The game was provided for free by the developer/publisher. Thank you!
The Chant is a third-person horror action game that takes you through a psychedelic nightmare. As Jess, you go to a spiritual island retreat to overcome your demons, but when a ritual goes wrong, you now must face cosmic horrors to survive and get off this island. Craft and fight your way through a unique world and unravel the legacy of the cult that started this chain of events to end it once and for all.
With that said, running The Chant on the Steam Deck does take a bit of tinkering, but it is playable with some compromises. First, we have to look at max performance and man does it need these tweaks. With max settings, you will see yourself going to 23W drains and above with 19 FPS performance average just standing still. Luckily, we can make it definitely playable at 30 FPS!
With a mix of medium and low settings and FSR 2 set to balanced, The Chant can get a around 2.5 to 3 hours battery life with a TDP limit of 9. This allows us to get a solid 30 FPS with the game looking quite decent on the smaller screen. There are a couple spots where things dip a bit though. In a couple gameplay areas, performance can dip to 22 to 23 FPS, but the biggest are cutscenes. Some are fine, but others can go to the 22-23 range for parts of it. For the most part, this doesn't affect gameplay, but it is notable.
I also noticed that anti-aliasing needs to be turned on when playing The Chant. Without it, everything becomes overly sharp, especially hair. So we recommend playing this with TAA on but the anti-aliasing quality set to low.
Another big compromise to make with this game is the menus. While the pause menu in-game works fine, the main menu and inventory menus are missing backgrounds. We don't know the cause of this, but no amount of changes fixed this issue. This made navigating extremely hard since a lot was either extremely hard or couldn't be read.
The average of our scores below would result in a SDHQ rating of 3, but because of the menu issues, I felt a 2 was more accurate. The Chant has a lot of promise to it, and I do believe there is a good game here, but with 30 FPS being the best way to play, drops in cutscenes, and menu issues, playing this on Steam Deck will require a lot of compromise, which may not be worth it to everyone.
Our review is based on the PC version of this game.
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The Chant has the making of a good game underneath, but they definitely don't shine as brightly on the Steam Deck.
Proton GE 7-39
Anti Aliasing Method: TAA
Anti Aliasing Quality: Low
Post Processing: Medium
Scaling Method: FSR 2
FSR 2: Balanced
View Distance: Medium