Playstation 5 – Hands On: Maybe Don’t Buy Disco Elysium on PS5 at Launch
It was stated that Disco Elysium: The Final Cut would support 60 frames-per-second on PlayStation 5. However, that is absolutely not the case at launch. The much anticipated isometric RPG has launched on Sony platforms with a number of minor issues, all of which add up to make a fairly unsatisfying experience. It’s frustrating because we can see some of the charm and quality seeping through the cracks that its PC userbase has talked up for the past year, to the point where we think what developer ZA/UM has in its hands will eventually be considered one of the PS5’s best in its early years. But we’re not playing that game on day one. What we are playing feels like a buggy and unresponsive chore.
It’s the frame rate that really gets under our skin. The target of 60fps may be reached when you leave the game to idle, but then you’re not going to make any progress whatsoever. Serious chugging is a common occurrence whenever you transition between environments and simply navigating the outdoors can lead to frame rate drops all too often. It ruins the sense of exploration for us since we’re fighting to keep the game in check technical wise just as much as we are conversing with the town locals. Some may be able to put up with it, but we didn’t expect Disco Elysium: The Final Cut to run like a slideshow. It leaves a disappointing first impression that is only extrapolated by poor interaction prompts.
The game uses the right thumbstick on the PS5 DualSense controller to highlight objects within every environment you can interact with. You then need to confirm that interaction by pressing X, except main character Harry only seems to follow your orders roughly half the time. It’s a very fiddly system where you need to line your character up perfectly with where the game wants you to stand in order to trigger the prompt. If you are stood slightly to the side, the interaction won’t take place. In just a few hours of playtime, we very regularly found ourselves needlessly adjusting positions to fit what the title demands. It’s a tedious action that doesn’t lend itself particularly well to a controller.
And then there’s the odd glitch here and there that pulls control away from you. One example would be where we simply lost the ability to select a dialogue option for a couple of minutes. Every other menu in the game could be accessed and even scrolled through, but return to the actual game and no dice. We then suddenly regained control and were allowed to progress — we had pressed every button on the controller multiple times by this point so we’re not sure what triggered this bug or how it was resolved.
As alluded to earlier, however, the entire situation is annoying because we can see glimpses of what those who played the base game on PC have been chatting about in the time since launch. Top-notch writing keeps discussions engaging and the breadth of dialogue options placed at your fingertips really is quite something. It puts the typical RPGs you’ve come to know on consoles to absolute shame. The narrative itself hasn’t quite grabbed us just yet, but then we are only a few hours in. Should it pick up in our next play session, we’ll start to see why the game is rated so highly for its story.
It’s a little heartbreaking to see Disco Elysium: The Final Cut launch in such a state on PS5. There’s something special here and we’re eager to do the work and uncover it, but we’ll have to do so with a very poor frame rate, silly interaction prompts, and a small handful of bugs. There’s an excellent game here, somewhere — it just isn’t that at launch.
Have you also played Disco Elysium: The Final Cut on PS5 yet? Have you also encountered many frame rate issues or bugs? Share your first impressions in the comments below.