It's one of my greatest pleasures: watching the collective internet 'double-take' when something unexpected or highly anticipated gets announced in a manner no less casual than a passing comment about the weather. That pleasure was well and truly indulged yesterday, 6th April, when a Switch port of ZA/UM's universally adored RPG Disco Elysium was confirmed to be in development on the BBC 5live ‘Game On’ podcast.
Aleksander Rostov and Helen Hindpere (Art Director and Narrative Lead at ZA/UM, respectively), speaking on the podcast, made allusions to a Switch port that is "going to happen soon". Rostov specifically joked that the podcast was inturrupting him from "writing up design documentation for the user interface and input systems for the Switch port".
Classic RPGs like Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights have already made their way to Switch, proving that there's both a demand for deep, interaction-driven RPGs and the capability on the Switch to handle them. And when it comes to that particular niche in gaming, no title has reached the dynamic heights of Disco Elysium in years, if ever.
Set in a single city clock, Disco Elysium puts players in the shoes of an amnesiac detective on the trail of a murderer. Despite its relatively uninspired setup, the game breaks new ground in terms of interactivity, player choice and dynamic interactions with the world and its characters. It's a social interaction sandbox that offers unprecedented choice and freedom with how a player engages with its inhabitants.
No release date has been confirmed for Disco Elysium on Switch other than a vague assurance of "soon". It looks as if we'll just have to wait patiently...