Blacktail

Posted:  Dec 27, 2022
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Cloud Saves
Disclaimer: This is an initial impression of the game. Our review and recommended settings will be updated when we've completed a full and thorough analysis of how it performs on Steam Deck. Check back soon for our full analysis!

Review

Blacktail is a first-person game that tells the tale of Yaga, a girl accused of witchcraft and banished from her town. You will confront your past with your archery and magic in this dark story to learn the origins of the Slavic legend, Baba Yaga. Track down spirits, craft, hunt, and gather resources to survive the vibrant fairy tale forest. Choose whether to help or hurt the inhabitants of the forest using the morality system to dictate the Baba Yaga you will become.

Blacktail is a unique experience and has beautifully vibrant visuals and an enjoyable combat system. With some tweaks, it can also be enjoyed on the Steam Deck. The game auto sets a "Steam Deck" graphics profile, which does work in certain areas, but drains more battery and slows down semi-often at 30 FPS. I found that using mostly medium settings, with foliage on low, will bring a more stable experience and allow a TDP of 9 to keep battery under 16W.

I also wanted to figure out a way to play this at 40 FPS since it does feel significantly smoother. To do this, more settings needed to be set to low and I had to force 1024x640 resolution through Steam and use FSR to upscale. It still looked decent and held 40 FPS most of the time with a TDP limit of 12.

The controls do work fine, though there isn't mixed input support, and some text is a bit on the small side. I didn't encounter major bugs or hiccups in my playthrough so far, but I did find a couple areas where framerate drops and battery drains more. This seems to be based on Blacktail loading in new areas and how much you're seeing on your screen. It isn't unplayable though and I am still having fun.

Blacktail is a really cool experience so far. I love the game's unique story, morality system, and archery combat. It runs on the Steam Deck well enough to be enjoyed, and while it could be better, it is definitely playable.

Screenshots:

Comparisons:

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Stills:

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

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Blacktail is an interesting game that tells a unique story with some awesome gameplay mechanics. And luckily, on the Steam Deck, this can all be enjoyed with some compromises.

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Battery: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
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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Community Rating

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85
Let us know what level of playability you consider Blacktail to be. Help our community determine the viability of playing this game on Steam Deck!
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$9.89
View in Steam Store
Proton DB Rating

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Other Builds & Information

40 FPS Build

SteamOS:

40 FPS Cap with 40 Refresh Rate

Half Rate Shading OFF

TDP Limit 12

Linear

Force Resolution: 1024x640

 

Proton Version:

No Forced Compatibility

 

Game Settings:

Anti-Aliasing: Off

View Distance: Medium

Post-Processing: Medium

Shadows: Low

Textures: Medium

Effects: Low

Shading: Low

Foliage: Low

Materials: Medium

 

 

Projected Battery Usage/Temps:

14W - 19W

Around 70c - 75c temps for CPU and GPU

Around 2 - 2.5 hours of gameplay

related Settings

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