Vampire Survivors The Tides of Foscari on Steam Deck Review

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Vampire Survivors The Tides of Foscari Review

The beauty of Vampire Survivors is that developer Poncle understands exactly what it is they’ve made and what fans want. We saw it with The Legacy of the Moonspell downloadable content and it’s no different in The Tides of Foscari. 

The Tides of Foscari is exactly what you’d expect. There’s a theme – this time it’s fantasy – and a host of unlocks to work through. Do we need more than that? Not really. Any excuse to jump back into playing Vampire Survivors is something long-time fans of the game are going to jump at, myself included. 

What’s interesting to see is how Poncle is evolving the formula in small but expressive ways. The Tides of Foscari introduces character animations for the first time as well as some neat hidden passages. I know this doesn’t sound like much. I’ve just read it back and it legit doesn’t. But, these small changes help to breathe new life into something many of us have played thousands of times. 

It’s the equivalent of new rooms and items being added to Binding of Isaac; the game is the same game you love, but now there’s something new and intriguing poking its head out. 

The new characters do a lot to change things up as well. Eleanor is your standard spell slinger. She’s powerful and easy to get a solid run up and going with minimal input. Maruto, meanwhile, can hit hard but moves slowly and takes time to build up. The main challenge here comes from surviving long enough to get enough weapons to offset his weaknesses. 

Keitha is the most interesting of the three. He’s rubbish. His bow becomes great at higher levels but the horizontal aiming nature of the weapon means he can’t just brute force his way through the encounter. You’ll need to think carefully (and grab garlic) and plan what upgrades you need in order to survive. 

It’s funny. Normally when a character is weak, that’d put you off playing them. But his weakness is his strength. Longtime players will no doubt have Sigma unlocked, so the game is, essentially child’s play now. But by having such a weak character, it brings players back to the start of Vampire Survivors in a way. There’s a level of depth here that’s fun to try and navigate.

The Tides of Foscari Steam Deck Performance

It’s always hard to talk about performance in Vampire Survivors. It’s bad, because of course it is. That’s Vampire Survivor’s whole hook. With great power comes low framerates. It is what it is. 

Due to playing the press build of The Tides of Foscari, I wasn’t able to test it out in the new engine, which I would imagine would make things much smoother. It did for the main game so it’d make sense it would for the DLC as well, right? 

So, overall, expect Vampire Survivors to run at 60 frames per second until you’ve filled all your weapon slots. Then it’s anywhere from seven to 20 frames. 

Of course, this comes with a disclaimer: Vampire Survivors is great even when the game starts to slowly perish. The mayhem is simply too much for the Steam Deck to keep up with, and that’s totally fine! Some may call it a shortcoming, fans call it a feature. It’s fine, it really is!

Bugs and Issues

I haven’t suffered any crashes yet, but I did find my copy of Vampire Survivors wouldn’t load on Steam Deck. If this happens to you as well, switch the Proton version to Proton Experimental and that’ll fix it right up. 

Price and Availability

Vampire Survivors The Tides of Foscari is out now for PC and consoles and costs $1.99/£1.59 and needs the base game of Vampire Survivors to work (available on PC and consoles for $4.99/£3.99 separately). 

What’s New in The Tides of Foscari?

8 New Characters

The downloadable content introduces eight new playable characters, all of which have individual unlock conditions. The first four are listed below. I’ve avoided mentioning who the other characters are to avoid any spoilers. If you want a hint, though, a child’s cake from a  popular supermarket chain should give you an idea. 

  • Eleanor
  • Maruto 
  • Keitha
  • Luminaire

8 New Weapons

Again, I’m avoiding spoilers and only going with the weapons that have been made public. You absolutely are going to want to unlock everything, though. Trust me.

  • SpellString – Zaps nearby foes, is busted overpowered
  • Eskizzibur – Massive freaking sword 
  • Flash Arrow – Arrow that shoots horizontally
  • Prismatic Missile – Magical orb

7 New Music Tracks

  • Tides of the Foscari
  • An Introduction to Sorcery
  • Slaying Dragons
  • Hide and Steal
  • Frozen in Time
  • The Heart of the World
  • The World Eater

2 New Stages

  • Lake Foscari
  • Secret Stage


The smorgasbord of chaos The Tides of Foscari brings is enough of a reason to pick it up. It’s inventive, and pushes Vampire Survivors in a familiar-but-new direction in small but satisfying ways.

It’s everything you want from Vampire Survivors in a bite-sized pack. The new characters? They’re great. What about the new levels? They’re great too and filled with a handful of secrets to discover. The new enemies also do a solid job of keeping things both fresh and in one specific case, tasty. 

In short, The Tides of Foscari is everything you want from a Vampire Survivors downloadable content. Plus it’s cheap as hell. What’s not to love?  

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All images and video captured on Steam Deck. Review code provided by the publisher. For more on Vampire Survivors, check out the Vampire Survivors Steam Store page.

Wesley Copeland
Wesley Copeland

Wesley Copeland is a gaming, tech, and toys journalist with over 10 years of experience writing online. Originally starting in video games before specializing in tech and toys, you can find his bylines at IGN, VG24/7, Kotaku, Tech Radar, Games Radar, PC Gamer, Heavy, and many more. He's also highly passionate about how tech can be used to better our day-to-day lives.