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Posts tagged “ZA/UM”

Disco Elysium might be getting a TV show, of all things

Well, betcha you didn't expect to read that headline today any more than I expected to write it. Dark 70s detective RPG Disco Elysium is being spun off into a TV show, assuming that the production company partnering with ZA/UM studio are successful in assembling a team of writers and pitching it. Seriously, who'd have thunk it?

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The Guerrilla Collective indie showcase has been delayed in support of Black Lives Matter

Guerrilla Collective, the upcoming online showcase for indie developers, has been postponed until June 13th in support of Black Lives Matter. Originally due to start on the 6th, Guerrilla Collective is one of the many not-E3 digital events due to take place over the next couple of weeks, with lots of mystery announcements from a range of devs and publishers like Paradox Interactive and Larian…

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Disco Elysium should now run better on chugging old PCs

If you wanted to get your melon twisted by Disco Elysium but your PC, like its star, was too weak and crumpled in the face of the slightest pressure, good news: the developers have optimised the heck out of it. They've managed to cut the surreal detective RPG's system requirement a whole lot, meaning more people should be able to play it now, and those…

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Larian Studios, ZA/UM, and lots of other indie developers are having their own showcase in June

I was just a tad sad when E3 organisers announced that they wouldn't be doing their own big digital event after cancelling the physical conference amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. Not to worry though, we lose one E3 and get like, five to replace it apparently. A bunch of indie developers and publishers have all squaded up to do their own thing which they're calling…

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Disco Elysium is now on Mac too

Delightful detective RPG Disco Elysium now has a official Mac version, inviting more folks to bumble disgracefully through a murder mystery in a strange seaside city. No more fiddling about with Bootcamp and that. For all newcomers, Mac or Windows, it has a 25% discount on Steam for the next few days too.

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Feature: Click click boom

The joy of dangerous, unpredictable guns in Disco Elysium

When my brother and I were young, we would often harass my parents to spare a few quid for the arcades. Coins in sticky hands, we would immediately run-up to the first Time Crisis machine we saw and proceed to blow away terrorists to our hearts' content. It was amazing just how much power those little blue and pink plastic guns made us feel.I have…

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Feature: Month at the end of the money

Disco Elysium’s Hardcore Mode is just one way games can meaningfully explore poverty

Last week, the haunting and hilarious Disco Elysium added an extra difficulty setting called ‘Hardcore True Detective Mode’. On the surface, it seems like a fairly standard set of tweaked parameters. More demanding dice roles to shaft dear old Harry Du Bois at every opportunity. If you take time to read the update notes though, it becomes clear that these new changes are storytelling devices…

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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…

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Disco Elysium considered Twitter its competition for players’ attention

Disco Elysium was by and far my own game of the year for 2019 and it made RPS's list of best PC games of 2019 as well. Its gritty, ugly characters are memorable and its plot, despite quickly getting convoluted, is as hard to look away from as the latest original series from your TV subscription of choice. Rather than other text-heavy RPGs, though, lead…

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Feature: It isn't too late.

Disco Elysium offers a dark mirror to my mid-life crisis

In the yard below, a corpse hangs from a pine tree.It is my failure and my shame for all to see, rotting in plain sight.Martainaise, the broken-down home of Disco Elysium’s broken-down police story, is an excoriating light shone not just upon its broken-down policeman, but also upon me, and my failure to be the person I thought I was. It is my mid-life crisis…

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Feature: Speedy resolution

How to deal with Disco Elysium’s twelve-year-old drug addict

The first proper obstacle in amnesiac police RPG Disco Elysium, if you don’t count your ceiling fan, is a small child who has taken a lot of speed. He stands outside your hotel, chucking stones at your corpse. Your case’s corpse. The one you need to investigate. This won’t do.

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Feature: They can survive almost anything

Let me tell you about my cockroach obsession in Disco Elysium

So Disco Elysium is an RPG, yes? And you have to solve a murder, because you're a cop. Except you also can't remember anything whatsoever, including your own name or where you badge and gun are (how are you supposed to hand them over to your chief when you break the rules to get results??) or even, initially, that you're a cop. This creates the…

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Feature: Lukewarm takes incoming

Can’t Stop Playing: Disco Elysium

Don't come any closer, pal. I've got a gun. Oh wait, maybe I don't, because I pawned it when I was extremely drunk, and I didn't do a deal with the corrupt union boss to get it back. Oh dear, now a voice in my head that says it's Electrochemistry is trying to convince me to get drunk. I must be in bleak but lovely…

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Feature: Existence precedes disco

How Disco Elysium’s opening sets the stage for existential revolt

Existentialism. A word with baggage, and about it. Philosophers have deployed it to cover many different things, but they're all concerned with the baggage of being alive. The urgent dilemma of existence, as beings without apparent purpose. The concept fascinates me. It's what I get up for in the morning. Based on the opening minutes of detective RPG Disco Elysium, so does ZA/UM. It's clear…

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Buy Disco Elysium on GOG and get UnderRail for free

You don't need your deals herald to tell you that wordy isometric RPG Disco Elysium is finally a thing you can buy, did you know that to celebrate the release of ZA/UM's intriguing debut, GOG are giving away a free copy of Stygian Software's equally word isometric RPG UnderRail with every purchase? I thought not. Hurry, though, as this deal won't last for long. Read…

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Feature: My uncle told me "disco biscuits" is slang for bad drugs

Disco Elysium review

So, then. Disco Elysium, like Planescape: Torment, or even Fallout or Arcanum, is an isometric RPG with a lot of text. You, an alcoholic, probably drug-addicted cop in early middle age, wake up to face a new partner, a lynching that needs solving, and an apocalyptic hangover that has wiped your memory. So, you start the work of learning... well, everything.I managed to stumble through…

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Feature: Cogito ergo sum confusus

Disco Elysium Thought Cabinet: the Thoughts system explained

The Disco Elysium Thought Cabinet is one of the game's defining features. And that's saying something, considering the many different ways in which ZA/UM have deviated from the traditional RPG structure. In Disco Elysium, it's not just tools and clothes that you can equip but also Thoughts that you can mull over and adopt, almost always with both positive and negative results.Our Disco Elysium Thoughts…

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Feature: Don't worry; I spent about an hour on character creation too

Disco Elysium skills & character creation: Intellect, Psyche, Physique, Motorics, and the 24 skills explained

The Disco Elysium skills and character creation system, much like the game itself, is big, brilliant, bizarre, and bewildering. With the four primary abilities of Intellect, Psyche, Physique, and Motorics each influencing a set of six distinct secondary skills, there's an enormous amount to learn and figure out before you even begin to delve into the story itself.Our Disco Elysium skills guide will walk you…

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Feature: Disco inferno

How dare Disco Elysium tell me I am boring??

I am still figuring out what I think of Disco Elysium, but I can say with some certainty that it is the first game where I have done a small fistpump and thought to myself, "Yeah, you really nailed telling that woman you found her husband's body! Nailed it! Best cop ever!"Disco Elysium is a very dense RPG, where you play an amnesiac alcoholic detective…

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Feature: Skill check for 'an exclusive'

Disco Elysium’s developers are in “a bloody battle” for the human mind

When visiting ZA/UM's studio, I had to take my boots off. This is because their studio, where they are putting the final touches on open world RPG Disco Elysium, is also a flat in a townhouse in Hove, where several of them live. It has nice wooden floors, unbelievably high ceilings, and a big bay window cradling some workstations. There's also a bookshelf full of…

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