El Paso, Elsewhere

Posted:  Sep 26, 2023
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star

Review

El Paso, Elsewhere was provided by Strange Scaffold for review. Thank you!

Imagine if Van Helsing decided to have a baby with Max Payne. Have an idea in your head? Now, if you are imagining a third-person shooter where you will run around, shooting and putting stakes in vampires and werewolves, all while jumping back and forth in slow motion, let me introduce you to El Paso, Elsewhere.

Set in a neo-noir world, you are James Savage, a drug addict on a mission to save the victims of your ex-lover, who also happens to be the lord of the vampires. You will traverse through a changing motel that is constantly shifting reality as you go down the elevator. This starts off with some minor layout changes in the first few levels but gets quite crazy as the entire floor can shift into new areas like creepy cemeteries. I love the aesthetic, it has a simple, yet appealing taste to it that satisfies without getting overly complex.

ElPasoElsewhere6

Then, we get to the really good stuff: the gameplay. Heavily inspired by Max Payne, you will be set in a third-person view, using different guns and stakes you pick up to demolish your enemies. Stakes are the melee weapons you can replenish by breaking wooden objects that you find, and each is a one-hit kill, but the guns are where you can get crazy. You can enter slow-motion at any time, as long as you have the energy for it, and jump and dive in any direction. Combining these can create epic moments of slow-mo headshots, dives, and staking enemies.

There isn't much else to say other than I enjoy El Paso, Elsewhere. For me, it is a mindless game. I can just dive in and enjoy making some great moments filled with awesome slow-motion leaps and shots. There is something satisfying about lining up 3 vampires and 2 werewolves and head shotting them all with perfectly placed bullets from the repeater. And while it does need some compromises, playing on the Steam Deck is wonderful.

El Paso, Elsewhere - Steam Deck Performance

While it had a bumpy beginning, El Paso, Elsewhere ran much better as I got to configuring. The game tends to drain heavily at around 53-55 FPS without making any changes. This can get worse in specific areas that are much larger, but most tend to be in corridors and hallways. Luckily, we can make some compromises to enjoy the game at its fullest.

There is one thing I did notice, though. If you pause the game in a cutscene, the options at the bottom will stay on the screen underneath the cutscene. It isn't horrible, but it can be a bit of a nuisance.

ElPasoElsewhereCutscene

Recommended Settings

For the recommended build, I wanted to find a good balance of framerate, battery life, and visual quality. After some testing, I felt keeping all the settings on, but reducing render resolution, was the best way to go. After testing different values, I felt reducing the render resolution to 50 kept the bulk of visual quality while making the game run more smoothly at lower TDP limits.

Compare
Render Resolution 100
Render Resolution 50
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Render Resolution 50
Render Resolution 100

I also felt that a 40hz/FPS limit mixed with a TDP limit of 8 gave the game a decent amount of battery life with lower temps and a stable framerate. This feels significantly better than 30, but balances well with the extra battery life from capping the TDP.

Framerate + Quality Build

Next, I wanted to find the best possible framerate I could have with the highest quality. So, without any caps, I found that 55 FPS mixed with a 70% render resolution is possible in almost every area. There are some bigger ones that can drop to 45 - 47, but these can climb back up quickly depending on where you are looking. Since these areas are minimal, I decided keeping the framerate up like that is manageable and still playable in most of the game.

Battery Build

Finally, we have the battery build. Sticking to a 50% render resolution and going to a 30 FPS cap, we can get a TDP limit of 6 and increase battery life by around 30-60 minutes. This does keep temps low, which is nice, but it does feel a little sluggish compared to the higher framerates. Regardless, this is great if you want to maximize your playtime.

Accessibility

As for the different options, you will be able to change, you can change look sensitivity, which I highly recommend, field of view options, different volume sliders, auto-reload, and auto get up after dive toggles, inverted camera toggles, and a toggle to swap weapons automatically.

The game does support 16:10 resolutions and has full controller support, but unfortunately, there is no cloud save support.

Conclusion

El Paso, Elsewhere is a wonderful way to rekindle the love you may be missing from the Max Payne games. It has an interesting tale mixed in with simple and appealing visuals, all bundled up with great gameplay systems that can create some truly epic moments. Even though it does need some compromises on the Steam Deck, especially in regards to framerate, it will still be a ton of fun and worth your time.

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

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

El Paso, Elsewhere is a wonderful Max Payne-esque game that can handle quite well on the Steam Deck.

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Stability: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Controls: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarFull 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

Let us know what level of playability you consider El Paso, Elsewhere to be. Help our community determine the viability of playing this game on Steam Deck!
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$13.99
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Other Builds
Framerate Build
SteamOS

Limit

55

Refresh Rate

55

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

No

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Render Scale: 70%

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

18W - 21W

67c - 75c

1.5 - 2 hours

Battery Build
SteamOS

Limit

30

Refresh Rate

60

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

6

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Render Scale: 50%

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

10W - 14W

58c - 64c

3 - 3.5 hours

related Settings

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