Shacknews Best Narrative Game of 2019 - Disco Elysium

Take to the streets in Disco Elysium to uncover the mystery of the hanged man, fight for or against socialism, and try not to be consumed by the bottle – or do, this is your narrative, and the best one of 2019.


From the very first moments, it’s obvious that there’s something special about Disco Elysium. The entire game centers on an alcoholic detective and his journey to not only solve the mystery of the hanged man, but come to terms with himself and his own identity. It’s an unforgettable experience that manages to keep the emotional train moving forward, even after dozens of hours. Its story, characters, and writing make it a clear winner for the Shacknews Best Narrative Game of 2019.

Shacknews Best Narrative Game of 2019

The story in Disco Elysium begins the morning after a roaring night of drinking and debauchery. The lumpy and bloated body of the detective is sprawled on the floor of his hotel room, but this isn’t revealed for a few minutes as the game actually starts in pitch black, with nothing but a voice talking to you.

disco elysium best narrative 2019

It’s at this moment, as you beg for more nothingness and not the raging headache in your meaty head, that Disco Elysium shows its narrative chops. Every line of dialogue is beautifully written, and seeks to not only propel the story forward, but dive into the mental unrest of the detective and expand upon the reality in which he exists, both physically and mentally.

disco elysium dialogue conversations

You see, it’s not just a problem of solving the case of the hanged man, but also working out the kinks of our own mental hang ups. Disco Elysium manages to emulate mental unrest with the various characters in the game. The detective has numerous skills – such as Savoir Faire, Composure, Pain Threshold, Inland Empire – and each of these have an internalized voice, demanding the detective’s attention and trying to lead him one way.

So while you’re talking with the leader of a group of vigilantes, or interrogating the last person to see the hanged man alive, you’re also battling your inner demons.

This all happens over Disco Elysium’s day-based timeline. Each day introduces new opportunities and plot points, new discovers to make and people to question. Just as you feel like you’re making headway on understanding exactly what happened, you’ll uncover some twist that sends you careening down a new pathway in search of the truth. It’s a ride that does not let up.

disco elysium awards

In our Disco Elysium review, I likened the experience to a Harlan Ellison story come to life, and went on to say the following:

There’s a violent energy coursing through Disco Elysium’s veins, and you just want to sink your teeth in. It’s wildly funny in parts and desperately sad in others. It’s absurd, and heartfelt, and dripping with soul.

Disco Elysium puts you in the green snake skin shoes of a substance abusing detective in a world on the brink of collapse and asks you to deal with clashing philosophies, ideologies, and your inner demons. As far as narratives goes, it’s the best on offer in 2019, unmatched by any other game.

Guides Editor

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can message him on X: @SamuelChandler 

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola