ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree

Posted:  Jan 27, 2023
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ATONE was provided to us for review by Untold Tales and PressEngine. Thank you!

ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree is an interactive story game that combines puzzle solving and rhythm-based combat. As a young warrior named Estra, you must journey through Midgard to learn about her family's past and stop the looming darkness spreading across the realm. With difficult decisions ahead and a deep narrative, this norse-mythology inspired game will keep you engaged with its delectable soundtrack and unique visual style. Will you be able to discover the truth and rise up against the corruption that is manifesting?

Through my time playing ATONE, I was captivated by the music and the story. I am also a sucker for Guitar Hero-like gameplay, which is the combat system in this game (prompts coming down a rail to the beat of the music). I also loved the art style in general, but the art pieces that came up during combat were especially appealing. I also like the difficulty selection, which allows either 2 or 4 rails of button prompts. But one question remains: How does ATONE run on the Steam Deck? Well, I have the answer!

ATONE: Heart of the Optimization

ATONE has absolutely no issues when it comes to performance on Deck! The game itself performs flawlessly at 60 FPS with a 6W - 8W battery drain. No changes to any settings are needed in-game to enjoy this game optimally!

The one issue that I see is the cutscenes not showing up when playing without any forced compatibility. But, if you use Proton GE, this will be completely fixed! I used Proton GE 7-47, but any later version, and possibly some earlier ones, should work just fine. You can follow our guide on how to get Proton GE for yourself, as well as the importance of why having it is a good idea!

Otherwise, I found no issues with playing the game on Deck. Controls worked great, no hitches in framerate or stability, and battery drain being so low allowed a long battery life of 5.5 - 6 hours.


ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree is an awesome game and one that I can see myself chilling out and getting lost in a captivating story with a mesmerizing soundtrack. The difficulty selection is a nice touch and I enjoyed the rhythm combat and visual style. And to top it all off, the game runs near-perfect on the Steam Deck without any changes in-game, just make sure to use Proton GE for the cutscenes! I am happy to say that ATONE is a Best on Deck game and definitely one worth your time!

Our review is based on the PC version of this game.

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree is a interactive story with rhythm based combat set in norse-mythology. And it is a Best on Deck game, playing near perfectly without any in-game changes!

Build Score

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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2 comments on “ATONE: Heart of the Elder Tree”

  1. Bigup to The Luminist he made an amazing music work (he's on Youtube, he also made a mesmerizing remix of Metroid 1 OST in synthwave..I highly recommand!!)

  2. Bigup to the Luminist he made an amazing work (he's on Youtube, he also made some mesmerizing remix of Metroid 1 in synthwave..I highly recommand!!)

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