Useless Island 2 Steam Deck efficiency report: a principally sunny outlook

I’m too prejudiced in opposition to first-person melee video games to take pleasure in Useless Island 2 as a lot our reviewer Rick Lane did, however even a thoughts as narrowed as mine can respect its slick efficiency on PC. I needed to see how effectively that smoothness and stability would carry over to the Steam Deck, and though the long-delayed zombie mulcher wants some cuts to high quality settings, discovering the best steadiness may have Useless Island 2 working nearly as comfortably as the easiest Steam Deck video games.

Alas, it’s nonetheless not the perfect handheld recreation, thanks each to the odd crash (decreasing settings helps with this) and the truth that it wants some tinkering with the Epic Video games Launcher to get it playable within the first place. Nonetheless, playable it very a lot is.

Liam took a have a look at Useless Island 2 to reply one easy query: was it definitely worth the 9 12 months wait?

Let’s begin by addressing Useless Island 2’s lack of a Steam model; it launches on February twenty first as an Epic Video games unique, and since DI2 isn’t even listed on Steam proper now, that’s unlikely to alter any time quickly. Fortunately, there are workarounds: you may both set up the Heroic Launcher, or observe our helpful information on learn how to set up the Epic Video games Launcher on the Steam Deck. Each of those ought to mean you can get Useless Island 2 downloaded onto the hand-held, nonetheless utilizing your common Epic account.

I’ve the Epic Video games Launcher itself put in on my Steam Deck, and didn’t have any actual hassle putting in Useless Island 2 in flip. There’s a scary-sounding error message that seems each time I launch, with an error code that pertains to an Epic On-line Providers malfunction, however closing the message permits the sport to launch and run as regular. I can nonetheless use the co-op mode’s Fast Be part of matchmaking, in order that message seems to be a lot ado about nothing.

There are a few different peculiarities that appear to solely be a problem on the Steam Deck, although neither will actually spoil your enjoyable. One is that the shader pre-caching takes place each time Useless Island 2 begins, a course of that should occur simply as soon as on a Home windows desktop. This solely takes 5 seconds every time, thoughts – a world away from The Final of Us Half 1 and its epic 40-minute shader comps – so it hasn’t bothered me a lot.

The opposite is that typically, when a cutscene begins, a freeze body from a earlier cutscene very briefly flashes on display screen. Like a subliminal message making an attempt to persuade you ways witty and well-shot a previous cinematic was. Once more, I haven’t seen this in any respect when taking part in on desktop, so possibly it’s one thing that may be mounted with a future Proton replace, like different video games’ Steam Deck cutscene issues have been.

In any other case, compatibility with the Steam Deck – even on a jerry-rigged Epic app – appears advantageous. The Deck’s controls are match, with the best trackpad usable for aiming and the left as a D-pad various, and the show decision is robotically set to the native 1280×800 with out letterboxing. The sleep and resume characteristic works as effectively, simply as it will on a Steam recreation. And battery life is available in at 1h 30m, with brightness and speaker quantity each at 50% – a standard outcome for high-fidelity AAA fare.

These aforementioned quirks imply Useless Island 2 doesn’t get a completely clear invoice of well being on the Steam Deck, however with the best graphics choices, it’s in adequate form to play.

Dead Island 2 running on a Steam Deck.

Useless Island 2 Steam Deck efficiency and greatest settings information

Exterior of some pixelly hair, Useless Island 2 is a good looking recreation even on its decrease graphical settings. Which is simply as effectively, as whereas all of it runs tidily on desktop-grade {hardware}, the Steam Deck’s dinky APU struggles with most Excessive and Extremely settings.

I used to be initially dissatisfied by the Low preset, too: this might attain as much as 60fps every so often, primarily inside LA’s many mansion interiors, however was equally susceptible to dropping beneath 30fps when whacking zeds. Then I utilized the key sauce, AMD FSR 2 on its High quality setting. This saved the Low preset averaging within the 40-50fps vary, with no additional drops into the twenties by any means and a pleasingly minimal affect on decision sharpness.

I additionally tried the Medium preset, once more with FSR 2, and received a playable 35-45fps – till Useless Island 2 crashed. A nasty shock, given I’d additionally been taking part in on desktop with out a lot of a touch of stuttering, not to mention the complete black display screen remedy.

I had a pair extra crashes after persevering with Medium high quality, normally when there have been lots of zombies and VFX onscreen, so I’m pretty sure that that is simply the Steam Deck failing to deal with the calls for of sure settings. After figuring out probably the most FPS-hungry of the person choices and busting them all the way down to Low, stability returned.

Dead Island 2 running on a Steam Deck.

Evidently, counting on presets alone is a dangerous enterprise when working Useless Island 2 on humble {hardware} just like the Steam Deck. On the identical time, there are particular settings that may be left up, with no obvious impact on framerate or crashing tendency. And it’d be a disgrace to depart these cranked down as effectively.

Right here, then, are my beneficial Steam Deck settings. They’ve principally been maintaining me within the 40-50fps vary, with occasional dips into the thirties however with none nasty sub-30fps lurches. Even 60fps is feasible in tighter, quieter areas.

  • Movement Blur: 0
  • Anti-Aliasing: Temporal AA Excessive
  • View Distance: Excessive
  • Submit Processing: Excessive
  • Shadows: Low
  • Textures: Medium
  • Results: Low
  • Foliage Element: Excessive
  • SSAO: Low
  • Oblique Shadows: Excessive
  • Depth of Area: Low
  • Display House Reflections: Medium
  • Materials High quality: Excessive
  • Shading High quality: Low
  • AMD FidelityFX Tremendous Decision 2: High quality
  • AMD FidelityFX Variable Shading: On

Why not knock down FSR 2 a pair extra pegs, to conjure up much more frames per second with the magic of upscaling? I did do this, swapping from High quality to Efficiency mode, and whereas it nonetheless seemed sharp sufficient to be playable, it solely appeared so as to add an additional 3-4fps on common. Strive it when you like, although I desire the crispness of High quality to those minor pace positive factors.

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