King Knight to bounce around levels with impressive finesse. Anyone who’s played Shovel Knight before knows the drill now – try and clear every screen by chaining together as many bounce attacks as you can. It’s the law.

Shovel Knight
Familiar foes return, but the way you deal with them is the same!

It also wouldn’t be a Shovel Knight game if there weren’t a ton of unlockable moves and buffs. Amongst the best unlocks for King Knight are a Tazmanian Devil-esque tornado spin that allows him to climb walls and smash up enemies, a hammer that produces hearts with each wallop for precious HP, throwable suicide bomber mice, and the ability to stand still and have a big ol’ cry to regain HP. Something we can all relate to.

The world map returns, and is in its best guise in King of Cards. Levels are now a lot shorter than you’d expect – there’s typically only one checkpoint in the non-boss levels – but there are a lot more of them, and a large number have secret exits to find. They’re interspersed with the multiple opportunities to play Joustus, and with the seemingly random appearances of traditional Shovel Knight bosses who show up, Hammer Bros. style, on the map to block your progress. It makes for a really tight campaign that’s filled with a ton of variety.

The floor is literally lava!

It seems almost arbitrary to say, but if you like Shovel Knight and you’re not tired of the standard gameplay, there’s so much to enjoy with King of Cards. He’s probably not the most fun character to play as (for me, that’d be Spectre Knight), but his game is easily the most diverse. He’s just such an enjoyably unlikeable idiot that you’ll constantly be playing with a smile on your face, bopping along to the classic Shovel Knight chiptunes, pogoing around levels and pausing for the occasional game of cards. Who could ask for more?

Shovel Knight Showdown

Who likes Shovel Knight boss fights? Everyone does, right? How about fighting three of them at once in an amalgamation of Smash Bros. and Towerfall? It’s as chaotic as you’re imagining, and seems like a total no-brainer as a second genre for Yacht Club to transpose their blue, spade-loving hero into.

What seemed like an obviously smart move doesn’t necessarily play out in an ideal way. The one-on-one fights in Showdown are as tightly-contested and entertaining as ever, but the multi-man rumbles are absolute mayhem. There are a few different stipulations applied to fights, and these typically involve simply whittling down your opponents’ lives, or depleting their health bar to briefly kill them off and steal any gems they’ve collected from around the level, with the winner being the first to an assigned number.

Shovel Knight
I found it best to just try to escape in every multi-man level.

Standard fights are more enjoyable, as the simplicity of smacking seven shades of snot out of the competitors keeps things manageable amongst the cacophony of onscreen visual noise. The gem-collecting levels, especially with multiple opponents, are frankly a bit of a mess that I rarely found enjoyable.

Perhaps I’m just not very good at Shovel Knight boss fights, but the game felt overly difficult even on the normal setting. Playing story mode often sees your chosen character up against three opponents on the same team, and when it comes to collecting gems from around the level, they’ve got way more of the space covered and you barely get a chance to breathe with them swarming you from the word go. It’s basically an exercise in getting wailed on while you try to run away and scramble for gems, and it’s just not that fun.

If the whole game were 1v1 I’d have more fun, but it’d be a bit pointless and unsubstantial.

What does add a layer of fun to the game is the chance to play as the complete ‘Knight’ roster of Shovel Knight characters, and the best part of Showdown is learning new moves and trying to find your ‘main’. Perhaps, with more time to sit down and learn the move sets in the practice mode, the game would feel more rewarding than if you just jump in and try to slog through the chaotic story mode as I did.

With a four-player battle mode as the only other gameplay option, Showdown was clearly never meant to be anything other than a brief little curio to give fans of the series’ boss fights an overdose of what they love, but as a complete experience, I found it lacking in both modes and reasons to keep plugging away at the arcade fighter-style story mode. It turns out that the boss fights in Shovel Knight are more fun at the end of a platforming level rather than in the middle of enclosed space filled with flashing lights, random effects, environmental hazards, and three bastards all chasing you down. If you can handle all that stress, you’ll have a much better time than I did.

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Game Reviews

‘Disco Elysium’: A Thought-Provoking Mystery

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Disco Elysium Review

For the most part, the majority of games are easy to classify, but from time to time a game is released that defies conventional rules and resists simple categorization. Disco Elysium is just such a game. On the surface of it, it’s a topdown, isometric RPG of the oldest of old schools. It draws upon long-established systems, structures, and mechanics that make it comfortably familiar. However, beneath that patina of tradition lies something completely unexpected and utterly unique.

Developed by the small, independent studio ZA/UM, with a story penned by Estonian novelist, Robert Kurvitz, and a painstakingly detailed world crafted by artist Aleksander Rostov, Disco Elysium stands apart from most RPGs in that it is startlingly realistic whilst simultaneously being grimly fantastical. Set on an isolated archipelago in the wake of a failed communist revolution, the game casts players as a detective sent to solve the murder of a man found hanging in the backyard of a rundown boarding house/cafe. It’s a simple setup made all the more complex by the fact that the player character is suffering from a severe bout of alcohol and drug-induced amnesia. The mystery that needs to be solved concerns piecing together exactly who the player character is, as much as it involves reconstructing the chain of events that resulted in a brutal death.

Arriving at conclusions to both conundrums requires navigating complex webs of social and political intrigue. Along the way, players will encounter union bosses, disgruntled workers, war veterans, and all manner of extraordinary and mundane citizens just trying to go about their daily lives in a place that seems designed to thwart their ambitions at every turn. More than that though, players will be required to engage in continuous internal dialogues that involve the protagonist gradually putting themselves back together. The result is character customization in a quite literal sense of the word. Rather than the standard array of physical options that most games of this type present players with, the options are entirely psychological. Player actions and choices determine the overall structure of the internal workings of their character. Whether they decide to be a high-minded idealist trying to better themselves and the world around them in whatever way they can or opt to descend into anarchic, hedonistic self-obliteration such choices determine exactly who and what their version of the character is.

The foundation of stats and skills that are usually inert background components that all RPGs are based on is firmly in place. However, rather than being a numerical bedrock upon which all gameplay is based, Disco Elysium takes those sets of modifiers and statistics and makes them an active part of character progression and world development. As you progress through the game, skills points can be used for a variety of purposes. They can be used to upgrade core character stats, of which there a total of twenty-four covering a whole range of mental, physical, and social attributes, that govern player’s ability to immediately interact with the game world. However, they can also be used to learn or forget particular thoughts These thoughts develop depending on how players decide to approach situations and solve problems and can unlock semi-permanent bonuses and even penalties.

Disco Elysium Review

Much as in reality, the things the character is capable of are largely dependent on their frame of mind. If players opt to make a character that is brash and uncouth then they will find it difficult to subtly manipulate interactions to their benefit or arrive at unobtrusive solutions to various situations. On the other hand, if they elect to play a character that is more thoughtful and introspective, or cunning rather than crass, then they will find it difficult to emerge unscathed from more physical challenges. It’s an interpretation of character development and player progress that feels much more organic than in any other game of this sort. This is probably where Disco Elysium does the most to stand out from other such titles. Such a flexible approach to progress is hopefully something that other companies will emulate going forward, as it allows the character to develop a true personality that goes a step beyond the mathematically-oriented, incremental statistical increases that are usually the norm.

Disco Elysium Review

The ways in which player action, character interaction, and game reaction combine together is probably the closest it is possible to get to a truly curated dungeon master-guided play experience in an RPG. There is such a wide and unpredictable variety of moment-to-moment options that players can never be certain what exactly is going to happen next. This sense of improvisational unpredictability is a quintessential element of any RPG, but it is often lost in translation from tabletop rules to computer game mechanics. This pitfall is avoided thanks to the fact that the world of Disco Elysium was conceptualized as a tabletop game but doesn’t actually exist as one yet. As such the developers were able to implement systems without the expectation of adhering to pre-existing mechanics. This expectation has often been the downfall of many such games in the past, such as the much-maligned Sword Coast Legends which was lambasted for its apparent butchery of the 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons ruleset. It will be interesting to see if Larian Studios can avoid similar problems with Baldur’s Gate 3.

Disco Elysium Review

As intriguing and unconventional as Disco Elysium is, and no matter how deserving it is of the accolades it won at 2019’s Game Awards, it’s hard to recommend it as something to play if you’re looking for fun. It’s relentlessly grim even when it’s trying to be funny, and its stream of consciousness style makes even the most basic of interactions a minefield of potential disturbing possibilities. With its biting combination of continental existentialist ennui, pseudo-Lovecraftian undercurrents, and socio-political critique it isn’t a game that you play for the sheer joy of it, but rather for the esoteric and unusual experience that it offers. That being said, in a market that’s full to bursting point with crowd-pleasing blockbusters and oftentimes strictly by-the-book sequels or carbon copy titles, it can be incredibly rewarding to delve into a game as intricate and nuanced as Disco Elysium.

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