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Disco Elysium's new Hardcore mode wants you poor, sick and drug-addled

What’ve we got here, eh? Some sorta proper Poirot type, are you? A real Miss Marple? Well, I’ve got a case here that’ll make you look like PC Plod. Political police thriller Disco Elysium reckons it’s been going easier on you, and now flaunts a tough new Hardcore True Detective mode to really test your smarts. Try solving a murder when you can’t afford a sandwich, tough guy. Pull off some sweet karaoke tunes when you’re killing off a hangover. See how far that gets you, copper.

Oh, and you can play it with a really, really wide monitor now. Case closed.

Today’s free update adds support for ultra-wide resolutions, adds some high-quality FLAC tunes to the soundtrack, and drops some new wallpapers alongside an updated Art Booklet DLC. The real star of the show, however, is that brutal new Hardcore True Detective mode for detectives looking for a tougher case to crack.

Normally in this kinda RPG, an ultra-hard mode would have monsters hit harder and more often. You’d have fewer hitpoints and a generally tougher time bruising your way through arenas. But Disco’s a talker, not a fighter, and it’s had to find more creative ways to up the stakes. In a Steam update post, Zaum explain the changes they’ve made to make life in Martinaise less hospitable.

In Hardcore True Detective, you’ll be poorer. You’ll be unluckier. You’re gonna sink into the hard drugs, and big pharma is gonna screw you out of the legal ones. Debuffs will hit you harder, and you’re gonna have to learn how to hustle the most out of every penny you find. Surviving in Revachol, let alone solving cases, is generally gonna get a whole lot harder. Expect to find yourself in Total Disaster Cop territory more often than not.

On the bright side, developers ZA/UM reckon you’ll treasure what you’ve got, right? Every item you pick up, every case you solve will be all the sweeter with the odds stacked against you, yeah? Ah, well if not, you’ll at least make progress a little faster. Failure is character-building, ain’t it, so you’ll “token amounts” of XP for finishing tasks, helping you level up a little faster.

They don’t recommend starting out on Harcore. But if you’re feeling craftier than Columbo, it might just be the challenge you need.

Haven’t played Disco Elysium yet? Don’t tell the staffers, but neither have I. All I know is that everyone’s real in love with this Kim Kitsuragi lad. Aces high, right? We should probably get on it, though – it’s one of the team’s top 20 games to play in 2020.

Now’s a good time, too. The Steam Lunar New Year sale just kicked off, and Disco Elysium is 20% off at £28/€32/$32.

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Natalie Clayton

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