Pushing the Limits of the Steam Deck: Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart & Remnant 2
The highly anticipated PC releases of Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and Remnant 2 have arrived, showcasing some of the most advanced technical features in current-gen gaming. These titles, with features like ray tracing and virtualized geometry, can even tax high-end PCs. Surprisingly, both games have received Valve’s Steam Deck Verified seal of approval. But can the modest 15W APU of the Steam Deck handle these cutting-edge games? Can it deliver good visuals and smooth performance, or is it stretched to its limits? Let’s find out as we delve into the details.
Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart on the Steam Deck:
Rift Apart is known for its cutting-edge visuals, but it proves to be surprisingly scalable. While visual settings don’t need to be reduced significantly, upscaling is necessary to achieve a comfortable performance on the Steam Deck. There are three upscaling options: AMD’s FSR 2, Insomniac’s temporal injection technique, and Intel’s XeSS. In terms of visual quality, XeSS appears the sharpest with minimal artifacts, while FSR 2 suffers from more artifacting but maintains visual clarity. Temporal injection offers a softer image with moderate artifacting. Ultimately, the better performance of FSR 2 becomes the deciding factor. The game runs well, with an average of around 40fps, rarely dipping below 30fps. With motion blur enabled, the game looks smooth and responsive, especially when playing at a capped 30fps.
Remnant 2 on the Steam Deck:
Remnant 2 is a demanding game even on console platforms, making it a challenging title to optimize for the low-power Steam Deck. Here, upscaling is also necessary for better performance, and Intel’s XeSS outperforms AMD’s FSR 2 in terms of image quality. While XeSS has some artifacting, it remains presentable on the Steam Deck’s display. Graphical settings need to be adjusted carefully to find a balance between visuals and performance. The lowest preset offers poor shadow rendering and sparse foliage, so medium settings or above are recommended for a better image. However, higher settings come with a performance cost, often resulting in 30fps at 720p with XeSS in performance mode. To achieve a good balance, further resolution reduction to 960×540 with XeSS in balanced mode produces a soft but acceptable image on the Steam Deck’s LCD.
Performance and Loading Differences:
Both Rift Apart and Remnant 2 perform fairly well on the Steam Deck, with Rift Apart delivering an average of around 40fps and Remnant 2 ranging from 30-40fps. However, frame-time inconsistency and occasional stutters are noticeable in Remnant 2, especially in demanding scenes. Additionally, the Steam Deck’s loading times are longer compared to the PS5, affecting the flow of certain game sequences. While the internal SSD of the Steam Deck offers faster loading than a Micro SD card, it still falls short of the PS5’s instant load times. Nevertheless, when installed on the internal SSD, Rift Apart proves to be a credible Steam Deck Verified title.
Despite their technical demands, Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart and Remnant 2 demonstrate that the Steam Deck is capable of delivering a good gaming experience. By utilizing upscaling techniques and adjusting graphical settings, both games maintain a decent visual quality while offering smooth performance on the Steam Deck. However, it’s important to note that loading times and occasional frame-time issues can still impact the overall experience. If you’re looking for a portable gaming experience with action-packed gameplay and vibrant graphics, the Steam Deck proves to be a worthy platform for these titles.
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Source : www.eurogamer.net