Of all the games I end up playing on the Steam Deck, one of the genres that feels left out is first-person shooters. It is hard to find a truly good one, and usually, thanks to the high requirements, it needs to run at a high frame rate, which is the best way to play these types of games. There are a few I can play, and they are fun, but I love more fast-paced combat with a sense of progression and a solid multiplayer foundation. And, after playing EvilVEvil, I believe this may be the one I am looking for.

EvilVEvil has a couple of intriguing ideas that help it stand out. It isn't trying to be this exhausting progression slog where you must play hundreds of hours to hopefully level up and unlock everything. Instead, it prioritizes a more lenient unlock system that keeps you getting something and leveling up multiple ways to continually get new upgrades. All of this creates an awesome system that allows for a solid amount of customization and a reason to keep coming back for some of the addicting gameplay.

EvilVEvilPlayTest 1

In the game, you can level up your account and your weapons. These will unlock new augmentations and modifications for your person and your weapon. You can get artifacts to augment your person while leveling up weapons, which will get you modifications for them. Both can also increase your capacity to attach newer and better upgrades. You can also level them up with resources you get from killing enemies, which makes them much more powerful. I love this design, and I feel like I am always getting something new.

This game was designed to be co-op first and foremost, and while you can play alone, it is best with someone else. You and up to two others will go through different bite-sized missions, ranging from 10-15 minutes, and accomplish objectives while taking out the horde of humans and zombies trying to stop you. You will use an arsenal of weapons and the special abilities of one of the three characters to complete your objectives. Since the characters are all vampires, they can also bite the human enemies to regain the health you have lost. Balancing your weapon kills with special abilities and biting will be essential for staying alive.

EvilVEvil also has a scoring system, with a multiplier that goes up the faster you kill enemies. It's a nice way to push yourself forward, while aiming to get the high score to brag to your friends.

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There are many different weapons to use, ranging from SMGs to Shotguns to Assault Rifles. Some are best for human enemies, while others are better for vampires. I enjoy using one weapon for humans and one for vampires since you can bring two into each mission. Some enemies have extra health that the opposite weapon can damage, and swapping between the two to effectively decimate your foes is extremely satisfying.

I feel the design of the world and levels are wonderful, making it feel vibrant and detailed while still being a bit cel-shaded. That and the soundtrack work very well together to create an engaging atmosphere I kept wanting to find time to dive into. I love how it sounds to shoot an assault rifle while mowing down leagues of enemies; it makes me feel very powerful.

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And I am so glad that this early build can run decently on the Steam Deck.

EvilVEvil Playtest - Steam Deck Performance

With early builds of games, there is still a lot of optimization left to go, and it can perform terribly on limited hardware devices like the Steam Deck. Fortunately, EvilVEvil is not one of these games. At the default settings, which does use in-game FSR 1.0 (and it doesn't look awful), you can get a solid 30 FPS across the board in every map. Some spots can even go up to 45 - 50 and feel extremely smooth, but too many areas went back to below 40. I didn't have any TDP limits on it, so it sometimes pumped my battery drain up to 22W, but it still played well. And, with this being an early build, it's very possible we will see a lot of improvements moving towards the full release.

One thing I really hope is included in the final release is mixed input support. Right now, there isn't any, but having it in would be monumentally helpful for gyro controls, which would help this game significantly. Otherwise, the game runs and looks great on the Deck and I think it could be an incredible game to take with you.

All in all, EvilVEvil is one game I would be watching out for. The combat, world, and progressions systems work together to make for an exciting experience that I have wanted on the Steam Deck. Yes, there are other FPS games that do work well and can still be great, but there's something about the way the developers are approaching progression with EvilVEvil that keeps me sucked in, and with the playtest public and underway now, I highly recommend trying it out.

You can join the PlayTest and get in on the fun on Steam right now.

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Noah Kupetsky
A lover of gaming since 4, Noah has grown up with a love and passion for the industry. From there, he started to travel a lot and develop a joy for handheld and PC gaming. When the Steam Deck released, it just all clicked.
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