Styx: Shards of Darkness PC Performance Review

Conclusion

Styx: Shards of Darkness PC Performance Review

Conclusion

Styx: Shards of Darkness is a mixed bag when it comes to PC performance, being playable at 60FPS on even low-end systems with the correct settings but comes with a heavy performance bias towards Nvidia. This could change with future patches and/or driver updates, but for now, AMD users will have a hard time matching the performance of what would typically be referred to as an equivalent Nvidia-based system.   

With that being said Styx: Shards of Darkness is a fairly easy game to run at max/Epic settings, with every GPU with the exception of our GTX 960 and R9 380 easily being able to achieve steady 60+FPS framerates at 1080p. Even so with a few minor changes in graphical settings Shards of Darkness can easily be played at 60FPS on all the GPUs that we have tested at 1080p, which great news for those that crave the faster response times and smoother animations provided by 60FPS gameplay. 

When looking at VRAM usage we can also see that Styx does not consume excessive amounts of GPU resources, with even 4K Epic settings failing to use more than 4GB of VRAM. Even those with 2GB frame buffers will easily be able to play at 1080p or 1440p on the average preset without any issues, which is something that is becoming increasingly uncommon in some modern AAA experiences. 

Graphically, Styx is not the best looking game out there, but the game does make some very good use of what it has and can create some fantastic looking environments and a believable game world, making great use of lighting and shadows to create great hiding spots for Styx to oversee and travel throughout the environment. 

This is not a game where players will be able to run through each level freely or fight their way out of every encounter, after all, Styx is a Goblin and not a demon, with humans and elves easily outclassing the lightly armoured goblin in combat. Remember that this is a stealth game, not an action game with stealth elements, which is an important factor to consider depending on your usual gameplay style.  

In all Styx: Shards of Darkness is a very enjoyable stealth adventure with large, open environments and many different gameplay styles to choose from, depending on whether you prefer to use magic or rely solely on stealth and cunning.  

What Cyanide studios need to be praised for here is designing this game to run so well on older systems, taking the VRAM requirements of older hardware into account and allowing this game to easily run at 60FPS with most modern hardware. 

The only real downside of this game is that there is a huge Nvidia bias when it comes to game performance, which while suitable for Styx the green Goblin is something that will no doubt annoy a lot of AMD users, especially those who game at resolutions that are higher than 1080p. 

In short, Styx: Shards of Darkness is an enjoyable stealth game which can be easily played at 60FPS on most modern gaming GPUs but suffers from performance issues on AMD graphics cards.

 

You can join the discussion on Styx: Shard of Darkness' PC performance on the OC3D Forums.

 

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Most Recent Comments

15-03-2017, 14:05:55

Lynx
Detailed review, much appreciated for a fan of the game.
Any reason why we no longer bench with a 970? It's still the most popular GPU on the Steam Hardware Review.
Would be interesting to see how it degrades over time (nVidia special) compared to 10 series GPUs.Quote

15-03-2017, 18:55:20

WYP
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynx View Post
Detailed review, much appreciated for a fan of the game.
Any reason why we no longer bench with a 970? It's still the most popular GPU on the Steam Hardware Review.
Would be interesting to see how it degrades over time (nVidia special) compared to 10 series GPUs.
We have never had a 970 in the game stuff as most of the GPUs I test were not provided by 3rd parties (With the GTX 1060 and RX 480 GPUs we use being the exception).

As much as I would love to test a GTX 970, the problem is where does the testing stop? Every new GPU will add more work to do and if I add a GTX 970 I would also need an R9 390 for balance.

This is the big problem when it comes to covering this stuff, as my time is limited and my job is to cover both new games and news content on the website.

When it comes to covering how Nvidia/AMD GPUs age in new games, that is why we still use the R9 Fury X/GTX 980Ti and GTX 960/R9 380 GPUs in out tests, as these GPUs provide some great insight into how older GPUs run on modern games, especially modern DX12 titles.Quote

16-03-2017, 15:43:18

AngryGoldfish
Man, I'm sick of games that run so poorly on AMD. In this case it's to a ridiculous degree. People moan about games not looking as good as they should be considering they need powerful GPU's. What I care about is parity and reasonable performance from both vendors. This kind of favouritism is incredibly destructive while demanding games in general help further the PC industry.Quote
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