“Star Wars: The Force Unleashed” emerges as a third-person action-adventure saga, casting players in the role of Starkiller, Darth Vader’s protege with an ultimate goal of toppling the Emperor. This review embarks on an exploration of Starkiller’s alternative history in the Star Wars universe, with a particular focus on its performance on Valve’s Steam Deck.
Can you play Star Wars on Steam Deck?
Game Setup on Steam Deck
Upon launching, players encounter a launcher that requires touchscreen navigation to adjust settings. The optimal setup involves switching the resolution to 1280×800, changing the input device settings to Xbox 360 Controller compatibility, and ensuring ‘High Detail’ is enabled, the latter being the solitary graphical option available.
Frame Rate and Gameplay
The game initially caps at 30FPS, necessitating modification for enhancement. An FPS Unlocker allows adjustments up to 40FPS, recommended due to minimal physics bugs at this rate. Installation is straightforward, involving a simple replacement of the game’s executable file in the Steam directory.
Optimized Settings for Steam Deck
The ideal configuration suggests a 40FPS limit with an applied FPS fix, complementing a 5W TDP setting for smooth gameplay and over 5 hours of battery life. A 30FPS setting, without the FPS fix, also delivers stable performance, with a slightly longer battery duration.
The game is fairly accessible, offering subtitles, adjustable difficulty levels, and simplified control options. Subtitles are well-sized for the Steam Deck’s display, enhancing the gaming experience for a wider audience.
Potential Technical Hurdles
Players might face sporadic frame pacing issues, typically resolved by pausing and unpausing the game. Enabling SteamOS’ frame rate lock is advisable for more consistent performance, as the game naturally suffers from uneven frame pacing.
There are some graphical glitches, particularly with distant objects and liquid surfaces, which seem inherent to the game rather than the Steam Deck or Proton.
While “The Force Unleashed” may not rank as a top-tier Star Wars gaming experience, it holds its ground as a decent pick for a quick, affordable dive into the franchise. Its performance on the Steam Deck, especially with the FPS Unlocker, is commendably smooth.