The Legend of Tianding on Steam Deck – Review and Settings

Stylish combat meets a killer art style and excellent performance.
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The Legend of Tianding on Steam Deck: Performance Review

Sometimes games make this job easy, and that’s the case with Creative Games Computer Graphics Corporation’s The Legend of Tianding. On the Steam Deck, performance is tight. The game consistently hits 60 frames per second even with TDP turned down low.

There are times when there’s a lot happening on the screen, and even then, the performance is crisp and fluid. There really isn’t much to gripe about here.

The Legend of Tianding Overview

The Legend of Tianding running on the Steam Deck at 60 frames.

Imagine a side-scroller with the art of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, the fast-paced, thoughtful combat of Dustforce, and the puzzle elements of a friendly version of Super Meat Boy.

The Legend of Tianding packs a lot into its four-to-five-hour runtime. Combat is the main focus and the thing you’ll remember when the credits roll. Tianding utilizes punches, kicks, and a variety of different weapons he yanks away from enemies to unleash a calculated frenzy, all of which ends with a boss fight.

Plus the story is based on the real-life Liao Tianding – a Taiwanese Robin Hood-style vigilante. It’s a nice change of pace. Sure, we have plenty of Japanese games and games based on Chinese characters but rarely do we see anything based on Taiwanese stories, and that helps to make the game feel fresh (even if my mind instantly went to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure).

Best Settings

As mentioned, The Legend of Tianding works right out the box, with zero need to change anything in-game. The only real thing I’d remind you to do is to change the TDP. This game doesn’t need anywhere near the full amount, so if you want a quiet fan and longer battery life, drop that right down to eight.

The Legend of Tianding (In-game Settings)
Resolution
1280×720
Fullscreen On
Frame VSync On
Steam Deck Settings (Quick Access Menu)
TDP: 8 (60 frames) Estimated Battery Life: 3 Hours
Docked Mode Resolution: 1280×720 FSR: On (Docked Mode)
GPU Usage: 40% Temperature: 52 degrees
Extra Info
Fills the Entire Steam Deck Screen Yes
Valve Grading Verified
Performance Rating: 4/5

Issues

Ignoring the difficulty spike on the final boss, The Legend of Tianding worked exceptionally well without any major bugs or issues. I did have a problem while I was testing in docked mode where the framerate would lock itself to 30, but that’s easily fixed by going into the quick access menu and changing the refresh rate and changing it back again. No biggie, in other words.

Other than that, everything I tested worked without any issues, and there were zero crashes to speak of.

Conclusion

Do you like cartoon visuals, a fresh story, and gripping combat? If so, The Legend of Tianding comes easy to recommend.

The combat is slick and stylish, and the ability to steal enemy weapons is unique in all the right ways. It lets the player decide to play how they want. Want to blow people away with a bazooka? Rob that guy’s! How about thwacking someone with a bo? Just punch this guy in the face a few times and you can yoink it. It’s original, even though the game’s influences are clear to see.

Combine all of the above with an interesting story and excellent performance and this is one side-scrolling beat-’em-up that hits the mark.

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All images captured on Steam Deck. Review code provided by the publisher.

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Wesley Copeland

Wesley Copeland is a gaming and tech 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, and many more. He's also highly passionate about how tech can be used to better our day-to-day lives.