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Ghostwire: Tokyo haunted by game-breaking black screens on the Steam Deck

A hardware horror story

I’ve spent the past three days trying to get Ghostwire: Tokyo running on the Steam Deck, and have been thwarted every time by an impassable black screen that appears immediately after the opening cutscene: a failure of the next cutscene to roll correctly. Despite a possible fix being available, this has yet to work for me either, and now that the game has fully released it seems I’m not alone in my suffering.

Multiple users of the Steam Deck subreddit are also reporting these black screens, which effectively render Ghostwire unplayable on Valve’s handheld if you can’t get past them. One solution might be to install the latest version of Proton GE (Glorious Eggroll), a custom version of the Deck’s Linux compatibility layer – this has at least worked for the folks at Italian site, who’ve posted footage of Ghostwire running decently with Low settings and FSR upscaling. Sadly, this hasn’t worked for me after multiple attempts and re-installs, and it isn’t reliably fixing the issue for those Reddit users either.

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This issue may sound familiar to anyone who’s tried playing games on a Linux OS before. Well before the Steam Deck was but a glint in Gabe Newell’s eye, attempting to run certain Windows games on Proton could see you met with missing cutscenes barring your progress (or, if you were lucky, the cutscenes would just be missing sound). This was usually down to the absence of Microsoft Media Foundation, a set of tools some games rely on to play their cutscenes, and which Valve can’t get working in Proton for legal reasons.

Proton GE has successfully delivered a workaround for this in dozens of games, including Persona 4 Golden, Resident Evil Village and Yakuza 0, t though its ability to fix the intro of Tango Gameworks’ spooky open world is thus far proving to be a lucky dip. And I never was particularly lucky.

Unless there’s some kind of fix from either Tango or Valve (the latter via a Proton update), Ghostwire: Tokyo is likely heading for an “Unsupported” badge in Valve’s Steam Deck compatibility review programme. Waiting for a new, updated version of Proton GE remains an option, though as that would be an unofficial solution, it wouldn’t get Ghostwire onto the list of Steam Deck Verified games. But hey, at least it runs pretty well on Windows PCs! I guess!

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