12 Games Of Christmas 2019 - Disco Elysium v Outer Wilds

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Dec 14, 2019 5:00 PM
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After Capcom's titanic yesterday it's time for the indie stars to take centre stage. Our final two titles in the 12 Games of Christmas are the Global Game Awards Indie Game of the Year and The Game Awards Indie Game of the Year. It's time for Disco Elysium v Outer Wilds, last indie standing is through to the semis.

How the community voting works

Each day at 17:00 GMT two titles will battle each other. Whichever title receives the most votes in the poll wins, and will then go through to the next round. 12 games in total will be battling away, and the first six rounds took place from Monday through until today, one battle per day. The six games that win will make it through to the semi-finals, where three further 1v1 fights will take place. The winners of these three battles will then make it to the three-way final to decide the ultimate game this Christmas.

Each bout will last 23 hours, and the winner is whichever game receives the most votes in the poll, which can be found towards the bottom of each article. 

Round 1: Fight 6 - Disco Elysium v Outer Wilds

Both of these games excel in their free form gameplay, yet offering two wildly different experiences. Disco Elysium is a head-fucking detective noir adventure with a bewildering array of skills and options at your fingertips. It constantly takes you in surprising tangents, bending to your choices throughout a rollicking 30-hour adventure.

Outer Wilds, on the other hand, is the sort of game you can cut and it'll physically bleed adventure and discovery. A microcosmic toybox to tinker with; the end of the universe turned into cracking entertainment. Endlessly inventive and wildly engrossing, Outer Wilds is 22 minutes of nigh-on perfect.

But which of these two indie giants deserves to walk out as the champion and grab a slot in the semi-finals? It's all down to you. And you. And you. 

Get voting below for your winner, and remember to check back tomorrow for Day Six of the 12 Games of Christmas, where the last two titles will battle it out to earn a place in the semi-final. The winner of today's competition will face the winner of yesterday's competition in the semi-final on 17th December!

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11:34 Dec-15-2019

"Disco..." for me.I don't know - maybe i'm a bit tired of FPS,looting,etc,."Disco" is a way different - story,gameplay,art (astonishing one), and i have to give credit for a different kind of game to the developers.

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09:39 Dec-15-2019

I love the outer wilds!

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07:07 Dec-15-2019

Disco Elysium cause it's on steam.

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20:00 Dec-14-2019

didnt played either and i doubt that i ever will, not my type of game

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21:01 Dec-14-2019

You play 5 games a week, you've pirated every single game that came out this year and you somehow decided to skip these two actual masterpieces? I'm confused.

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23:06 Dec-14-2019

i look at the gameplay and its not for me it could have good story but i canot bare thry game just for it like i did thry final fantasy games

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23:17 Dec-14-2019

Pirate logic

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10:32 Dec-15-2019

so bec i am a pirate my logic and opinions are automaticlly invalid and unimportant when discusing about games quality

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11:39 Dec-15-2019

Both games have little to no gameplay... Outer Wilds is meh, might as well just roam any other next to empty open world game and look at things, but with a couple survival "mechanics"(bars, numbers represented by bars)... like ghost recon breaking point. While Diso Elysium is a point and click adventure game, with very limited decisions. Might be perfectly fine if there was anything else to the game, like gameplay.
If those games had some actual gameplay I'd consider them too myself. IDK how they can be a masterpiece of a game, when for them to be a game they actually need a decent amount gameplay, which they don't have...


Sure if those games are your thing, it's perfecltly fine, but most people want to play a game.

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11:56 Dec-15-2019

Outer Wilds is a detective game set in space where you have to figure out how to stop the universe from exploding. Its main gameplay is flying your ship, exploring and solving a mystery. Also no "survival "mechanics"". Sorry but youre wrong

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12:14 Dec-15-2019

Well there were some bars or something like that, that depleted.
And yeah detective game...
Point and click adventures and roaming adventures should be made into multiple movies with different story branches.

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12:15 Dec-15-2019

Also, why can I reply here and not anywhere else?

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12:25 Dec-15-2019

Little to no gameplay? Sorry, but that statement alone makes everything that you just typed void and will be added to my "Psychomans list of bullsh*t statements". Both of these games have gameplay in their own way just like any other game. If you expect some form of action in all games then that alone tells me your opinions will be void and not worth listening to and that alone further proves that you're just a joke.

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14:13 Dec-15-2019

Outer Wilds is a detective adventure game set in a beautiful universe with a very engaging and interesting story in which the open world actually adds to the experience instead of detracting from it. Every location is free to explore from the very start and they all serve narrative e purpose next to being a beautiful setpieces as well. Its a game that makes you want to explore instead of make you have to. And that's really hard to do.

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14:13 Dec-15-2019

And Disco Elysium has more depth in a single click than last 5 years of AAA games have combined. Sheer amount of choices, approaches and things you can try and do in that game is incredible, and it's all done with a single click.
Both of these games in my opinion are genuine masterpieces, and they're "simple" only to those that have never played it.

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16:12 Dec-15-2019

Well you obviously have missed tons of Japanese games then that are no different than these two, maybe worse graphics and less walking, or some with much more walking. It started in the early 80s btw, so it's about 35 years old. Tons of visual noverls and adventure games from japan, with branching stories and outcomes and decisions that will break your brain.


If all the developer wants to do is tell a story, make a movie or series. If that story has a branching story, making multiple movies/series covering those branches. Simple as that.


And I don't want only action, I want something. Like stats, variables, algorithms, things to manage that actually do things, not static plot progresser items and such, things to think about that are not story related, again it's a game, not a movie.

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18:21 Dec-15-2019

Few comments above you've clearly shown you don't even know what these games are and now you're doubling down on that by comparing them to visual novels? Well for someone who has played these games I can very confidently say that you're just plain wrong.
For whatever reason you still seem to think that the quality of a game is solely determined by the quantity of mechanics tied to gameplay. You've every right to think so but I see that as extremely limiting view.

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18:22 Dec-15-2019

Complexity doesn't equal quality.
If you want a game and not a movie than you'll be glad to know both of these are very much games and neither of these games could in any way work as movies without sacrificing the part that makes them so good. It is quite clear that your whole opinion on these games is solely based on a few quick glances from which you've somehow gleaned all the intricate nuances and depth they provide. Calling these two games movies is a bloody insult.

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18:22 Dec-15-2019

Beauty of games is that they can tell very interesting stories while involving the audience directly. No movie or a TV show has the audience play a central part. There is a reason why no movie based on a game never worked. Because the story is just a part of the experience and not a whole deal.
Games offer vast amounts of different experiences, much more than movies and shows can provide.

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18:29 Dec-15-2019

Well yeah, I said I haven't played them. And from the side, they don't seem like they are anything special at all. I've watched about 30 mins of gameplay of both.
And I don't know, but I think games are called games, because they have gameplay. Point and click is not gameplay.
And it's been proven that story driven games can become excellent series, even with branching stories, if anything, especially with branching stories.
And I'd love to be the front and center of a story, if I could actually do anything, instead of just following the pre-determined combinations of branches based on me clicking/watching stuff.

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18:30 Dec-15-2019

Now if they make such a complex game where you can actually say whatever you want to say and the game will adapt to it, then sure I'd play it, then it will be a story made by the audience/players. But you can't. You are stuck limited in what the the preset branches are and that's it, so I'd like a series please.

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18:39 Dec-15-2019

Also I'd say that mechanics count is depth and not complexity, complexity comes for each and every mechanic.

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18:40 Dec-15-2019

and I'm at -10 again... expecting to not be able to type soon, cuz great censorship.

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19:23 Dec-15-2019

30 whole minutes? Well I stand corrected then. I didn't know I was speaking to a certified professional. You see, games work by being played and not really by being watched. Watching someone else solve a mystery and explore an open world is not the same as you doing it. Games are a form of interactive entertainment. Point and click, however basic, is still gameplay if it plays an interactive role, and it very often does.

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19:23 Dec-15-2019

You are front and center of both of these stories. You are experiencing a story from a personal perspective by unraveling a mystery. I'm terrified to tell you this but all games are "pre-determined combinations of branches based on me clicking/watching stuff."
It's very hard to understand you and talk to you because you obviously don't seem to understand yourself, and I can't bother anymore.

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19:23 Dec-15-2019

I don't understand why are you always so dedicated to be on top of everything but I've learned not to ask. These games are fantastic, and I'm definitely not the only one making this statement. I'm just sorry you're unable to see it that way. Both games are amazing experiences and are hell of a lot of fun too.
If you could for a second set aside your massive ego and step down to our mortal level, I'd recommend you try both. You'll likely be surprised at how wrong you are.

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19:35 Dec-15-2019

Yeah and I don't feel like spending money on games I'm pretty sure I won't like. And I don't want to be on top of anything. I don't know why people think I'm emotional at all... or read into what I say so much that they get meanings and whatnot without me ever intending anything like that.
I'm giving an opinion with arguments, you are giving an opinion with arguments on a pretty subjective matter, thus a debate.


I've played life is strange, I've played the wolf among us, grim fandango, Syberia and the Curse of Monkey Island... every time I trie one of those games, when people tell me they are amazing and so much better than the ones before, it's always the same.


I mean their genre is literally Interactive Movie, like if that doesn't say something IDK.

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19:36 Dec-15-2019

And that's why they are excellent for series, that's why they are successful as series if they have a good story, characters, events and plot to begin with.

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19:38 Dec-15-2019

And yes stories are pre-determined, but you have gameplay in other games, here you don't. That's not really gameplay.

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19:57 Dec-15-2019

I've also played Life is Strange, TWAU, and the others you've mentioned and disliked them as the formula is very apparent. Disco Elysium was a blast. It's genre is an RPG, not an interactive movie, which may come as a shock to you because you've spent all 30 minutes on generalizing. There are even dice rolls, your favorite mechanic. Disco Elysium couldn't work as well if it were a movie or a show, having played it I think I have an authority on that.

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19:57 Dec-15-2019

I feel I've played a game after finishing either of these, but with you having 30 minutes of watched gameplay footage behind you, I don't think I can argue my case I guess. This is not a debate, not even close. It's you telling us we're wrong for liking a game you've never played, and me trying to say that there's a lot more than 30 minutes of gameplay footage shows.
But I'm done. You're likely right, you always are.

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20:04 Dec-15-2019

Then I'm wrong on Disco Elysium. But how is the game supposed to be sold to me if I can't recognize it in a whole 30 minutes of gameplay? They need a better, the trailer sure didn't make it seem different than a point and click adventure either.

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20:13 Dec-15-2019

It was sold on me after reading reviews. Sometimes videos cannot show all you need to know, especially with games like these. People today are often lazy to read. It's a beautiful game with sadly a weaker third act, but still an experience I've not had in a while.

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20:24 Dec-15-2019

I don't read reviews, because I don't want any spoilers regarding absolutely anything about the game be it gameplay, story or anything. Just like now you said it has a weaker 3rd act. Now my expectations are that the game will get bad by the third(or final if its the final) act. I want to be as blind as possible when playing a game. Usually a short trailer should be enough. Since the trailer made it seem like another point and click adventure, but people praised it to oblivion, I checked some gameplay.


And reading is the last thing I'm lazy about.

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20:44 Dec-15-2019

I don't have either time nor money to basically gamble it on so little information. I like to know what I'm personally getting into before I go for it, and if that brings spoilers, so it does. Spoilers don't ruin great experiences for me, if anything, they're actually more intriguing. I want to know what lead to it.
DE doesn't get bad by the third act. It's weaker by the rest of the game but still holds well.

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21:43 Dec-15-2019

its better to watch gameplay instead of reviews as people that review the game usually do it by they personal taste instead of from neutral point

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21:51 Dec-15-2019

Everyone reviews everything by personal taste. You will never find a review of anything that's not tainted, so to say, by the reviewers biases. That goes for the written as well as video content. Gameplay falls in the same category. Simply put, people who don't like the game won't play it.
What separates good reviews from the bad ones is the reviewers understanding of games, mechanics and what to mention in order to present the most objective view of the product.

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21:58 Dec-15-2019

And the last part is not something you will not see in a gameplay video, and if you do, it's definitely not a "neutral point". There is no best or better choice, just the one that suits you the most.

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22:24 Dec-15-2019

@David988
My problem with reviews is that they spoil the game, even if it's vague and non-specific, they create expectations at certain points of the game, certain things about the game and such. Which is why I don't like them, If I read reviews, it's after I've beaten the game to see other opinions and it's usually out of boredom.

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12:33 Dec-16-2019

Just to add - both of these games are incredible, and they're definitely games. Watching vids of either of them would never get close to matching what it's like playing them, in particular Outer Wilds for me which captures a feeling of adventure like very few games ever have. I've played a fair few VNs and neither of these games are anything like them.

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14:06 Dec-16-2019

You are likely correct, but I'm still not sold, because if it's not obvious from even watching gameplay and the trailers are crap and considering they are not free, doubt that I will try them out, maybe when they get a discount or something.

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14:12 Dec-16-2019

I mean, the reveal trailer was all I needed. It's not going to convince everyone or life would be very boring. Maybe it's just not for you?

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15:48 Dec-16-2019

Well I said that those types of games aren't, though I didn't know that Disco Elysium was an RPG, but it still doesn't seem very appealing to me.

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16:13 Dec-16-2019

Subnautica and Outer Wilds are two games that I think got adventure just right. I don't remember having so much fun just exploring as I did with these two games. I often don't enjoy exploring as many open world games don't have anything of interest to show, it's just a massive empty space with a pretty scenery. You are very rarely rewarded for going off track so why would I waste time doing so. But these two games are built around it and it shows.

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16:17 Dec-16-2019

They used the open world to enhance the game, and not just as a padding to artificially prolong it as many Open World games do. The feeling of going deeper in Subnautica is incredible, and simply exploring all the locations in Outer Wilds is even better. And Outer Wilds has such a beautiful ending which I wasn't expecting. I've been meaning to play the Witness, heard it's also an amazing adventure puzzle game. I hope it's a proper experience as these two games provide.

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16:29 Dec-16-2019

The Witness is really great as well. It's genius how the puzzles and the environments layer up in complexity. It's the sort of game you need to do in one go without dropping it though as if you leave it a few weeks you'll forget everything, meant I had to start again...

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16:31 Dec-16-2019

How long do you reckon it is then?

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16:42 Dec-16-2019

Pretty long. I'd say 25 hours. Depends a lot of how long you may get stuck on a bit. It's all very logical though so the answer's there somewhere

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17:31 Dec-16-2019

That's a lot more than I expected. Hopefully I can get stuck in it sooner rather than later.

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17:35 Dec-14-2019

Oh come on, they're both fantastic. Most likely my 2 favorite games this year, and because of that I'll have to abstain my vote. Whichever wins, they both deserved it.

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18:21 Dec-14-2019

I agree, I'd vote for either of these over the other games, but I found Outer Wilds more unique. It get's my vote

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