Disco Elysium PS5 PS4 PlayStation

Disco Elysium was a rare beast, perhaps the most immaculately written video game ever released (in this humble scribe's opinion), but it was too pure for this world. Following its launch, the subsequent messy, public legal spat between the creatives responsible for the work and the suits who own the IP would result in multiple rounds of layoffs at developer ZA/UM, savagely ironic considering the game's anti-capitalist slant. But would it make you feel worse to know that the standalone expansion cancelled in February, possibly focused on Kim Kitsuragi, was nearly complete?

This spin-off, reputed to be "110% authentic, most hardcore Disco since Disco", according to lead writer Dora Klindžić, was referred to internally as X7 and could have been released as early as next year, in 2025. Thanks to some incredible reporting from PC Gamer, the tragic loss fans of melancholy narrative RPGs suffered unknowingly can now be properly savoured and marinated upon, the next best thing to another Disco Elysium game.

The story so far is too twisted to tell here (we've been covering it extensively if you need a refresher), so we'll stick to the new stuff. PC Gamer spoke to a dozen current and former ZA/UM employees, including Klindžić and Argo Tuulik⁠, writers on the original Disco Elysium and leads on X7, giving a much better picture of what fans have been denied.

X7 would have "advanced the story, the emotional threads, and gameplay elements all at once to truly evolve the genre of psychological RPG as Disco Elysium started it". An internal studio demo was shown off at the end of 2023, impressing the other teams at ZA/UM. One developer said: "I feel like it was the best possible shot at a Disco-like game without [Kurvitz], Rostov, and other people that made the original Disco Elysium. It was a spin-off about one of the most beloved characters [in the game]".

Klindžić twists the knife: "It was something no one else but Argo could have done. For a while, it seemed like miracles were possible, and with them, redemption."

Take it in—what might have been. The *unfairness* of it all pairs wonderfully with the game's OST. Does it feel authentic to the spirit of Disco Elysium that things turned out like this? Is it possible for ZA/UM to recapture the magic of that beautiful game with so many vital creatives now gone? Let us know in the comments section below.

[source pcgamer.com]