Decarnation was provided by Shiro Unlimited for review. Thank you!
Decarnation is a dark, story-driven game with a huge focus on this emotional tale. As Gloria, you are struggling in your job and personal life, almost to the breaking point. But, just when it could hit rock bottom, a new artistic opportunity appears, but it might not be what it seems. This tale is one of survival that is layered with the contrast between limitations in the physical world and dealing with the horrifying subconscious ones that eat you alive. Pair that with some traditional survival horror elements like puzzles, horrifying environments, and avoiding predators, and you have yourself an experience you don't want to miss.
Let me start off by saying I am a sucker for story games. I love getting invested in the characters and overarching plot with great development and good pacing for the narrative being told. With this being the main focus of Decarnation, I am happy to say the story and writing excel on all fronts. The constant battles with Gloria's deteriorating mental state, as well as dealing uncomfortable topics, are expertly handled. On top of that, we have some incredible visuals and animations that accentuate the trauma that Gloria is going through, all made even more disturbing by the haunting soundtrack. Combining all of these creates an atmosphere that can, at times, truly feel unrivaled.
If I had to knock anything against it, I would say Decarnation is less of a game and more of an interactive movie. With the story taking center stage, a lot of the gameplay away from the story will be walking around or taking part in random mini-games, like the rhythm sequence when you are dancing at the cabaret Gloria works at. Personally, I feel the game works best when you are expecting a story more than a full, interactive game. None of these ruined by experience however, but it is good to note to keep expectations in check.
If you are a fan of psychological horror and story-driven experiences, this is going to be the game for you. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire game, horrified at the visuals, but entranced by the visuals and atmosphere presented. The soundtrack is fantastically composed and helps to really drive the horror that Decarnation is showcasing. And playing this on the Steam Deck is going to be one of the best ways to play by far!
Luckily, enjoying Decarnation on the Steam Deck is a breeze! Without any changes, you can expect a perfect 60 FPS with a 6W - 8W battery drain, which translates to around 6 - 6.5 hours of battery.This also means the game qualifies as a Best on Deck game!
While Decarantion doesn't have cloud saves or supports 16:10 resolutions (there will be black bars), it does have full controller support that works quite well. The game is rated Playable due to small text and sometimes showing non-Steam Deck controller icons. While I didn't see any issue with the controller icons, there were a few moments where text was a bit on the small side, but it was only a bit small in certain parts of the game. The majority of the text was a good size that I could legibly read.
Decarnation is an incredible take on the psychological horror genre that, with its superb writing, visuals, and soundtrack, create an atmosphere that both horrifies and astounds at every turn. While the gameplay elements of it can feel added in as a second thought, the focus on narrative does this game justice and helps it come together as an experience worth having. And with how well the game runs on the Steam Deck with no changes needed, this is an easy Best on Deck game that I will happily recommend to others!
Our review is based on the PC version of this game.
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Decarnation is a psychological horror game that shines with its atmosphere and haunting soundtrack. Both of which can be fully enjoyed on the Steam Deck!