Shadows of Doubt (Early Access)

Posted:  Apr 21, 2023
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Cloud Saves


Shadows of Doubt was provided by Fireshine Games and Press Engine for review. Thank you!

Get ready to dive into an immersive sandbox in a sci-fi noir city. Shadows of Doubt places you in a place filled with crime and corruption and you are the only one who can solve them. The procedurally-generated city is completely simulated, each citizen has a job, apartment, and personality, all with no limits on where you can go. Every case you take will have different culprits and clues, testing your sleuthing ability to the limit. Get ready to dive in and solve some crimes!

Shadows of Doubt is by far one of my favorite concepts that I have seen in a game so far. Take being a detective and add in a randomized, newly generated city with gorgeous aesthetics, where you can explore fully and take on unique cases freely and without hand-holding, it is amazing. The freedom that is given can make you feel a little lost at times, but I personally love it. If sandbox isn't your cup of tea, there is a pre-made city that exists so you can be taken through cases with a little more guidance! Overall, there is a lot to love here, and the game itself is awesome, but it does take a little getting used to on the Steam Deck.

Shadows of Doubt - Steam Deck Performance

While I absolutely love the premise of the game, it is currently a bit on the hard side to run. On the lowest settings, Shadows of Doubt struggles to hit 30 FPS in most areas, even without any TDP cap. This can be fixed a bit by changing the resolution down to 800x500 and using SteamOS FSR with Sharpness 0, but there will still be some areas that drop to the 20s. Due to the aesthetic of the game, bringing resolution down and upscaling with FSR doesn't change visual quality as much and helps significantly with performance, not to mention an added 1.5 hours to battery life.

1280x800 No Limits
800x500 TDP Limit 9
800x500 TDP Limit 9
1280x800 No Limits

Due to the game having issues keeping a solid 30, I did elect to have a TDP limit of 9. I felt 9 is a good balance that keeps the stability in most areas without killing the battery and creating bigger FPS drops. In areas where the game drops, an uncapped TDP limit will drop to 26 FPS, while the TDP limit of 9 will drop to 22. It’s a little worse, but this also saves over 1 hour of battery and keeps temps below 75c.

The game does support 16:10 resolutions, so it fills up the entire screen, and has Cloud Save support, but it can suffer from a lack of controller support.

Controls and a Brand New Scheme

Shadows of Doubt is a very intricate game that will have you consistently using a case board and piecing together clues, which is so much fun, but it can be a bit of a chore without proper controller support. I created a controller layout that solves some of the issues, like using LB and RB to lean, back buttons that bring up the files you find and weapon selection screen, making the B button crouch, and pressing down on the right joystick to activate the flashlight. You can find it in the community layouts for Shadows of Doubt named "Steam Deck Layout V1 (SDHQ)".


All of this can help, but moving the mouse cursor using the right touchpad is still entirely necessary to string together files and select options in menus. I will update this review once full controller support is out, and this controller scheme does make things a bit easier, but it doesn’t solve every issue just yet.


Shadows of Doubt is an extremely fun game with a fantastic concept. The sandbox nature with procedurally generated cases to solve is just awesome and I feel the developers have executed it well so far. As this is an early access title, a lot is subject to change, which will hopefully mean more optimizations for the Steam Deck, but if you’re willing to deal with some slowdowns, slightly wonky controls, and a graphical downgrade, Shadows of Doubt is playable and can be enjoyed on the Deck!

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

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Shadows of Doubt is an awesome game with a fantastic concept that is executed quite well. It is a bit hard to play on the Steam Deck currently due to heavy GPU reliance and no controller/gamepad support, but this being in early access, it could change in the future!

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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4 comments on “Shadows of Doubt (Early Access)”

  1. I've been loving the game using your recommended settings, but the text is often very hard to read. Do you have any suggestions to fix that?

  2. Were you able to get it using the mouse on the menu with this config? Any ingame control settings that you need to go with that? I'm using the dev recommended layout right now. The dpad/joystick controls for the map and going through the case board are a nightmare that's only partially fixed by using the touchscreen. I don't have a mouse cursor at all.

    Also would be curious to see a side by side of the resolution change when reading paper evidence notes. I'm already squinting at some of those, especially the bank statements.

  3. Really want to play this one but I will wait until it gets better or until I can get a PC. Thanks!