We went hands-on with Deceive Inc, and it shows tremendous promise ahead of launch.
If you felt like Among Us was a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stale multiplayer landscape, then I have got some news for you. Deceive Inc, a new multiplayer social deduction title from Sweet Bandit Studios takes much of the investigative work of InnerSloth’s modern classic, transfers it to a spy caper, and layers plenty of new mechanics and action on top.
While the game isn’t launching until 2023, we were able to go hands-on and came away mightily impressed.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it
From the initial character select menu, it’s incredible just how much personality can be found in Deceive Inc’s cartoonish cast of secret agents.
Each has its own weapon, which ranges from guns built into the prosthetic hand of a former supervillain-turned-spy to the trusty revolver of a grizzled veteran. There is plenty of gadgets, too, as you’d expect from any spy thriller. These range from tripwires, to a mimic tool (which we’ll get to later).
Once you’ve selected your agent, and their loadout, two teams are placed on a multi-level map. Full of seventies flair where anything goes, interior decor-wise, the map we saw was full of varied rooms including offices, security checkpoints, and restaurants.
The object of the game is to accrue intelligence by finding it in drawers, on computers, and wherever you can get your hands on it to be able to hack a vault door and then extract whatever you find inside. The catch is that the world is full of NPCs that players can disguise as, and spotting an agent masquerading as a security guard or civilian isn’t as easy as you’d think.
That’s because the agents don’t turn to face the direction they’re looking in, and their animations remain consistent with other characters. That means unless you pull out your gun and start shooting, get spotted jumping from a second-floor balcony, or change clothes in front of another player, it’s not easy to tell whether that character in front of you is an enemy or not.
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When the bullets do start flying, Deceive Inc becomes a game of cat and mouse. Players will want to break line of sight as quickly as possible, before re-engaging when they have the upper hand.
Thankfully, the aforementioned mimic tool can certainly help. It allows users to scan objects in the environment, before transforming into them. The best part? Players can still move, so if you’re disguised as a toilet, you can creep through the map and try to avoid the gaze of other players.
It’s exactly as ridiculous as it sounds and really feels like the cherry on top of Deceive Inc’s silliness. The game feels built for fun, between its characters and their one-liners, the gorgeous anachronistic art style, and the tense premise.
It’s less James Bond and more Sterling Archer, and we can’t wait to play more.
Deceive Inc is expected to launch in early 2023.