Posted on its website, the Classification Review Board stated that “a three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the computer game, Disco Elysium – The Final Cut is classified R 18+ (Restricted) with the consumer advice of high impact themes, coarse language and drug references.”
The review board went on to say that “while drug use linked to incentive sand rewards cannot be accommodated at $ 18+, this game does provide disincentives related to drug-taking behaviour to the point where regular drug use leads to negative consequences for the player’s progression in the game”
In the Review Board’s view, this game warrants an R 18+ classification, as in accordance with item 2 of section 4 of the Code, it is unsuitable for viewing or playing by a minor. Under the Computer Games Guidelines, at R 18+, themes and language have virtually no restriction. Drug use is permitted, however it should not be related to incentives or rewards.
The primary means of interaction with the game is audio and text-based, while the visual aspect is secondary and stylised. Due to the primary interactive vehicle, and the complex and nuanced representation of the subject matter which tailors the storytelling to a mature audience, the Review Board considers the appeal of the game to be skewed to an adult audience.
The themes are related to the detective investigating a murder while also attempting to manage his own alcohol addiction, and getting his life back together after his substance abuse. The themes and drug references are inextricably linked.
The language includes frequent strong coarse language which is often used aggressively, leading to a high cumulative impact, which can be accommodated at the R 18+ classification.
The game provides depictions of the consumption of a drug labelled “speed” and other terminologies. In the Review Board’s opinion, this game provides disincentives related to drug-taking behaviour, to the point where regular drug use leads to negative consequences for the player’s progression in the game. The game mechanic is designed to disincentivise and penalise increased consumption of drugs. The drug use is depicted at a distance through an isometric perspective, and is depicted in a stylised form, largely through text, accompanied by simplistic illustrations which depict the drug product. Players may choose for the character to consume drugs and alcohol but the act of consumption is not explicitly depicted. After the consumption of drugs, visual effects on screen implicitly depict the effects of the drug, and there are subsequent changes to character statistics, including negative outcomes.
The Review Board notes that the game contains sexual references which can be accommodated at a lower classification.