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The Last of Us on Steam Deck is not great

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Here we are, another big release on Steam and sadly it's just seemingly not a good experience from my early testing. Even though it seemed like we might see good support, the result is nothing of the sort.

Starting with the big nuisance: even though you've just downloaded it, you won't be ready to play. It will take around an hour to build the shaders on the main menu, something you'll need to do, otherwise you're likely to see worse performance. In my testing, you definitely want to wait on that being done too. Before it was done the performance was far more erratic and it ended up slowing down to a 1FPS crawl during one attempt.

Apart from that, it has the same issue some other bigger games have where the RAM will fill up to around 14/14.1GB as noted on the Steam Deck's performance HUD and then crash completely, often taking the Steam Deck with it for a full reboot.

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Valve did give it a special Proton Hotfix, which doesn't seem to have done enough to make it properly playable or be something I can recommend at this time.

As for how it runs on desktop Linux? On my Ryzen 7 5800X and NVIDIA 2080 Ti (Fedora KDE), it gives an out of date driver warning that can be ignored to begin with. Then it took a good 30 minutes (almost to the dot) to do the shaders even with this clearly much more powerful system. When you only have a 2 hour refund window on Steam, that's not good. Now think about people who do genuinely swap between PC and Steam Deck, practically the entire refund window gone to see if you have issues with it.

For desktop though, you can of course get much better performance and at least on the Linux side, it actually seems to run reasonably well even at 2560x1440 with FSR set to Balanced it can mostly stick around 60FPS.


Both shots were actually 60FPS, but Plasma screenshot spikes the FPS down.

Seems it's quite a problematic port overall, as the Steam user reviews instantly went down to Mixed (Edit: and now "Mostly Negative"), with many people on Windows reporting problematic performance and constant crashes.

You can buy it on Humble Store and Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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29 comments
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Linas Mar 28, 2023
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That's not great. Was really hoping to play this classic. But I guess I'll wait and see if they fix the issues. I mean, it's been 10 years already, whats a year or two more?
Klaas Mar 28, 2023
QuoteIt will take around an hour to build the shaders on the main menu
Wow.

Quotewith many people on Windows reporting problematic performance and constant crashes.
When was the last big release where everything worked on release? You spend more money and are rewarded with a miserable experience.


Edit: According to several reviews the German version features a wrong translation for building shaders, i.e. in the sense of house shaders.


Last edited by Klaas on 28 March 2023 at 8:27 pm UTC
Moss49 Mar 28, 2023
Quoting: headless_cyborgIt runs very well on my RX 6700 XT, however it only detects 8GB of VRAM (the GPU has 12GB) and that leads to slowdowns and texture pop-ins. I already applied a "workaround" (switched from Ultra to "only" high) but it should be fixed either by game devs or in Proton. I saw people with RX 6600s saying that in their case, only 4GB is detected.


So it is a issue across the PC space then, I was thinking it was only a deck prolem.
Oet_ Mar 28, 2023
Quoting: headless_cyborgIt runs very well on my RX 6700 XT, however it only detects 8GB of VRAM (the GPU has 12GB) and that leads to slowdowns and texture pop-ins.
AMD RX 6900 XT also shows 8GB of VRAM (and the mentioned out of date driver warning that can be ignored). The 70 FPS average seem a bit low, so gonna compare these issues with Windows 11.
StalePopcorn Mar 28, 2023
FWIW it appears to be getting mostly negative reviews on Steam, mostly from those disgruntled by it being a horrible port in the first place. I was just about to buy it too.


Last edited by StalePopcorn on 28 March 2023 at 11:39 pm UTC
Pengling Mar 29, 2023
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Quoting: KlaasEdit: According to several reviews the German version features a wrong translation for building shaders, i.e. in the sense of house shaders.
That is thoroughly brilliant in its wonkiness! Obligatory link;

QuoteI once did a translation about a space ship simulator - in this context space is translated as ruimte (space as in universe). The client copied and pasted the word ruimte to a message popping up every 3 seconds, instructing the user to press SPACE (as in space bar) to jump, without consulting me beforehand. The result was that the user was instructed to press the universe every so many seconds. The end result, reminiscent of Zero Wing (All Your Base Are Belong To Us), was run into the ground by all review sites.


Last edited by Pengling on 29 March 2023 at 12:57 am UTC
StoneColdSpider Mar 29, 2023
For a game called "The Last Of Us" there sure are a lot of them.......
mattaraxia Mar 29, 2023
Quoting: Klaas
QuoteIt will take around an hour to build the shaders on the main menu
Wow.

Quotewith many people on Windows reporting problematic performance and constant crashes.
When was the last big release where everything worked on release? You spend more money and are rewarded with a miserable experience.


Edit: According to several reviews the German version features a wrong translation for building shaders, i.e. in the sense of house shaders.

Resident Evil 4? Is it perfect? Probably not but why is that the bar? It's very similar to the Last of Us, many people are no doubt choosing between the two, and its reviews are overwhelmingly positive a week after release, very few technical complaints.

Relative to its peers, this seems exceptionally bad, Exceptions are newsworthy.
Oet_ Mar 29, 2023
Quoting: Oet_AMD RX 6900 XT also shows 8GB of VRAM (and the mentioned out of date driver warning that can be ignored). The 70 FPS average seem a bit low, so gonna compare these issues with Windows 11.
Arch Linux:
+ Compiling shaders faster than Windows
+ Shorter loading times than Windows
- Shows only 8 VRAM in settings
- FPS 10 frames less than Windows

Windows 11:
+ Shows all 16 VRAM in settings
+ FPS 10 frames higher than Linux
- Compiling shaders way slower than Linux
- Longer loading times than Linux

Guess Linux and Windows score 2 versus 2. I even got the same out of date driver warning on Windows, so needed to update my one month old driver. My choice will be a Linux playthrough, obviously.
Klaas Mar 29, 2023
Quoting: PenglingThat is thoroughly brilliant in its wonkiness!
The original Star Craft had the same issue: Carrier house Interceptor. Same on regular buildings, but not that obvious – but why should it say house only when something is being built!?
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