This game was tested with a Steam Deck LCD. OLED testing is coming soon.

When I first started playing Tunguska: The Visitation, I wasn't sure what to expect. Even now, I'm not really sure what games I can compare it to. Some elements remind me of the original Fallout 1 and 2 titles. The game is played from a top-down perspective, which you can rotate, but the camera always remains fairly zoomed out. There's a huge variety of gameplay mechanics here, making Tunguska a pretty daunting game.


First, let's start with the combat, as it's an essential part of the game. It requires strategic thinking and tactical gameplay. If you're the kind who always loves to go in guns blazing, this game probably isn't for you. You'll need to use cover, ensure you've brought enough ammo with you, and likely have a variety of weapons to switch between depending on the scenario you find yourself in.

A few shots or hits from an enemy will kill you, and even just 1 or 2 shots could give you a bleeding status effect, which gradually drains your health unless you have a bandage or another item to stop the bleeding. It is brutal. But the brutality can be entertaining and satisfying when you finally defeat that group of enemies that's been causing you so much trouble. The game tends to quicksave often, so you can try again quickly, even if you die.

Besides the combat, Tunguska has a plethora of other things going on. You can gather seeds from plants and sow crops in fields, there's a day/night cycle with weather and random events that can happen, and you can level up 2 separate EXP bars for survival and combat, allowing you to spend points in multiple different skills to make surviving easier.

Inventory management is also a factor here. Not only do you have a weight limit, but you also have a size limit, meaning carrying multiple large weapons is not an option. You must manage your space well to carry healing supplies, weapons, quest items, and ammunition. Some might find this irritating, and I agree, in most games, it is. However, in Tunguska, this inventory management style suits the game well. It's a survival game at its heart, and before embarking on an expedition, the lack of ability to bring everything with you means you need to think about what you might encounter and, therefore, what you might need to take with you.


The game's world is split into many fairly small areas. Most of these are areas you can walk across in about a minute before reaching a loading area for the next. I feel like this is a pretty solid design choice. It helps the player manage an area; once they defeat enemies, they know not to worry about things wandering into the area. Given how difficult combat is and how scarce ammo and other things can be, the developers need to manage what the players might encounter to not overwhelm them. Having smaller areas makes it possible for the developers to control each scenario players might encounter.

Most areas have some form of enemy that you might encounter, but also friendly NPCs. When you first arrive in The Zone (the games playing area), you come to a friendly village. You can talk to every NPC in the village, find out what they know about the area, and trade with them for supplies. This depth and detail help the game. Checking with the different NPCs to see if they have that item you need to barter for is a quest in and of itself, and when you finally find someone willing to sell you that pistol ammo or bandage, it's a good feeling.


Tunguska: The Visitation is a unique experience. I've not played a game like it. It combines several gameplay mechanics into a competent survival, almost adventure game. Suppose you are looking for a game that will challenge you with elements of tactical combat, inventory management, and general ability to survive in a hostile environment. In that case, it might be the game for you!

Tunguska: The Visitation - Steam Deck Performance

Tunguska: The Visitation fully supports the 16:10 aspect ratio, so we can run at the Deck's native 1280x800 resolution. It also has pretty decent controller support. It occasionally requires you to use the analog stick to move cursors on the screen, but while in gameplay, the controller support can't be complained about.

While I did try to get Tunguska working at 60 FPS, it seems to put too much of a tax on the CPU to pull it off. So I've created 2 presets for you to use here, one for 40 FPS with high graphics quality, which I recommend, and one for 30 FPS if battery life is your aim.

Recommended Settings - 40 FPS

Start by locking your SteamOS settings to 40 FPS/Hz, then set your TDP limit to 10W.

The game doesn't have many choices for graphics settings, just resolution and a "Graphics Quality" setting. We'll keep the resolution at 1280x800 and set the Graphics Quality to "High."

This creates a fairly nice-looking image, and given the game's nature, I found 40 FPS perfectly adequate. This isn't some fast-paced FPS or action-based game. You pretty much plan everything out, even your shots.

Battery drain varies slightly, but you should expect a 13-15W drain on your battery. This gives us around 2.5 hours of battery life, which is pretty good. Temperatures stay relatively cool, not exceeding 70C in my experience.

Battery Life Settings - 30 FPS

If you want to get a little more out of your battery, which you might well want with Tunguska, as it isn't a very pick-up-and-play game, then these settings should help you out.

Set your FPS lock in SteamOS to 30 FPS / 60Hz. Then, you can get away with a TDP limit of 6W here.

In the in-game settings, we're keeping our 1280x800 native resolution but setting the Graphics Quality to "Low" this time. The game still looks pretty decent, but to be honest, using the Low setting will mostly result in lost shadows and some lighting effects.

Our battery drain tends to hover around 10-11W, with spikes up to 12W in intensive areas. This gives us an estimated battery life of around 3.5 Hours. It's up to you if you wish to trade the shading and lighting effects for an extra hour of battery life, but it's not a huge compromise to make, in my opinion. Temperatures are also a little cooler, being around 60-65C using these settings.


Tunguska: The Visitation offers a few accessibility options, but not all the ones it needs. You can increase/decrease the brightness at night, adjust the UI size (although this appears to be locked on the Steam Deck), and adjust the game's difficulty, such as how much damage the player takes.

One thing I think is missing here is an option for those who are hard of hearing. Tunguska has "Distortions" that inhabit the game world, and running into them can kill you. You're meant to detect distortions by hearing a humming/beeping noise and then throwing a rock to find their exact position. However, to my knowledge, there is no help for deaf players who may be unable to hear this sound in the first place, thus making finding distortions very trial and error for them. Worst of all, the Distortions will move each time you play, so you can't even memorize their positions.


Tunguska: The Visitation is an interesting game. It doesn't quite have the polish of a game with years of post-launch updates, but it's still getting post-launch updates to add and improve content, which is a huge plus in its favor. I'm not sure I'm the target audience for this game, with its somewhat deep survival mechanics and tactical gameplay, as well as an intriguing storyline to go along with it. Still, for those who want such a game, I think Tunguska offers a unique experience I haven't seen elsewhere.

As for how it performs on the Deck, there's nothing egregious. We're easily able to run at a stable 40 FPS with nice visual settings, which is just perfect for a game like this, we get a reasonable amount of battery life, the controls work well and the UI size is adequate. I did find aiming to be a little tough on the controller at first, but you soon get a feel for it. If you want a survival game with deep mechanics, quests, and a storyline, as well as one that will play nice on-the-go, you won't go far wrong with Tunguska: The Visitation.

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.

Sons of Valhalla was provided by Hooded Horse for review. Thank you!

This game was tested with a Steam Deck LCD. OLED testing is coming soon.

I've seen games like Sons of Valhalla around over the years, all the way back in the Flash days, 2D side-scrolling action/strategy games where the aim is to build a base to produce resources and troops, create your troops, and then lead them against the enemy base that is doing exactly the same thing. Back in the Flash days, this was all automated, but Sons of Valhalla gives you more control over things than I expected.

SonsofValhallaStock1 1
Sons of Valhalla puts you on a quest to conquer your way through England.

You control the protagonist, Thorald, on a quest through England to find his beloved, who has been kidnapped. The story is very generic, and I described the whole thing in that one sentence. It serves as a backstory to justify your character's invasion of England.

Setting the story aside, having control of your player character is something that Sons of Valhalla does reasonably well. You have a melee weapon and a ranged weapon equipped, which you can upgrade throughout the game, enhancing both their stats and adding new abilities to them. The combat isn't particularly fluid; you can't move when swinging your sword, for example, and setting up a ranged attack can take several seconds, so the action does feel rather "static" as you play, and that's a running theme, unfortunately.

SonsofValhallaStock2 1
Units on both sides often bunch up, making it difficult to see how many units there are and how they are doing in terms of health/stamina

That "static" feeling brings us to the game's AI for both the enemies' troops and your own. In this regard, I'm afraid Sons of Valhalla does pretty much take a page straight out of the Flash games that came before it. If your or enemy troops are attacking a fortification, they'll all bunch up into one space and just merge into what looks like 1 unit, but in fact, there are about 20 swordsmen; they're just all standing in the same spot. Unfortunately, this makes it very difficult to work out what's going on.

However, I understand why this is being done. If troops can occupy the same space, then it would cause issues with them getting in the way of each other when attacking. But it reduces the sense of scale and makes it confusing. When an enemy is attacking you, it's difficult to determine how many are attacking. When you're attacking the enemy, it becomes incredibly difficult to work out how your troops are doing. The only way to tell if you're losing troops is to look at the "unit" resource at the top and see if it has changed.

It all ends up creating an uninteresting picture, with your units standing at the bottom of a watchtower, poking it, your archers and siege weapons half a screen back, firing, and the enemy melee units standing on the other side of the tower doing nothing because they don't want to die.

This may be the only way to ideally handle troops in a game like this, but that might be why games like this have died out since the Flash era. The only comparable game to this in recent memory is Kingdom Two Crowns, and that feels slightly different as the enemies are much less bullet-spongey, so it kind of reduces the chance of bunching up when they're constantly being killed and replenished, that isn't the case with Sons of Valhalla, and battles are mostly made up of about 20 units on each side and can last quite some time.

The AI for some units also seems questionable. Siege weapons, for example, will always target the nearest enemy, whether that's fortifications or a unit. So if enemy swordsmen leave the gate, your siege weapons will stop attacking the fortifications they are strong against and instead try to hit the swordsmen. It's infuriating and an inexplicable design choice that needlessly makes the game more difficult.

SonsofValhallaStock3 1
Sons of Valhalla lets you upgrade your buildings and troops at certain bases on each level.

The economic aspect of the game is passable but very basic. It is all about three resources: food, wood, and silver. Food and Wood are passively generated from buildings, so they're very much fire and forget, while Silver is gained from looting chests and defeating enemies. The economy serves its purpose, namely to extend the game by making you wait and defend as you upgrade or recruit new troops instead of always being on the attack.

It's also worth noting that AI doesn't seem to follow the rules of the economy. It looks like they produce units on a cycle, so if you can't kill their units fast enough, they'll just constantly produce 1 soldier every 5 seconds. This gets pretty tedious when attacking, as you must constantly deal with a steady trickle of troops until you break down the fortifications.

Base-building is simple, but like the economy, it does its job. Your central building is the "Mead Hall", which can be upgraded to provide more manpower and additional building slots. These building slots can be used for economic purposes, such as to gain wood or food, or for production purposes, such as barracks, archery ranges, etc. Each building in the game can be upgraded in exchange for resources, allowing it to produce faster and potentially unlock more advanced upgrades for your units.

Buildings such as the Barracks let you build and upgrade melee units

This mix of "action" and "strategy" puts Sons of Valhalla in an odd position. For a game where you are controlling the player character, capable of combat, it feels strange to sit in your town and wait for several minutes while your resources build up. It feels like there's something else you could be doing. It's not like this is a strategy game where you can look around the map and manage things while your economy whirrs away. You have a player character, and you can't do much but... sit there...

It would have been better if it was just a strategy game, eliminating the player character and action elements entirely. Scrolling along the map and quickly ordering troops, managing your economy, and keeping an eye out for enemy attacks would have eased many of my issues with the game. As it is, you have to be next to your troops to issue any orders to them, which can be finicky and pretty much means all your troops will always be in one cluster, as it's the only way to manage them effectively.

Also, you can't freely order troops because everything is centered on the player. Any orders you give have to be to troops nearby, which means that you'll likely keep your army in one big cluster just for simplicity's sake. Otherwise, you'll have to run all over the map, gathering your troops and ordering them—think of a 2D Pikmin-type affair.

You can order nearby troops by holding RB and pressing the face buttons.

I've been on a bit of a downer so far, but there are two parts that I think the developers got right with Sons of Valhalla.

Firstly, the visuals. The game is portrayed by nice quality pixel art, boosted by some visual effects. You can't complain about how Sons of Valhalla looks. It has pleasing and varied environments, although I'm unsure how "English" this all is. It even incorporates weather and a day/night system, which changes how the world looks and creates a nice bloom effect from the sun in the background. Certain attacks also have nice visual effects and particles for them.

Secondly, the game's "rune" system. Runes are little "perks" you can acquire as you play the game, allowing you to place one in a "socket" and give you, or your troops, a buff. These can be anything from dealing more damage, having a chance to cause a bleeding effect, having more health at night but losing health during the day, and so on. This makes the game more interesting, and you can only have a limited amount, so you'll need to swap and change the runes to serve your playstyle.

Upon death, you'll also need to sacrifice one of your runes to continue unless you're on the easiest difficulty. After that, you can return to the battlefield pretty much as-was.

The game can look quite pretty, so at least there's that when you're waiting around for resources!

As for the difficulty, on easy, the game becomes mind-numbingly easy. There's no penalty for dying; troops on both sides are bullet spongey, and even though resource generation is quicker, you still have to wait for resources to come in. Higher difficulties present a challenge but also make the grind even longer, perhaps requiring you to build and make several attacks, whereas just 1 would have sufficed in easy mode.

Sons of Valhalla isn't a bad game, but some design choices are questionable. Too much time is spent waiting, and the game is quite short, with the campaign being less than 10 hours long, depending on difficulty and how often you die. On easy, the campaign is about 4-5 hours at most due to quicker resource gathering and easier enemies. The campaign comprises 5 levels, and they all play the same; even the boss battles at the end of each level are similar, and the same strategy can be employed on each. After the 1st level, the game quickly becomes repetitive.

Also, at the end of each level, all upgrades/bases are gone, so you start the next campaign level from scratch, aside from the runes and upgrades you gave your player character. It does feel weird upgrading all your units and then losing all those upgrades for the next level; it only adds to the game's repetitive nature, requiring you to research tech that you just researched 30 minutes ago at the previous level.

But let's move on to how Sons of Valhalla runs on the Steam Deck, and you might be in for a surprise...

Sons of Valhalla - Steam Deck Performance

Curiously, before you boot Sons of Valhalla, you must sit on a black screen for some time, probably 20-30 seconds, before anything happens. I thought it might be a one-time thing for the first boot, but it happens every time, so just give it some time to get through whatever it's doing.

Once the game has finally loaded, the initial impressions are decent. The game has full controller support for the menus and gameplay. It also supports the Steam Deck's native 1280x800 resolution. However, there are no graphical options besides resolution in the game, so I'm not offering any settings preset because there are no settings.

UI is scaled well, and I found all the text and UI elements in the game perfectly readable on the Steam Deck's display.

Game Performance:

We are running a 30 FPS frame limit in SteamOS and a 15W TDP limit. I know, that's setting this up well, huh?

Amazingly, Sons of Valhalla decimates the Steam Deck's CPU. The GPU is almost untouched; in fact, I don't think I ever recorded the GPU using more than 2W while playing. But the CPU is often varying between 6 and 9W of usage, which is pretty much its limit.

All I can imagine is that the entire game is single-threaded, or at least that one CPU thread must be heavily relied upon, which is not good for a Steam Deck.

While the game initially runs at 60 FPS, once you build a few troops, say 10, for the starting level, the FPS drops to around 50 FPS. Going into battle against 10 enemy troops, the FPS regularly dropped into the 40s. By the time I reached level 3/5 in the campaign, I had around 30 troops going up against a similar number of enemy troops. By this point, Sons of Valhalla was regularly running in the 20s, a shocking disappointment.

I had similar issues with other games when running Proton 8.0-5, so I tried Proton Experimental, the Proton 9 beta, and Proton GE, but alas, the issue persists regardless, meaning that it's almost certainly how the game is coded that's the issue.

Power draw from the battery varies wildly depending on what's happening in the game and how many troops are on the field. When things are quiet, expect about a 10W power drain, but this goes up to around 19W in combat with many troops. So expect around 2-2.5 hours of battery life from a Steam Deck LCD and about 3 Hours from a Steam Deck OLED. Temperatures also varied greatly, from about 55C up to 75C, depending on the action on screen.


There are rebindable controls; the only option that could be considered "accessibility."


Sons of Valhalla has some decent ideas up its sleeve. Merging strategy and action genres doesn't happen too often. Still, it feels like the developers took their idea and ran without considering whether it worked well. It's almost like there are 2 decent games here have been merged into 1 not-so-decent game.

I could definitely see myself enjoying Sons of Valhalla more if it were a straight-up strategy game or a straight-up action game with the elements of management toned down, but just mushing the two together creates an awkward mix of an uninteresting action game and a difficult-to-manage strategy game, the worst things these two genres can be.

The performance on the Steam Deck is just unacceptably poor. I can only presume the game runs on a single thread, which explains why the situation is so dire. Because of that, I can't really recommend that anyone play this game on the Steam Deck. Once you get to level 3 onwards, you'll regularly be playing at 20-25 FPS at the most pivotal moments of the game, and it makes the experience quite unpleasant.

Hopefully, the performance can be improved with patches, but even then, the game is average at best, so I would still be in two minds as to whether or not to recommend this one to you.

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.

Slave Zero X was provided by Ziggurat Games for review. Thank you!

This game was tested with a Steam Deck LCD. OLED testing is coming soon.

Slave Zero X is an interesting beast. As a prequel to the original Slave Zero, it instead opts for a 2.5D beat 'em up style as opposed to being a third-person shooter like the 1999 original. I think the last beat 'em up I played was Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World on the Xbox 360, so Slave Zero X was a bit of a sudden reintroduction to the genre for me!

Slave Zero X takes place in a dystopian future ruled by the tyrannical SovKhan.

The game starts you off with some fairly basic enemies, fortunately for me! In fact, for the first few levels, you can defeat most enemies by mashing any assortment of buttons without much care or consideration for what you are doing. However, once you get past those stages, enemies start to get more challenging, especially the heavy ones that can grab hold of you and deal massive amounts of damage or get you stuck in a stun loop. It's imperative to position yourself and use the right moves at the right time.

For example, a couple of hours into my playthrough, I encountered a point where you have to defeat a couple of waves of enemies and then a boss. The kicker is that the checkpoint is before these enemies and the boss, so if you die on the boss, you have to fight the enemies again. Positioning the checkpoint this way means that you must be careful fighting the enemies before the boss, so you can enter the boss fight with max health and your special gauge charged.

You can unleash devastating attacks on your enemies with the right combo or by using Fatal Sync.

Interestingly, Slave Zero X offers no difficulty options, there are no Easy, Medium, and Hard settings here, but the difficulty seems to be balanced well. The boss battles can be a bit of a rude awakening, especially the first one after you're used to fighting enemies that pretty much offer no resistance.

Combos are satisfying to pull off, and the game allows air juggling, so if you move correctly and time your moves, you can keep enemies in the air and give yourself a bit of a breather. Suppose you're achieving a combo while in Fatal Sync mode, a powered-up mode where you can deal more damage and steal life from enemies and bosses. In that case, you'll be able to keep yourself alive while destroying your enemies...and it will probably be the primary way you heal in-game.

There's also a "Burst" feature, which is a neat little attack that you can activate reasonably often, which will push nearby enemies away from you and will often greatly fill up your Fatal Sync bar. The only downside is that it's mapped to L3 by default, which is a fairly strange choice.

Mastering Fatal Sync and Burst is key to making it through Slave Zero X, particularly the boss battles. I struggled greatly with the second boss as I didn't understand these mechanics well, but once I got used to them, it made the game much more playable.

To upgrade, you will be utilizing the in-game shop, where you can increase your character's max health, get longer Fatal Sync time, improve your "Burst", and increase the amount of grenades you can carry.

While fighting, you can't "dodge" or "block", but you can parry attacks by attacking precisely as the enemy attacks, and when you "dash", you do gain invincibility for a very short time, allowing you to avoid an attack if you timed it exactly right.

Using the game's Fatal Sync feature, you can heal yourself by dealing damage to enemies.

Story-wise, there is full voice acting, and they have got a couple of notable voice actors in the cast who do a decent job at world-building. Essentially, the story has you, a vengeful warrior, taking it upon yourself to stop living machines, known as Slaves, from being released unto the world. It's a passable story, but I found it mostly there to justify the relentless onslaught of enemies and why I am destroying them all.

The game's environment borrows greatly from its 1999 sequel, with a dark and grungey atmosphere. It feels pretty nostalgic, considering it's a brand-new title. Fans of 3D games back in the mid-90s will probably appreciate the aesthetic, it's timeless and works quite well here.

One thing that I did find frustrating in Slave Zero X is that some of the levels felt pretty long. Some levels can take over 20 minutes further in the game. As it's impossible to save the game mid-level, it can be rather frustrating to get near the end of a level, die repeatedly to be set back at a checkpoint, and then have to quit the game for some reason, only to come back later and have to start at the beginning of the level again, instead of the checkpoint.

On occasion, it feels like enemies are spammed in order to increase difficulty, rather than introduce new, stronger enemy types.

Some level design is a little questionable, too, with the developers opting to spam enemies instead of introducing stronger ones. At one point, you'll be fighting over 30 enemies all at once, plus background enemies dropping bombs, and it is the single most frustrating thing I encountered. If you get hit, you're essentially stun-locked as the enemies juggle you to your ultimate death. It's a huge, difficult spike, and it took me 15 tries to get through it.

Slave Zero X - Steam Deck Performance

Slave Zero X misses the mark on some things with the Steam Deck. There's no 16:10 resolution support, so you'll have black bars along the top and the bottom when you play. There's also no way to run the game at less than 60 FPS without running in slow motion, so we'll need to maintain close to 60 at all times to have a designed experience.

We don't have too many choices regarding graphical settings, just the Resolution Scale, which is either 1x or 2x, V-Sync, and Geometry Detail. Because of this, and we must run at 60 FPS, I'm only offering 1 preset setting.

Recommended Settings - 60 FPS

Set a 60 FPS lock in your SteamOS settings and your TDP limit to 12W. I tried with 15W, and there is slightly more stability, but it offers no benefit for most levels, so 12W is my preferred choice.

We're running the game's "max" settings, so 2X Render Scale and Geometry Detail is set to "Detailed", and we have V-Sync set to off. I tried running at 1X Render Scale and "Low" Geometry Detail, and there was zero difference in performance.


Running these settings, the game mostly holds 60 FPS, but likely due to the developer's choice of game engine (GameMaker) and the fact that the game is 3D, the game struggles performance-wise. This has been mentioned on their Steam forums for over 2 years, but at this point, it seems unlikely the performance issues can be fixed, as they built a 3D game inside a 2D game engine.

Expect drops to 57-58 in intensive areas, but this is usually when the action is hectic, and the dropped frames are hard to notice unless you are trying to do a frame-perfect movement. As I'm not a skilled fighting game/beat 'em up player, the frame drops were not noticeable. There are occasional stutters, too, which are unavoidable.

Battery drain during gameplay is around 12W - 15W, but can go up to 19W in intense areas, this tends to give us around 2.5-3 hours of battery life from a full charge. Temperatures also tend to hover around the 70c - 75c mark.


Slave Zero X has a few accessibility options. You can enable/disable subtitles, toggle flashing effects and camera shaking, and disable Gore when attacking enemies. However, it doesn't disable the gore that happens when the player dies, which is likely an oversight by the developers.


Slave Zero X is a fairly competent Beat 'Em Up. It has some flaws, mostly in the way of optimization, and a couple of design issues that I don't agree with, but there's an intriguing world, a decent combat system, and appealing classic visuals that work in Slave Zero X's favor to make me give it a positive recommendation at the end of the day.

The game does run fairly well on the Steam Deck; you can get 60 FPS 99% of the time, and the battery life isn't terrible. The controls work reasonably well, even if there are some odd button choices (L3 is used quite often). I would still say that Slave Zero X is an enjoyable experience on the Steam Deck, and if you're more skilled at Beat 'Em Ups than I am, you may not find some of the design choices so frustrating.

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.

This game was tested with a Steam Deck LCD. OLED testing is coming soon.

I'll admit, I had pretty low expectations when going into HELLDIVERS 2 for its review. The trailers pre-launch gave me the impression that it would be an arcade shooter with cheesy humor. Fortunately, I was completely off the mark at just what kind of game it was. With pretty deep gameplay mechanics and exciting gunplay, HELLDIVERS 2 is a welcome surprise for sure.

HELLDIVERS 2 takes place in small mission arenas that you drop into from your dropship.

HELLDIVERS 2 is set during a war between the Humans, Terminids, and Automatons. Players have to navigate to invaded systems and "liberate" them, using the sector map on each player's capital ship that they command. Once you've selected a planet, you can then select a generated mission on that planet. You and up to 3 friends can use drop-pods to land on the planet, which puts you in a small mission area where you can carry out your objectives. This is when the real fun begins.

The gunplay in HELLDIVERS 2 is excellent. Rather than the arcadey shoot 'em up I was expecting it to be, the game incorporates realism almost everywhere. Recoil requires you to plan your shots while you also balance aiming at specific body parts of enemies to deal maximum damage. The movement is also smooth, allowing you to dive, sprint, crouch, and vault over obstacles. It all adds up to make an excellent combat system that's super satisfying and challenging.

There's also the "Strategems" feature. By holding down LB and pressing a combination of Dpad buttons, you can order supply drops, orbital bombardments, additional weapons, and more from your dropship orbiting the planet. There's a variety of stratagems that players can equip, allowing you to coordinate with your teammates to create a balance.

Another thing that's worth mentioning at this point is that I wouldn't play this game entirely solo. It is difficult, and to tackle higher-difficulty missions, you will NEED a team with you. The game does have random matchmaking, so having friends who play isn't strictly necessary, but it's an experience best shared with your pals. Communication is key as it allows you to alert your squad to enemies approaching from a flank or warn them that you're calling in an orbital strike, etc., and there is friendly fire, so using the voice chat in-game with the Deck's microphone is recommended.

If communication via voice is difficult for you, you can disable voice chat entirely and use a ping system to communicate with your teammates.

There is a strong focus on teamwork and communicating with your squad.

During missions, you will often have to solve small "puzzles," which require your complete attention and leave you unable to defend yourself. On outright extermination missions, it can also be tough alone, as enemies tend to approach from all directions, making it difficult for you to avoid being flanked or surrounded, leading to a quick death.

HELLDIVERS 2 is an online-only title, so while you can play singleplayer, the missions are always hosted online as every mission that a player completes adds to the "liberation" percentage of the planet; this always online led to a few problems in the launch week, due to overloaded servers. However, server capacity has increased since launch, and the issues seem mostly resolved.

HELLDIVERS 2 - Steam Deck Performance

HELLDIVERS 2 gets off to a good start. It supports the Steam Deck's 1280x800 native resolution, it has UI scaling, allowing you to get an easily readable HUD, and it has a wide variety of graphics settings to choose from. And yes, it does have HDR support!

Interestingly, the game taxes the CPU more than the GPU, especially when swarms of enemies appear. This means that although the game can appear to run at 40 FPS when walking around a planet, once enemies start to appear and swarm, the FPS will quickly drop. Due to this, I only have one recommended build with an emphasis on stability.

Recommended Settings - 30 FPS

Start by setting a 30 FPS lock in your SteamOS settings, and don't set a TDP Limit.

Then, head to the "Display" settings in the options menu; we're keeping the 1280x800 resolution but setting the "Render Scale" to "Balanced"; this lowers the resolution and applies upscaling, which helps performance greatly.


Now, we can move to the "Graphics" menu, which is where the majority of our changes will be. We're disabling Depth of Field and Bloom, setting Texture Quality to "Ultra," and then using a mix of Medium and Low settings for the rest of the choices.

Using these settings, we can maintain 30 FPS for almost the entire time, with some exceptions when large amounts of enemies are swarming. Lowering the graphics settings essentially allows the Steam Deck to devote more power to the CPU instead of the GPU, to mitigate frame drops when enemies begin to swarm. Unfortunately, even with these lower settings, the Steam Deck will still struggle when there is a large amount of enemies and visual effects happening. This is particularly common when trying to extract, and your squad is firing everything they've got at the incoming swarm. I saw dips into the low 20s at times, but this was brief, and we still feel the game is playable.

Battery drain is all over the place, depending on the situation. When wandering the planet with no enemies swarming, I saw a drain of around 15W, but this quickly rose to around 25W when the swarm arrived. Temperatures follow suit, running at around 70C when the situation is quiet but quickly rising to 85C in intense combat. This means you should expect around 80 minutes of battery life from a full charge.


HELLDIVERS 2 offers a good amount of accessibility options for players. You can adjust subtitle and UI size, change the color of your reticule, have both Text to Speech and Speech to Text for communicating with other players, and adjust settings to make HUD elements more or less visible.


HELLDIVERS 2 offers a comprehensive and satisfying combat system wrapped in a galactic war that makes you feel like you're impacting the wider situation. The game feels polished and allows for strategic gameplay and teamwork to take the fore. While I would hesitate to recommend this game to solo players, if you have friends who want to play or are just willing to work with random players online, then HELLDIVERS 2 is worth your consideration. Performance on the Deck isn't the best, but it'll run at 30 FPS for most gameplay and give you a playable experience.

However, please remember that the game requires a constant internet connection.

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.

Enshrouded was provided by Keen Games for review. Thank you!

This game was tested with a Steam Deck LCD. OLED testing is coming soon.

Enshrouded is a curious game. It seemed to launch into Early Access with a bang, and yet I had somehow never heard of the game before it launched and was suddenly being mentioned everywhere. The privilege fell to me to try and get this sudden sensation running well on the Steam Deck, and I couldn't wait to see it for myself.

Enshrouded takes place in a vast open-world

At first glance, Enshrouded seems like a more visually detailed version of Valheim, and in some ways, it is. It takes place in a very large open world, with the ability to construct bases out of various materials and building parts you scavenge, go exploring, craft furniture, weapons, and armor, and defeat various enemies throughout the many biomes.

I like the building system. You can choose from only a few building blocks for each material type, but you can also choose what size you want. This allows you to create structures with more intricate details in them. The structures also snap together well and can alter appearance slightly depending on what structure pieces are placed next to them, making it all fit together.

The combat is another plus point and is probably the most fleshed-out part of the game so far. The combat leans more towards the tougher side, and when you're at a low level, most enemies will kill you in 2-3 hits. This means learning to dodge and parry attacks is essential. The movement system allows you to maneuver fluidly while engaged, feeling similar to soulslike combat.

You have a variety of weapons you can use, from melee to ranged, and although it's frustrating when you die to an enemy and respawn at your base, the penalties applied aren't harsh.

The game's combat can be harsh, but at the same time, fair.

Enshrouded is still in Early Access, and it's fairly obvious to see why. Although the open world is vast and sometimes beautiful, the world is quite empty. There are specific places you are guided to when on a quest, but a lot of the world feels barren currently. While playing, I didn't encounter any friendly NPCs besides ones that can work on your base. It feels like a shame that there aren't friendly villages/towns you can encounter, and I hope something like that is planned for the future.

Another thing that frustrated me is that digging with a pickaxe, for example, can alter terrain by mining. I thought, "Wow, what an awesome feature," but when I quit the game and reloaded my save, all the terrain editing and rocks had returned to their previous state. I understand this might be done to create infinite resources for players, maybe even to prevent grief, but having the feature present and not permanent makes me think they might as well not have had it present.

This is a bit of a common theme, sadly. Whenever you log off and back on, all the enemy and neutral animal spawns restart. Enemies always appear to spawn in the same locations, meaning there's no sense of surprise. You KNOW a wolf will spawn over by those trees, that a group of enemies will be by that ruin. It would make sense if this was a single-player RPG, perhaps, but on a game designed to be played on a dedicated server for 16 players, it feels very strange at how "scripted" and static it can feel.

You can dig holes through rocks like this, but upon saving and reloading the game, it will return to its natural state.

Enshrouded is an Early Access title, and features can change. From a fairly empty open world to some curious design choices, the game has its issues. But does it have potential? Given that the developers have created a game engine from the ground up to make this game, they're in it for the long haul, and Enshrouded could become a fantastic title once it gets fleshed out with more content and polish, a game to watch for sure!

Enshrouded - Steam Deck Performance

Enshrouded gets the basics right for the Steam Deck, it has full controller support for both menus and gameplay, and it supports 16:10 resolutions, including 1280x800 which is the Deck's native resolution.

However, things start to fall apart a little when we get to performance. The developers have stated that optimization is one of their key concerns right now, as even players using GPUs such as the RTX 3080 have reported difficulties playing the game at decent graphical settings. Unfortunately, that means, for now, at least, Steam Deck users need to make heavy compromises to make Enshrouded "Playable."

Recommended Settings - 30 FPS

Start by setting a 30 FPS lock in your SteamOS settings, and removing any TDP limit, we'll need all the power we can get.

In the in-game display settings, set your resolution to 1280x800 (Native), adjust the Resolution Scale to 65% (520p), and then select the "Max Performance" Quality Preset to set all other settings to their lowest. Ensure FSR2 is your selected Anti-Aliasing method and FSR2 Quality is set to Performance.

Because we're able to run at 800p and just use the resolution scale, we get to keep a crisp UI with readable text, only the gameplay is reduced in resolution. Performance is mostly steady, often holding 30 FPS, with occasional dips into the high 20s, usually in combat or heavily forested areas, with some minor stuttering.

Battery drain depends on where you are. It can be anywhere from 20-24W but tends to lean towards the higher end of that range. As such, I wouldn't expect more than 90 minutes of battery life while playing Enshrouded. Temperatures tended to stay around 75-80C, so it runs a little on the hot side, but that's to be expected given that this game pushes both the CPU and GPU.

Whether this represents a "playable" experience is up for debate. As you can see from the images, the low-resolution scale makes for a very soft image. I would use the Deck as a "secondary" device, where I can log on and do some quick resource gathering or base building but not take on major quest lines or serious combat, as a sudden drop in performance could easily lead to unnecessary death and frustration.


Enshrouded doesn't offer too much in the way of accessibility. There are a few options in the accessibility menu. Most of these are related to how the camera moves, such as removing camera swaying and shaking. There's also an option to add symbols to item rarity, so the rarity isn't just defined by a color, which would be helpful for those with color blindness.


Enshrouded is a bit rough around the edges as of writing this review, but it has the potential to be one of the best survival sandbox games out there. Given the effort the developers have put in to lay the groundwork and the positive reception they've already received, I'm hoping they'll stick by this game and keep improving it until it's a great experience. The combat and base building are pretty much there, but exploring the world feels a little unrewarding right now, and some elements of the game feel very static when a more dynamic approach would have been appropriate.

As for how it runs on the Steam Deck, I'm undecided as to whether or not this is a "playable" game. Before this review was written, Valve declared the game as "Unsupported" on the Deck due to performance issues. Perhaps the game receiving this grading will encourage the developers even more to optimize the game. With a little optimization here and there, we could easily achieve a solid 30 FPS experience and maybe up that resolution, scaling a notch or two.

This game is one to watch, but I'd skip it now if you want to play primarily on the Deck.

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.

This game was tested with a Steam Deck LCD. OLED testing is coming soon.

After reviewing Yakuza 4 Remastered, I went right into Yakuza 5 Remastered. Initially released for the PS3 in 2012, this is an updated version of the game, released in 2021 for PCs. Even though visually it doesn't quite hold up to newer titles, it still passes by, and to be honest, the game not having all the visual features of a newer AAA game does benefit the Steam Deck's limited hardware.

Before getting into this, I highly recommend playing the earlier games in this series, starting with Yakuza 0. The games constantly reference past events, and all play into each other, so to get the most out of the game, I would go back and start from the beginning. It's a heavy time investment, but if you're looking for a franchise that can be both serious and humorous and provide you with an emotional rollercoaster, then this series is the one you want.

Yakuza 5 takes place across multiple locations and protagonists, with the first being Kazuma Kiryu.

The story again begins with our lovable protagonist, Kazuma Kiryu, desperately trying to keep his nose clean since leaving the Yakuza behind. It seems that trouble follows him everywhere, and through a series of circumstances, he's soon back into the Japanese criminal underworld. I won't spoil the storyline, but you're in for some of the usual Yakuza drama here, much like previous entries in the series.

Dotted between the serious story missions, we have Yakuza's famous minigames and sub-stories that often find their way onto the internet in funny clips. One of my favorites in Yakuza 5 Remastered is the Taxi Driving minigame. In his bid to escape the criminal life, Kiryu is working as a Taxi Driver. You get a neat little minigame to play, essentially a Taxi Driving Simulator, and I love these mundane simulator-style games! It was quite a surprise to see such a game in Yakuza, but I quite enjoyed driving for a change.

Like Yakuza 4, which featured four playable protagonists, Yakuza 5 features five playable protagonists. Wow, I wonder if there's a theme building here? Regardless, Yakuza 5 gets split into fairly evenly-paced parts, each representing a different protagonist in a different area of Japan. This helps keep the game from feeling stale and opens up new areas and opportunities as you play through the game's storyline.

Combat is, as always, a staple of the Yakuza series. Yakuza 5 Remastered has identical combat to Yakuza 4 Remastered. It's fluid and satisfying, giving you that sense of power without feeling too powerful. Building up your heat gauge and unleashing a powerful, sometimes comical, attack on your foes is one of the most satisfying moments in a Yakuza game. The combat system hasn't quite reached the heights of what it had before Yakuza became a turn-based game (Like a Dragon), but it's still a solid system nonetheless.

I love the series, so this game continues that trend and feels extremely satisfying. Now, if you've read the Yakuza 4 Remastered review, you'll know how it runs on the Steam Deck, but Yakuza 5 Remastered does differ in a couple of ways.

Yakuza 5 Remastered - Steam Deck Performance

Please Note: While the game does run fine using the default Proton, cutscene audio and some cutscenes themselves won't play correctly. You should use Proton GE 8-24 or later to play this game. You can follow our guide to get Proton GE on your Steam Deck.

Like Yakuza 4 Remastered, when booting Yakuza 5 Remastered, you're greeted with 16:9 menus. And just like Yakuza 4, you can select 1280x800 as a resolution in the graphics menu. But unlike Yakuza 4, you do not get a 16:10 playing area when you're in gameplay. For whatever reason, Yakuza 5 is permanently 16:9 with border art, even though the previous game in the series did support 16:10 when in the game.

We do, however, have full controller support, with the game even recommending that "Real Yakuza Use Gamepads." I can't interview one to find out if that's true, though...

We have some graphical options to choose from, much like its predecessor. This allows us to create a quality and battery life preset for you today!

The same as Yakuza 4, there's a basic graphics menu, but I will only be changing things in the "Advanced" menu for the two builds I will discuss. Here is what the basic menu looks like:

The basic graphics settings used by both of our presets.

Much like Yakuza 4 Remastered, if you wish to lock your frame rate in SteamOS to 30 FPS, you must change the FPS Cap in-game to 30. If you keep it at 60 or Auto and lock it to 30 FPS, you'll play at 50% speed.

Recommended Settings - 60 FPS Battery Life

First, we'll set a 60 FPS/Hz lock in our SteamOS settings, we can set a 7W TDP Limit here and still maintain an almost constant 60 FPS. For the in-game graphics settings, choose the "Low" preset and apply it, then go into the "Advanced" menu and set the Texture Quality to "High," Texture Filtering to "16x", and the LOD Distance to "Mid."


With this TDP limit, we get a power draw of around 12W - 14W, translating roughly into two and a half hours of battery from a full charge. You can expect an almost constant 60 FPS from these settings, other than occasional drops from scene transitions and camera cuts. Even in a huge battle, as shown in the 1st screenshot below, the game holds 60 FPS pretty well.

Much like Yakuza 4 Remastered, you can't just save whenever you want in Yakuza 5 Remastered, so having a decent battery life is essential. Getting caught in a cutscene or a story sequence is deadly, and if you can't get to a place to charge, say goodbye to any recent progress you've made. So, just a friendly reminder to keep your battery level topped up when playing Yakuza 5 Remastered.

Quality Settings - 60 FPS

For those of you wanting the best experience on the Steam Deck, these settings are for you.

In SteamOS, make sure your FPS Lock is set to 60 FPS/Hz and disable your TDP Limit; go to your in-game settings, select the "Ultra" preset and apply it, then go into the "Advanced" menu, lower Shadow Quality down to "High" and turn Anti-Aliasing to "Off."


Running with these settings costs us a lot of battery life, sadly. We are now drawing around 21W - 24W from the battery, meaning you can't expect more than 90 minutes from a full charge. Much like Yakuza 4 Remastered, you could lose progress if you get into a story sequence where you can't save and your battery is running low. Your best bet, then, is to suspend your game and try to find a place to charge before resuming.


Accessibility isn't Yakuza 5 Remastered's strong point. Just like Yakuza 4 Remastered, your only real accessibility option is subtitles. The game again features QTEs, which are mandatory to succeed, and the combat system is the same, meaning you will need to pull off combo attacks to be effective in combat. However, lower-difficulty choices are available to make combat winnable mostly by button mashing.


Yakuza 5 Remastered continues the run of solid but not exceptional Yakuza games. It progresses the drama unfolding from the beginning, and it does it reasonably well. The graphics on the Steam Deck are still pleasant, and it controls beautifully. Aside from the disappointing lack of true 16:10 aspect ratio support, I couldn't ask for this game to run better on the Deck than it already does.

Performance-wise, regardless of which of the above presets you use, you should expect a fairly locked 60 FPS experience, with the quality settings allowing us almost to max out graphical settings and the battery settings sacrificing some visual quality to get a reasonable battery life.

Yakuza 5 Remastered holds a "Very Positive" rating on Steam and is currently graded as "Unsupported" on the Steam Deck compatibility rating, but, like Yakuza 4 Remastered, the game runs perfectly fine as long as you're using a new version of Proton GE.

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.

Worldless was provided by Thunderful Publishing for review. Thank you!

This game was tested with a Steam Deck LCD. OLED testing is coming soon.

Worldless is an interesting game. It is a Metroidvania-style 2D Platformer kind of affair, with a focus on solving fairly simple puzzles and executing timed commands in a turn-based combat system. It can feel a bit minimal when it comes to the visuals, but this is a great experience nonetheless, with its enjoyable combat.

The game adopts a fairly minimalist approach, not only in terms of visuals but also its story. Dialogue is limited and always shown via text. Ultimately, you're put into the game world with basically no direction, so you're free to explore as you wish, which means you can also end up in areas with very strong enemies without any warning from the game.

The game's map, which you are pretty much free to explore in a non-linear fashion.

My experience with the game's "puzzles" was a bit bland. They seemed to always consist of the same basic idea of using the "Y" button at certain points to make platforms or jump pads appear, but the game's combat is what makes this worth playing.

The combat utilizes turn-based, or perhaps more accurately, time-based commands to fight. When your turn begins, you have a few seconds to execute your attacks and combos, using a mixture of physical and magic attacks, to break through the enemy's shield and attack their life directly. When your turn is over, the enemy will try to do likewise to you, but you can press a button at the right time to defend against their attacks.

The game's combat system is both turn-based and time-based, requiring you to react to enemy attacks and also time your own.

This creates a very skill-based combat system that greatly rewards reaction timing and the ability to read enemy attacks as they are about to happen. It's very satisfying when you get it right and execute what the game calls a "perfect guard," which can give you bonuses and means your shield stays strong under the enemy's attacks.

Speaking of skills, the game has a rather extensive skill tree, considering the length of the game itself. This allows you to strengthen your shield, unlock new attack combos, or give you more time to execute your commands. This helps keep the combat feeling fresh throughout the playthrough and is a nice addition.

The game's skill tree. You earn a skill point for each enemy you absorb, and additional branches can be unlocked.

The visuals are minimalist and pleasantly styled, in my opinion, they do their job and make it easy to discern points of interest from general scenery. I'd hesitate to call it "beautiful," but it's certainly appealing at points. And I would never describe it as "ugly."

Although simplistic, the game's visuals can be pretty appealing.

I liked this foray into the Metroidvania genre. The combat is the highlight here for me, and pulling off combos and executing perfect timing is well-rewarded. The skill tree adds variety to your combat options over time and helps the game feel fresh throughout.

But how does it run on the Steam Deck? We've got some good news for you!

Worldless - Steam Deck Performance

Worldless starts quite well on the Deck. The game boots with a 16:10 resolution, and there is a nice notice that the game is best played with a controller. And we can confirm that this is the case, the game plays beautifully on a controller and was designed with it in mind.

There are no graphical options here aside from resolution, which we don't want to touch, so we can't "optimize" the game itself. All the settings that we adjust will be in the SteamOS Quick Access Menu.

Recommended Settings - 60 FPS

First, we'll set a 60 FPS/Hz lock in our SteamOS settings, then put a 6W TDP limit on. Worldless is a very lightweight game and can often hit 60 FPS with a lower TDP limit than 6W, but in combat or when many particles are in play, it causes drops. A 6W Limit holds us nicely at 60 FPS for 99% of the time, and the odd dropped frame during combat wasn't really noticeable since the visuals are pretty busy anyway during those points.

With such a low TDP limit, we can squeeze close to 5 hours from the Steam Deck's battery here. Because of that, I recommend just playing this game at 60 FPS. Battery draw varied between 7W and 9W. When doing platforming elements and exploring the world, the battery draw stays pretty low, and when in combat, it tends to edge up towards 9W of usage. Regardless of what you're doing in the game, you should expect at minimum 4 hours of battery life from a full charge.

I did a test at 3W TDP Limit to see if that would help improve battery life, too. In this setting, we had to drop the FPS Lock to 40 FPS; however, the battery draw remained similar with maybe only an extra few minutes added on. Given the timing nature of combat, 60 FPS is the way to go here.

Ultimately, I found that when you're running this low of a TDP limit, your screen brightness will have a large impact on your battery. I always play at 100% brightness, but if you drop to 50%, you can save a good 30 minutes of battery life, if not more.


Worldless has a menu just for accessibility and has a few options to help people enjoy the game.

You can adjust controller vibration, the amount of camera shaking, and "screen flicker," which we presume is for the benefit of those with photosensitivity. You can also disable tutorials and adjust the gamepad symbols between Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo.

The last option is a bit of an odd one, but it does make sense, as the game uses on-screen controller symbols and requires you to press them in order at points, so having the correct symbols for your controller on-screen is very helpful.



Worldless was an enjoyable experience, although the game is a bit short, seeing as I gained the majority of the skills in the game within the first 2 hours. The visuals are appealing and the combat system is great, feeling especially good when landing that perfect combo for massive damage. The puzzles are simple, but as I'm not much of a puzzler, I can't complain about that! The core gameplay loop is figuring out where you haven't defeated enemies yet and navigating your way there to defeat them. Still, as both the combat and traversal mechanics hold up well, it's a perfectly satisfying gameplay loop.

The game runs great on the Steam Deck, with no need to adjust in-game settings to achieve good performance. If you want a Metroidvania to play on your Steam Deck, Worldless may be that game for you. It holds a "Verified" rating on Valve's Steam Deck Compatibility testing, which is completely accurate here, and "Very Positive" reviews from Steam users at the time of writing this review.

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.

GUNHEAD was provided by Alientrap for review. Thank you!

The game was tested with a Steam Deck LCD. OLED testing is coming soon.

With so many games launching, keeping up with it all is pretty challenging. GUNHEAD slipped me by when it first launched, but it's a Roguelike FPS game, a mix of genres I love. After playing Gunfire: Reborn and Roboquest, I've kept an eye out for other games in the genre, and GUNHEAD fits the bill perfectly.

GUNHEAD's gameplay takes place on boarded enemy ships

The gameplay loop starts with you deciding on 1 of 3 randomly generated destinations varying in difficulty and type. After selecting one and warping to it, you select a mech suit to use and board the enemy ship, where you are tasked with disabling its systems and, ultimately, destroying its core. These systems range from Shields that protect other systems, to repair systems that can fix the ship, alarms, or even nukes that cause an explosion whenever you disable a different part of the ship. After you have destroyed the core, you will be rewarded based on your performance. Then, the cycle continues with the upgrades/unlocks you got from your previous mission!

The outside of an enemy ship, these are randomly generated and can be entered via the blue airlocks.

Overall, the gameplay is fluid and fast-paced. I like how you control your mech, including the ability to use a jetpack to dodge and fly around the ship's internals in all directions. It can be a little confusing initially, but I think it works well once you've got a handle on things. Your mech can have up to 4 weapons equipped at any given time and an item slot, and you can find new weapons and items on the ship. There are passive upgrades to find as well that are permanently applied to your mech (until you die). These upgrades reward exploration and ensure that you thoroughly clear out each ship you've boarded in the hopes of finding that perfect buff.

GUNHEAD has a cel-shaded visual style that, while I usually enjoy this style, I did find it somewhat difficult to distinguish enemies from the background on occasion. This may be why the developer has added a "radar" feature to the game, showing enemy positions by putting a rectangle around them, showing them on the map, or showing them on the game's 3D Compass. All of this makes me think the developers knew there was an issue here, and they tried a lot of workarounds instead of fixing the core issue. The enemies have a similar design to the ship they're on and can easily be mistaken for just another part of the ship.

Some enemies, such as these mines and this turret, can sometimes blend into the rest of the ship.

I did enjoy playing GUNHEAD, and I'd love to dive back in and try to progress further with a bit more time. It's a challenging experience, and once you learn the enemy types and how to pick them out from the busy environment, it's a good time.

GUNHEAD - Steam Deck Performance

GUNHEAD supports the Steam Deck's native 1280x800 resolution, eliminating any black bars we might encounter. It also has excellent gamepad support, allowing complete control of the menus and gameplay with gamepads.

One note that's worth mentioning, however, is that when I tried the game with Aim Assist turned on, the camera would often get stuck moving in a direction I didn't wish it to. I would strongly recommend disabling Aim Assist in the options if you play.

In terms of graphical settings, we don't have much choice since there's only one option to change the visual quality of the game. From "Fastest" to "Beautiful." Regardless of what I tried, running on higher settings always resulted in FPS drops when a lot of action happened, so we're stuck to relatively low settings on the Steam Deck. A surprise given the game's artistic style, I've seen games with a more detailed aesthetic run better on the Deck.

I opted out of making a "Battery Life" settings preset for GUNHEAD, as the graphics aren't too scalable, and 40 FPS is what I would consider a minimum for a game as fast-paced as this.

Recommended Settings - 60 FPS

As GUNHEAD is an FPS title, my aim going into this review was to achieve a 60 FPS experience, and thankfully, we can just about do that!

I chose to forego any TDP limit here, but we can run at 60 FPS a lot of the time with a 12W TDP Limit, I found that stutters were more frequent and egregious with a limit on, and for the smoothest experience possible, it's best to just not have a limit at all.

In SteamOS, we have a 60FPS/Hz lock, and we have the settings clocked in at "Fastest."

Even though we've gone without a TDP Limit here, this game is still pretty light on the CPU most of the time, so we're only pulling about 15W from the battery on average. This means we should get about 2 and a half hours of battery life, which is pretty good for 60 FPS. Temperatures also stay relatively cool at around 65c.


Quality Settings - 40 FPS

Even though this is the "Quality" setting, unfortunately, the Steam Deck can't handle anything beyond the "Fast" quality setting. Going beyond this can be fine for a lot of the game, but when action is on screen, the performance just drops, exactly when you don't want it to. So we're having to stick with the "Fast" setting here.

We can set a TDP Limit of 12W here, as the drain on the CPU is low now we're only at 40 FPS. We can set a 40 FPS/Hz lock in SteamOS, too. Ultimately, this gives us about 12W - 13W of battery drain. This means we get 3 hours of battery life out of our Steam Deck. Temperatures remain the same as my recommended settings, about 60c - 65c.

In terms of graphical quality over the 60 FPS settings, we're mainly gaining some color grading and fog effects like the green shown in the image above. These are absent from the recommended settings, but I would rather play at 60 than have these couple of added effects.

It holds 40 FPS well, with the very occasional stutter, which didn't affect my gameplay.

GUNHEAD40FPSSettings1 1

It's also worth noting that if you are immediately up against a lot of transparency/alpha effects, such as smoke or transparent lighting, the FPS will drop extremely low, into the low teens. This is unavoidable on any graphics setting I tested. Fortunately, it only lasts for less than a second each time, but if you have something like a rocket launcher that fires several rockets, each leaving a smoke trail, this FPS drop can affect you more frequently and be annoying.

Here's a screenshot of an effect that the Steam Deck doesn't like. You can see the sharp FPS drop at the top left:

Effects like this can cripple your FPS


GUNHEAD has almost no accessibility options. You can disable camera shake, make some UI elements larger, and the voiced dialogue lines in the game do have subtitles at the top left of the screen, but that's about it. Given the often convoluted nature of navigating the enemy ships, the fully 3D playing space, and the game is fast-paced at times, this one might be best to avoid if you aren't able to react quickly or are visually impaired.


GUNHEAD is a fun, single-player roguelike FPS that ticks most boxes for me. Once you get the hang of navigating the ships, you can enjoy the fantastic progression and combat systems.

With four difficulty choices, I feel like most players will be able to find a challenge here. I chose the Normal difficulty since I don't play many FPS games. Even still, I found the game rather difficult and would struggle to win more than three missions in a row. In hindsight, perhaps "Easy" would have been my better choice.

I barely scratched the surface of all the unlocks, and I am intrigued to see just how crazy things can get if you get far into a run. Here's just a look at some of the weapons and upgrades you can find in the game:

GUNHEAD plays well on the Steam Deck, being able to hold 60 FPS quite nicely, as well as drop to 40 FPS for a slight graphical improvement. The control scheme is also as good as you could hope for, so it rightfully holds a "Verified" Steam Deck compatibility rating. It currently has a "Mostly Positive" review rating on Steam, which I think is fair given some of my difficulties, but overall, I would recommend it if you're looking for an enjoyable roguelike FPS experience.

Our review is based on the PC version of this game. Information was correct at the time of writing.

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.

Whisker Squadron: Survivor was provided by the publisher for review. Thank you!

This game was tested with a Steam Deck LCD. OLED testing is coming soon.

Somehow, upon receiving this game to test, I didn't clock the "Survivor" tagline, and I went into it thinking it would be a traditional on-the-rails shooter. But lo and behold, there it is! Whisker Squadron: Survivor is part of the "Survivor" genre that has recently blown up in popularity, meaning you earn XP for enemies defeated, level up, and gain new abilities or weapons to keep surviving for as long as possible. I love survivor-like games, and it was a nice surprise when I started this game.

The game takes place with you flying through narrow passageways

The gameplay is much as you would expect; you fly a ship down a narrow tunnel/passage with enemies and obstacles appearing before you. Think Galaga, but in a 3D environment. Defeating enemies allows you to level up, get new/upgraded weapons, repair your ship, or do many other things. It's a simple concept but works well and is pretty enjoyable. You can choose 3 maps to play through, each broken into 10 zones. With each zone getting progressively more challenging.

There are a variety of maps and areas, including this special one imitating a previous game from the developer: Race The Sun

Aside from the upgrades you get during a run, there are also "Mods" you can enable at the start, which will change the experience. From starting your ship with less health to enemies being stronger, or being able to deal double damage but also receive double the damage, these mods aim to make your run harder and more rewarding. I found the game difficult enough, but it's here for you if you want that extra challenge.

Things can get pretty hectic in the later zones with lots of enemies

The visuals are very stylized and appealing. I struggled to distinguish enemies from the background, but I liked the aesthetic overall. The 3 maps you can choose from all have different color schemes and obstacles that you will face, and you unlock the other 2 maps reasonably quickly, so it's nice to switch between them after each run for a bit of variety while you play.

Another environment you'll encounter in the game.

This is a good entry into the survivor-like genre, which ticks the "Can I do better next time?" box. It always pushes you to reach the next zone and try new strategies with the available unlocks. I had a great time playing, but let's consider how worthwhile it is to bring the game wherever you go.

Whisker Squadron: Survivor - Steam Deck Performance

The game supports 16:10 resolutions, so we can run at the Steam Deck's native 1280x800 resolution. We also have full gamepad support in both menus and gameplay here, and it feels so great that it would be my preferred method of playing, even on a desktop PC.

Whisker Squadron: Survivor doesn't have many graphical settings; it is simply a low/medium/High-quality setting. The difference between the 3 modes is pretty marginal, in my opinion, and so, to get the best out of our Steam Deck, though the higher graphical settings are heavy on the device, both of my presets use the "Low" setting.


Unfortunately, I could not get the performance overlay to appear in screenshots, even when using an override command. However, I am providing the statistics in text form, and the performance is essentially locked at the frame cap for both settings.

Recommended Settings - 60 FPS

The "Low" setting allows us to keep our TDP limit down to 10W, putting the battery drain at about 15W - 18W, depending on your zone and how many enemies there are. It's an almost locked 60 FPS using SteamOS with occasional stutters when leveling up. You can expect around 2 hours of battery life from it. Temperatures varied between 65C and 75C.

At the mid-point of a run, even with all these effects and enemies, the game can hold 60FPS at these settings.

While the battery life of 2 hours is pretty low, the 60 FPS settings get my recommendation because this is a play-and-set-down game. You likely aren't going to spend more than 2 hours on it in one sitting, and the 60 FPS is nice when playing a game as fast-paced as this.

Battery Life Settings - 40 FPS

We opt for a 40 FPS/Hz lock on the battery-saving settings instead of 30 FPS. Whisker Squadron: Survivor is a pretty fast-paced game, and it just doesn't feel very good when running at 30 FPS, but acceptable at 40 FPS. Plus, we barely save any battery by dropping down to 30 FPS.

By running at 40 FPS, we can lower the TDP Limit to 6W, putting our average battery drain around 10W - 12W for around 3 hours of battery life. Temperatures also drop to around 60c - 65c.


I was disappointed we couldn't get more than 3 hours of battery life out of the game while keeping the gameplay enjoyable. Given the game's stylized look and its somewhat basic nature, I thought it would be easy to run, but that doesn't seem to be the case. If you are running on the highest settings, even a 15W TDP Limit doesn't hold 60 FPS on the Steam Deck.


Whisker Squadron: Survivor has a few accessibility options in the menu. The game has no "difficulty" settings per se, but it does have the option to reduce incoming damage from enemies, as well as to make the game speed slower for more reaction time. There's also the option to disable screen shaking if that causes headaches for you.


I love survivor-like games. Their gameplay loop is satisfying and always pushes you to improve and do a little better each time. Whisker Squadron: Survivor encourages this by saving your high score and the furthest you've ever gotten on that map, challenging you to beat your personal bests. It's an easy-to-understand game that you can jump right into. The game is still in early access as I write this review, but I'm excited to see where the developers will take the game in the future.

Best of all, it plays beautifully on the Steam Deck, holding a "Verified" Steam Deck compatibility rating, and deserves it. It also has a "Very Positive" rating on Steam, which I greatly agree with.

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.

RoboCop: Rogue City was provided by Nacon for review. Thank you!

My experience with the RoboCop franchise was pretty limited going into RoboCop: Rogue City, only having watched the 2014 film near the time it was released. I feel as though this put me at somewhat of a disadvantage, as this is an obvious love letter to fans of the series. I share the sentiment of many that I've seen talk about this game, if you're a fan and enjoyed the original films, you will find a lot of love here, but if you aren't, this game won't make you one.


Despite being an "open area" title, the gameplay loop is linear. You're always on a "main mission," and there are sidequests or secondary objectives that you can complete. When finishing the primary objective and leaving the area, you will be warned that you will lose access to the sidequests you haven't yet completed. For better or worse, RoboCop: Rogue City is a short experience, with a casual playthrough likely lasting around 8.5 - 10 hours.

While I did find the graphics impressive, I wasn't particularly blown away by the gameplay itself. The enemies seem quite repetitive near the start of the game. In the first couple of hours of gameplay, you will only meet 1 enemy type, with them wielding 3 different weapons: a Pistol, SMG, or Assault Rifle. Then, suddenly, you'll get an influx of new enemy types, which adds some much-needed variety. The AI is quite decent, they'll take cover and throw grenades from time to time to deal extra damage. I did find the difficulty of the game relatively high, even on the lowest setting.

As for the gunplay, it feels stiff, although that was the most likely the intention, given the fact that you are an actual robot. It's somewhat difficult to do fine movements with your gun, at least on a gamepad, and you often just shoot in the vague vicinity of an NPC, letting the auto-aim assist you in accurately hitting your target. It almost feels as though there is 8-way directional aiming. Against normal enemies, it can make you feel a bit overpowered, which drives home that you are not fully human. There are a few weapons at your disposal, gained from picking them up off of defeated enemies.

One thing I did find rather annoying, however, is that when carrying a weapon, you can't simply walk over another weapon of the same type to refill your ammo, like almost every other modern FPS title. In RoboCop, you have to look at the weapon on the ground and press X on it to refill your ammo, which feels a bit jarring.


RoboCop also features a level-up system, allowing you to gain experience and spend points to gain skills you can use in a pinch. These vary from allowing you to activate a temporary shield to shockwave blasting nearby enemies to being able to interact with various objects in the environment for either gaining health or completing additional objectives.

I won't spoil the storyline here, but it's reasonably generic stuff, nothing special, but not terrible. It serves its purpose as far as the game goes, which puts the gameplay above all else.

RoboCop: Rogue City - Steam Deck Performance

RoboCop: Rogue City is an Unreal Engine 5 title, which are becoming increasingly popular now. Unfortunately, many UE5 titles do not play well with older hardware, particularly hardware that struggles with Ray-Tracing. Fortunately, it does give us an extensive range of settings to tweak, so we can get it to a playable state on the Steam Deck.

The menus support gamepads, making them easy to navigate on the Deck. We have support for 16:10 resolutions, so the Deck's native 1280x800 resolution is on the cards here. Sadly, there's no UI scaling in this game, meaning we're stuck with what we have when it comes to text size, which can sometimes be small.

I also experienced a crash while playing the game with some gameplay to cutscene transitions. This isn't a Steam Deck exclusive issue, though, and the game simply doesn't handle scene transitions all that well. In my case, I could simply reboot and click "Continue" on the main menu, and it placed me after the scene transition that crashed. I didn't lose any progress, but I can't guarantee that'll always happen.

Recommended Settings - 30 FPS

Upon booting RoboCop, we're presented with a rather intensive main menu, which, on the max settings that the game defaulted me to, ran at less than 20 FPS.

The quickest way to set the recommended settings is to go ahead and put yourself on the "Low" preset, then make sure you're using FSR 2.2 and is set to "Balanced." Make sure you scroll down to the bottom and change the Reflection Method to SSR, not Lumen, as Lumen is a UE5 feature that is too intensive for the Steam Deck here. We're also upping Textures to "Epic," as we have enough VRAM to handle this.

As you might expect, in SteamOS, we're locking the frame rate to 30 FPS, with no TDP limit.

RoboCop: Rogue City is a very intensive title to run, so even on these low settings, we're drawing 18W - 20W from the battery, giving us around 2 hours of battery life. And while the game does maintain 30FPS for most of the time, when a lot of action is on screen, mainly explosions and other particle effects, the FPS can drop into the mid-20s. Fortunately, these particles usually only last a few seconds, and the FPS recovers once they're gone.

While dropping from 30 FPS isn't ideal, you could lower the FSR scaling to "Performance," but that would make the visuals look much worse. I'd rather have a decent-looking title that loses some frames here and there while quickly recovering. Given the slow nature of character movement, I feel like framerate drops in RoboCop aren't as egregious as they would be in a faster-paced game. There are more drops during cutscenes than actual gameplay though, so be prepared.

FSR 2.2 holds up surprisingly well, and even on Balanced, we get what I'd describe as perfectly acceptable image quality. The most noticeable issue is the reflections on certain surfaces which, as you can see below, can become a bit noisy when moving

Reflections do get a bit noisy when using the FSR Scaling


RoboCop: Rogue City has almost no accessibility options unless you count adjusting controller sensitivity and removing motion blur/chromatic aberration.


While I feel as though RoboCop: Rogue City wasn't a game that was made for someone like me, I did enjoy the fairly simplistic combat that the game offers. Walking into a room and feeling like an overpowered tank does have an appeal to it. Sadly, it lost that luster after I walked into the 50th room doing the same thing. It holds up surprisingly well visually on the Steam Deck, and despite the FPS drops here and there, I'd view it as a "playable" experience, if not an ideal one.

If you're a fan of the RoboCop universe, then this is a great game for you. If you aren't, then there may be some better options available with better overall performance or more varied gameplay. Either way, there are a solid amount of compromises to make to play on the Deck, which may be worth it depending on how much you enjoy the franchise.

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.