Dark Envoy

Posted:  Oct 26, 2023
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Cloud Saves


Dark Envoy was provided by Event Horizon for review. Thank you!

Isometric, dark, fantasy RPGs are among some of my favorites to play, and Dark Envoy is exactly the kind of game I like. In it, you will create your two main characters, choosing their class, abilities, and attribute points, and then control them while walking around a war-stricken world. It has all the usual features of RPGs, like leveling up, equipment customization, and a big focus on story, but Dark Envoy does a couple of things I think help it stand out.

The biggest for me is the combat. I love the real-time combat mechanics in the game, which makes it feel more engaging. You are also able to slow down time for a more tactical approach, allowing you to cast different abilities and choose without worrying about enemies charging you at full speed to interrupt. The fighting is also complemented by the awesome sound and level design, along with great-looking visuals to complement it, making each battle and level to explore enjoyable.


I also enjoyed that you could make choices throughout the story that would impact how it plays out. I always appreciate games that have stories where you can choose what happens next and see it play out. I do wish there were more choices, whereas most seem like it is either fight or avoid fighting, but I was overall engaged with the story. I just wish it was a better experience on the Steam Deck.

Dark Envoy - Steam Deck Performance

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find an enjoyable way to play Dark Envoy on the Steam Deck. On the lowest settings on stock Steam Deck with no limits, I could hit 30 FPS around 60% of the time, but in battles and dense areas, the framerate would dip to 20 FPS. This was a little better with the 4gb UMA Buffer and CryoUtilities, but it still had noticeable dips.

I also was put off by the controls. Navigating menus meant moving a cursor around, and half the time, I would need to tap on the screen to make the cursor appear. Changing settings this way and creating characters were a bit of a nightmare. Moving your team around in the game wasn't as bad, but there were multiple times I accidentally went into slow-mo/tactical mode and had to get out of it. I also found my character glitching when walking around and accidentally hitting walls.


As for settings, you can change language and difficulty, as well as turn off combat automatically starting in tactical mode with a free cursor. You can also toggle auto-attacking enemies and auto-progressing in dialog, turn UI size up (recommended), toggle radial menu, screen shake, edge panning, and tooltip order. You can also change different audio bars. I have noticed a couple of instances where the settings don't save, and I had to switch them back.

Dark Envoy does support 16:10 resolutions, so there will be no black bars, and it does have cloud saves. Controller support is there, but as I mentioned, it doesn't always feel great.


Dark Envoy is an enjoyable isometric RPG with a fantastic combat system that I fell in love with. Mixing together real-time battles with ways to pause or slow down the game to make tactical decisions was a great one and made each encounter feel engaging and satisfying. Unfortunately, getting the game running and feeling nice on the Steam Deck is nearly impossible for a stable experience throughout the full game. Hopefully, patches and optimizations will help since I think this could be awesome on the go, but it isn't ready yet.

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

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Dark Envoy is an enjoyable isometric RPG that can't seem to feel great on the Steam Deck.

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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