@yeso to respond to your question about how I felt about the game’s conclusion wrt righteous leftist vengeance compared to pathologic 2, here are my thoughts:
Please Look Forward To Disco Elysium 2!
Okay in all seriousness. I can split up my thoughts on the ending into four categories.
This was a fantastic bit of CRPG chaos. I love how many different outcomes there are, how tense it feels, and how much is at stake. It really caught me by surprise, timing-wise, as well. I also think it represents more or less how drunk war criminals would act.
I am a little disappointed the game didn’t give me an option to choose to refuse to arrest the Deserter, and to simply walk away.* It makes up for it with the wonderful event that happens after (I totally thought I had missed the opportunity to follow that questline through). The conversation with the Deserter is one of the most fascinating ones in the whole game in the sense of trying to understand his viewpoint.
*- Should perhaps be noted that my companion for this sequence was Kuuno, so if Kim won’t let you leave the scene without arresting the Deserter, I wouldn’t know about that because the Cuno won’t object to walking away at least from the conversation. But all that made me do was walk back to the boat, frustrated that the Cuno was going to make me go back there and click the button to arrest the guy.
- The Debriefing With Your Cop Buddies
This was annoying, honestly. They should have shown up BEFORE you go on the boat, and you come back with proof that everything you were saying was true. Plus it just feels like the game yanks away my sense of agency with the character away at the last second. Why do I still want to be a cop…? I sure don’t even if the character does.
- The Nascent Revolution(?)
Maybe there is something to the idea of leaving us yearning leftists with something to yearn for. In some ways Disco Elysium is a game that played out in a way where it would feel cheap and contrived for it to have ended on the eve of an actual revolution. And, your conversation with the Deserter is deliciously and appropriately bleak, crushingly depressing, and tragic, but in a way that feels almost like you’re metaphorically closing the chapter of this period of history. For there to be a revolution in Revachol, the period of history you would call the Failed Revolution must end, the insurrection of the past is impossible to revive. Something new has to happen, and no one knows what that will be, just yet.