9W - 13W
Skybreakers was provided by ETime Studio for review. Thank you!
Vampire Survivors has been one of the most played games on the Steam Deck ever since its release, and for good reason. The game has an addicting roguelike gameplay loop that feels fresh with every run, thanks to the upgrades that can change your strategy. I love the game, but I have always wanted a more interactive version with the same strategy changing and enjoyment. While other games do this, Skybreakers is the one I love the most.
Compared to other similar roguelikes, Skybreakers is on the smaller side, but there's a lot of promise. You will select your character, choose artifacts (which provide different buffs), and then choose a difficulty. You will then run around a map in a top-down view, using your weapon's basic and ultimate attack to kill enemies. Doing this will level you up, which can give specific character buffs, and give you currency to either upgrade your weapon or buy different perks to increase stats.
I love that there are three ways to upgrade with each of them providing a different benefit. Leveling up will provide upgrades that are tailored to your chosen character's abilities, perks will upgrade different stats like crit rate and attack speed, and weapon adjustments can increase different aspects of both. It can also change the way your weapon completely works, which means changing up strategies in the middle of the run, depending on the perks you have chosen, is possible. For example, you could have dual swords and then reforge them into a scythe that will spin around and insta-kill non-elite enemies with its finisher.
The 4 characters on display are each unique, while the artifacts you can pick can heavily influence the way you play overall. Each run is currently limited to 20 rounds, and I am craving an endless mode, but the developer mentioned this mode, new characters, and more are coming. I also love the ink-painting art style and flashy effects. There are some bugs I encountered here and there like perks not showing correctly or not being able to select anything, but using the touchscreen of the Deck to select an option fixes this. There is a story here, too, and the bosses do have neat comic sequences that tell part of the story, but they are in Chinese (translation is at the bottom).
And, I am happy to say Skybreakers runs incredibly on the Steam Deck.
When all is said and done, Skybreakers is phenomenal on the Steam Deck. Without any changes, it runs at a flawless 60 FPS with very minimal battery drain. In all my testing, I never noticed the drain go above 15W, even with tons of enemies on screen and flashy effects here and there, all without moving from 60 FPS. I had absolutely no trouble running this on the Deck with ease and no need to compromise.
As I mentioned above, there are moments when the battery does drain a bit more than usual, especially on the higher difficulties with weapon builds that are very flashy. To keep the drain down, I would just set a 50Hz/FPS lock, which keeps the drain below 12W. No other settings need to be changed, but it does feel a little less fluid, so I prefer a bit more drain in some instances for 60 FPS.
In terms of accessibility, Skybreakers doesn't have a lot of options. You can change the language, as well as the vibration and different audio bars, but that's it.
The game does support 16:10 resolutions, even if it says it doesn't, but it does fully support controllers and cloud saves.
Skybreakers is quite possibly one of my favorite Vampire Survivor-esque roguelikes I have played. The artstyle and flashy effects are captivating, the gameplay loop is addicting with different upgrade paths to make each run feel different, and it runs incredibly on the Steam Deck. The developer mentioned they are working on an Endless Mode, which is very welcome, and new characters are coming, but for the under $10 price, I can't recommend this game enough!
Our review is based on the PC version of this game.
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Skybreakers is a fantastic roguelike that runs beautifully on the Steam Deck, no changes needed!
No Forced Compatibility
No Changes Needed!
9W - 13W
55c - 62c
3 - 3.5 hours