Few games manage to leave a lasting impression like Disco Elysium. The game was originally released in 2019, and since then, I have been incapable of shutting up about it. But it’s not just me, the game has received critical acclaim from across the industry. For a game that is already a masterpiece, it’s hard to imagine how it could get any better, but ZA/UM did so with the release of the game’s free expansion, The Final Cut.
The Final Cut took what Disco Elysium offered and, like putting a perfect piece of art in a gorgeous frame, highlighted everything that makes the game great. When Disco Elysium first released, it was praised for its writing, both its dialogue and what you would read – and you would do a lot of reading. Only the first few lines of any conversation were voiced, but that all changed with the Final Cut. This expansion updated the game to include voice acting for every single line of dialogue, including a jaw-dropping performance by Lenval Brown who narrates all 24 personalities that are rattling around inside the detective’s mind. Plus, getting to hear Kim Kitsuragi talk more is always excellent.
But this massive addition isn’t just something that improves an already great game, it actually allows Disco Elysium to be more approachable. Those that had heard about all of the reading may have been overwhelmed by the task. Now, players are able to enjoy the story and narrative in a similar way some book readers might opt for an audio book over reading. To put it simply, this expansion allows more users to engage with the content.
Beyond the voice acting, Disco Elysium’s expansion also added new quests. As players unravel the story of the game, they’ll also be developing the detective, including his beliefs. Part of this is siding with certain political ideologies. Progress down one belief system and players are rewarded with a unique quest that dives deeper into what it means belong to one of the four areas: communism, fascism, moralism, or the ultraliberal. It’s a unique concept that adds to the rich flavor the game offers.
Disco Elysium as a whole is a truly phenomenal experience. I couldn’t help but sing its praises in my review, and now, thanks to The Final Cut, the game somehow manages to be better than when I first played it. We here at Shacknews are pleased to award Disco Elysium with the Shacknews Best Expansion of 2021 award. Congratulations, ZA/UM.
Watch the Shacknews Awards 2021 YouTube playlist or read our Year of the Games: 2021 article for all of the awards in one place. We will be announcing our Shacknews GOTY 2021 on December 31.