Styx: Shards of Darkness PC Performance Review
Published: 15th March 2017 | Source: OC3D Internal testing | Price: |
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.