Showgunners

Posted:  May 04, 2023
SDHQ BUILD SCORE: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
Cloud Saves

Review

Showgunners was provided by Good Shepard Entertainment for review. Thank you!

It's time to grab your gear and get ready to compete in the most brutal game show there is! Showgunners is a top-down strategy game where you and your team will have to compete and crush the armed psychopaths trying to kill you. Think tactically in dynamic levels that will keep you on your toes while you customize and upgrade your team, who can be outfitted with weapons and each have their own skill trees. Will you be able to conquer each episode and get your revenge?

If you have played, or are a fan, of XCOM, the gameplay here will be quite similar. Each character has action points, which you can use in a multitude of ways in battle. You can use the guns you have, which you do need to reload later on, items, or the environment to destroy your enemies and eviscerate them, sometimes in nice cinematic shots. Unlike XCOM and other games like it, some of the features in Showgunners are quite interesting.

The biggest one that stuck out to me is the fame system. Since this is a game show, you can interact with fans and choose how to respond, increasing your fame and other statistics. Do this enough and you can gain sponsors, which might need certain requirements and provide passive bonuses. These bonuses can range from damage reduction to items and more, which can change up my strategy to make the most out of my play! There are also segments in between arena matches where you have to walk around, disable traps, and sometimes get ambushed in mini fights!

I personally love the aesthetic and atmosphere and, if you're a fan of over the top blood and gore with people exploding and a some humor injected in, this will be a top-down strategy game you enjoy! It doesn't have a lot of depth like XCOM 2 does, but Showgunners is a damn good time that I enjoyed regardless! And with some tweaking, I was definitely able to enjoy on the Steam Deck.

Showgunners - Steam Deck Performance

Playing right out of the box, Showgunners was able to run quite well for the most part. In battles specifically, the game can really perform on Medium/Low settings, being able to almost hit a stable 60 FPS without any caps. Unfortunately, there are a couple of caveats I noticed. First, there is some stuttering and framerate changes when moving the camera around fast. Since the game can move the camera quickly when shooting, this can be very noticeable on higher framerates.

This also includes maps where there are a lot of moving parts. For example, in one of the levels, there are two trains that will cross over and kill anyone on the tracks. The game will slow down when the trains are going through no matter what.

Second, when you are running around outside of battles, the game is a bit harder to run and can really drop frames. There were some areas that I got into the 20 FPS range because of the fire around. Luckily, there are some settings we can change, as well as a render resolution bar that can help out, especially in these areas.

Because I can change the render resolution, I elected to keep the overall resolution at 1280x800. Changing both of these can make the game significantly more blurry. Playing as much as I did, I tended to prefer a stable framerate over a high one, so with that in mind, I went out to see how much battery I could save. With a mix of medium, low, and high settings, a render resolution scale of 95% with FidelityFX Upsampling, and a TDP limit of 8, I was able to get a good looking game with a 10W - 14W battery drain with a stable 30 FPS.

After I settled on the settings for the battery focused build, I made my way to the quality focus. I decided to keep 30 FPS as I knew I would need the power. With no TDP limit, I was able to set more medium and high settings, apart from view distance which needed to stay low. This made sure Showgunners stuck around 30, only dipping to 27-28 in specific camera angles when running around outside of battles. Inside the battles, the game performed much more admirably, though when there were sudden changes, there were drops.

With the game looking pretty and able to keep the battery, it was now time to push framerate. With the settings on the lowest, and render resolution at 80, I was able to keep the game at 45 FPS both in battles and outside of them! This does make the game look a little more blurry, but it keeps the framerate stable where it counts and doesn't look terrible. It does drain slightly more than the quality build, but it feels so smooth to play!

Showgunners does have full controller support, cloud saves, and supports 16:10 resolution, so your Deck's full screen will be utilized! While this is all awesome, the game did have an issue I discovered as I played.

Possible Freezing, Possible Problem

As I was playing, I did encounter 3 moments where the game froze for me and I had to restart. These moments were at different points and doing different things, so I don't believe they were connected to a certain point in the game. One of them was when I went into the settings, while another was me moving people in battle, and the last one was trying to go to the skill tree and back out of it.

Now I say this is a possible problem because the game does auto save very frequently, so each time, I lost no progress. It's still an issue that should be looked into, but the good news is the game auto saves so often that you won't lose progress no matter what.

Conclusion

Showgunners is a bloody good top-down strategy game that, while may be a bit simple compared to others like it, still provides a great experience. With unique elements like the fame system and the over-the-top bloodbath it can be, there is a lot to enjoy in what the game is offering. It does need a couple of tweaks to be playable on the Steam Deck, but once you get going, it's quite enjoyable. While I did experience some freezes, the auto save happened enough to where I lost no progress, so it didn't hit as hard. Regardless, if this is fixed, I would consider this a safe bet to play on the Steam Deck!

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

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SDHQ's Build Score Breakdown

Showgunners is a great and bloody top-down strategy game that has some unique features without going too in-depth. While it needs some tweaks to run on the Steam Deck well, it is an enjoyable experience that I would recommend to fans of the genre.

Build Score

Performance: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarFull StarNo Star
VISUALS: 
Full StarFull StarFull StarNo 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 Showgunners to be. Help our community determine the viability of playing this game on Steam Deck!
Steam Deck Compatibility
Current Price: 
$29.99
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Other Builds
Framerate Build
SteamOS

Limit

45

Refresh Rate

45

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

No

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Resolution: 1280x800

Anti-Aliasing: FXAA

Sharpening: Off

Render Resolution Percentage: 80

Upscaling: AMD FidelityFX Upsampling

Shadows and Lighting: Low

Post Processing: Low

View Distance: Low

Textures: High

Effects and Materials: Medium

Grass and Scattered Objects: Medium

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

14W - 21W

65c - 80c

2.5 - 3 hours

Quality Build
SteamOS

Limit

30

Refresh Rate

60

HRS

NO

TDP Limit

No

Scaling Filter

Linear

GPU Clock

Disabled

Proton Version

No Forced Compatibility

Game Settings

Resolution: 1280x800

Anti-Aliasing: TAA

Sharpening: Off

Render Resolution Percentage: 100

Upscaling: Off

Shadows and Lighting: Medium

Post Processing: Medium

View Distance: Low

Textures: High

Effects and Materials: High

Grass and Scattered Objects: High

Projected Battery Usage and Temperature

13W - 20W

65c - 80c

2.5 - 3 hours

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