Phantom Fury

Posted:  Apr 23, 2024
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star
Cloud Saves


Phantom Fury was provided by 3D Realms for review. Thank you!

There aren't many first-person shooter games that play well on the Steam Deck, so whenever I can, I like to take the opportunity to review newer ones that could run well. One of my favorites I played in the past year is Ion Fury, a great game that brings us back to the classic boomer-shooters that defined the genre in the early 90s, like Duke Nukem 3D. Phantom Fury is the follow-up, continuing protagonist Shelly "Bombshell" Harrison's story, and takes inspiration from late 1990s shooters like Half-Life. While it succeeds in creating a gorgeous experience with action-packed gameplay, it does suffer from some technical issues that hold it back from being as good as it could be.

PhantomFury 11

At its core, Phantom Fury is a great shooter with excellent gunplay. Each gun feels varied and powerful, with unique upgrades to make them stand out further. From a shotgun that can be outfitted with a flash bomb to stun enemies around you to an assault rifle with a cryo-bomb to freeze opponents and even a foam shooter to slowly disintegrate all of the foes that touch it, there aren't any shortages of distinctive ways to dispose of your adversaries.

Running around and shooting feels amazing, and I love how they react to getting shot. It doesn't feel like most enemies are full-on bullet sponges; each gun feels weighty when you shoot it. Limbs and heads can come off, blood can splash in the air, and watching the ragdoll bodies fall to the ground can be such a blast, watching it all come together as you mow through 10-15 at a time. You can also slide, which can create some cool moments. There was one time I slid under a box that an enemy threw at me and eviscerated him with my shotgun when I reached them. I truly felt like a badass at that moment.

PhantomFury 23

You can also interact with different objects scattered around each level. These can range from picking up random objects and explosive barrels to chuck at enemies to electrical boxes on the wall that explode and electrocute everyone around you. On some levels, you can even drive vehicles! Aside from fighting, there are different mini-games littered around that act as a nice break from the normal gameplay loop. Air hockey, arcade games, and Pinball machines are all there to give you a wonderful reprieve.

Speaking of the levels, the visuals are absolutely gorgeous. The objects all have a retro-esque pixel texture but are still detailed enough to make out what each thing is, and the lighting is phenomenal. There were so many moments where I was floored by how beautiful it looked and had to take a moment to screenshot what I was seeing. This happened way more than I was expecting, and I appreciated it each time.

PhantomFury 9

Even so, I did get lost in the levels more often than I would like. At times, there was little guidance to figure out where to go, and in some of the larger outside levels, I got quite lost. It took me a bit of time to backtrack and find the correct way to go, which usually ended up with me missing a keycard that was not shining bright enough for me to notice. If you naturally explore every nook and cranny for secrets, you will find your way. Otherwise, there is little to guide you at times. There are some nice easter eggs, though, like a pizza on the roof of a motel, and finding them can be fun in itself.

The story and sound are both serviceable and help accentuate how great the core gameplay is. The music especially is a nice touch, and it pairs well with gunshots and exploding enemies. Seeing Shelly come back in the future to secure an ancient artifact and save mankind is enjoyable, though ultimately, I didn't care much for the story. But there are a solid number of bugs and technical issues to watch out for.

PhantomFury 19

There were a lot of times enemies would just stop attacking me, physics on objects would fling me across the map, and I would sometimes get caught in a spot and die or need to load from a previous checkpoint. This happening once or twice, I can forgive, but it happened often enough in each level where it was significantly more noticeable. There are also a lot of performance issues. At first, I thought this was more of a Steam Deck issue rather than the game, but after seeing other reports, I believe it's just the game. Seeing how well Ion Fury played, I was hopeful the Phantom Fury would be optimized well, too, but I was wrong. It's still playable, but expect drops in very large open areas or when a ton of enemies are on screen.

Even still, it is technically playable on the Steam Deck.

Phantom Fury - Steam Deck Performance

I enjoy Phantom Fury, and being able to play it portably has been a joy. But to get it running decently, we do have to make some compromises. As a first-person shooter, my priority is smoothness and getting as close to 60 FPS as possible. While I was able to, it did come at a high cost that made me take a little step backward from this goal. The game does have some overall performance hiccups, so this isn't a specific Steam Deck issue.

This was probably one of the hardest games I had to review because of these compromises. It left me with two options: Either a better-looking game with slightly more drops or a worse-looking game with fewer drops. In the end, I chose the better-looking game. There will be drops regardless of the settings, and I would rather take slightly more drops with significantly better Shadows than fewer drops without.

Shadows Low
Shadows Medium
Shadows Medium
Shadows Low

I also decided to keep the game locked to 50 FPS. This made it feel smoother than 30 or 40, which felt way too slow for my liking, and the drops weren't as jarring as if it were dropping from 60. In the end, it is still playable, and about 75% of the game was playable at 50. But, there are too many open areas and big fights where the framerate drops pretty significantly.


As for the settings, you can toggle auto switching weapons when they are empty, aim assist, holding to crouch, color blind modes for Deuteranopia, Protanopia, and Tritanopia, and subtitles. You can also change language, audio sliders, and can even change how frequent one-liners are said, including being able to turn them completely off.

There is 16:10 resolution support, so you won't see any black bars while playing, and it has cloud save and controller support. There are no HDR settings.


Phantom Fury is an enjoyable shooter that is marred by technical issues and some level design hiccups. The gunplay is fantastic, each gun feels varied and useful, and shooting enemies is very satisfying. The levels themselves, especially the lighting, are amazing as well. But, I easily got lost in most of the larger levels, and bugs made me have to restart, and performance drops happened too often and stopped me from enjoying the game further. This did translate to my enjoyment on the Steam Deck due to needing compromises I didn't think I would need to make, but it is playable in the end.

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

If you enjoyed this review, be sure to check out the rest of the content on SteamDeckHQ! We have a wide variety of game reviews and news that are sure to help your gaming experience. Whether you're looking for newstips and tutorialsgame settings and reviews, or just want to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, we've got your back.

SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Phantom Fury has the makings of a great game, though is held back by technical and level design issues. But, it is playable on the Steam Deck with some compromises.


Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star
Fun Factor: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star

Build Score

Full StarFull StarFull StarNo StarNo Star
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Full StarFull StarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
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.
Steam Profile

Community Rating

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

Should SDHQ re-evaluate this game review?

related Settings