The Dead Space remake is a very good game, and if (like me) you haven’t sprung for a next-generation console, you’ll need to play it on PC. But Dead Space is a series I’ve found much more fun with a controller than a mouse and keyboard, and I’ve developed an attachment to couch gaming over the past few years — so I’d hoped I might get it to run on my recently acquired Steam Deck, which would easily provide both. Unfortunately, publisher EA has told The Verge that the remake doesn’t support the Steam Deck, and my own experience backs that up.
Steam listed Dead Space’s support level as unknown when I got my review key for the remake, and out of an abundance of optimism, I gave it a try. The game proceeded to protest this decision in every way it could. It stalled several times on the initial loading screen, and when I eventually reached the introductory cutscene and the game’s opening level, they stuttered constantly on the lowest graphical settings. Despite all of that, I thought I might make things work... but then I entered an elevator after the first enemies appeared, and it either crashed or permanently froze every single try. I ended up playing the game on my desktop, where — with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card — it worked just fine. Some dedicated Steam Deck user might find a way to get the game running after launch, but it certainly doesn’t seem designed for the device.
It’s not too surprising that a next-gen console game can’t run on a handheld PC, but the question wasn’t settled before launch and the remake’s Steam requirements aren’t all that intense. (You’ll need an AMD RX 5700 or GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card and a solid state drive, among other specs.) For now, if you really want Dead Space on the Steam Deck, you can always go back to the original 2008 game.
Update January 31st, 11AM ET: The game still isn’t Steam Deck certified, but a Steam Deck hotfix has largely solved the performance issues for us.