DISCLOSURE: This game was reviewed on the following platform: PC – Check out our Review Policy page for more information.
Whether you’re coming from the stealth or the FPS genre, this game might’ve been on your radar for a while now. Deceive Inc. had many alpha and beta tests all throughout the past months, and it has finally gone live. Curiously enough, it did so as a “completed” game, instead of early access.
How did the release go? Is it greatly improved after all the testing, or has it not lived up to its expectations? It’s still very early on into its life cycle so only time will tell; if you haven’t played it yet though and are looking for an objective and constructive review, you’ve come to the right place!
In order to start off strong, we’ll first talk about the espionage concept.
It’s been a while since we had the chance to enjoy this unique game, and it’s almost entirely due to its unique take on pre-existing concepts. There’s currently only one mode available (which we’ll cover in more detail later on), and it’s relatively simple: you spawn into the game, solo or as a trio (with 2 other teammates), and your main objective is to blend in (shocker, I know right).
Once you’re in, your goal is to behave like an NPC and, by doing so, avoid being detected by another player (24 total players). As you progress through the match, you’ll be able to camouflage yourself into higher-tier NPCs, granting you access to higher-tier parts of the map.
The end-game is something we’re already familiar with, which is an extraction-based endgame, but when paired with its stealth and espionage elements, it makes the game quite unique. The objective is to progress your way through to the vault, grab the suitcase, and, last but far from least difficult, make your way to the extraction point. This makes for very fun and dynamic gameplay.
You can choose to progress through to the vault and grab the suitcase yourself, or you can wait for someone to do it for you, then steal it from them on extraction.
As of March 2023, there are a total of 8 playable characters in the game, each with its own set of abilities and a unique playstyle.
Every character comes with 3 Expertise (active abilities with a cooldown), along with 3 Passive Abilities. Along with these, you also get to pick 2 Gadgets to take into the match with you – these are not character-bound, so every gadget can be equipped on any one of the 8 characters.
Developers did a very good job in this department as all characters appear to be relatively balanced, which is not something every game manages to achieve, especially not as soon as it releases.
Once you get into the game, you can get additional bonuses – usually, but not exclusively, things like stat increases – by hacking items that are hidden all over the map. This adds an additional layer to the game, and it greatly reduces the effectiveness of cheesy strategies such as camping, which is something you definitely want to be reduced in an extraction-based game.
At the time of writing (March 2023), there are only 4 maps available.
The community is hoping that this number will increase sooner rather than later, and for good reason. With the length of matches averaging around 20 minutes and relatively repetitive mechanics, the game runs the risk of getting boring very quickly. No matter how unique a game may be, there must be a good level of variety in order for it to retain an active player base, instead of growing stale and old.
Silly cartoonish style all the way.
If you were, or still are, a fan of Team Fortress 2, you’ll love what this game brings to the table, at least when it comes to aesthetics. Games like Fortnite and Valorant pushed this style even further, each with its own flair added to it, and Deceive Inc. is no different in that regard.
Style aside, Deceive Inc. has done a relatively good job in the graphics department. Most complaints the game receives are about other things, such as functionality or performance (more on that down below).
On the front of functionality, we are seeing more issues than with any other part of the game.
Deceive Inc. has run into its fair share of problems on launch. It appears that developers pushed the game out before it was ready, as many issues that were occurring in the test phases are still present. This could be because the publishing house pressuring them, or it could just be their error. Whichever of the two is the reason for it, there are countless glitches and bugs that need to be ironed out.
A lot of players have said they encountered performance issues, things like FPS drops, spikes, stuttering, and a whole lot of glitches. All of this was, naturally, regardless of their setup. This would be much more understandable to have in alpha/beta versions of the game, but in a fully released game, this should most certainly not be the case. Not in this amount, that is.
On top of all this, servers are not nearly as stable as they should be, at least not for a fully released game. Players from NA are often thrown into games on Asian servers, or vice versa, which makes the game practically unplayable due to lag, and the delays it causes.
Devs have absolutely nailed it in the sound department.
The music matches the game at every part of the match. When you’re starting out, you can hear a slower spy song, but as situations, you find yourself in get more serious, the soundtrack also ramps up and makes the experience that much more thrilling and immersive.
When you’re running for your life, with or without the endgame suitcase in hand, you’re accompanied by music along which James Bond would run for his life in one of his movies.
Footsteps, and generally all player-related sound effects, are also pitch-perfect. You can hear the steps as they happen, and recognize the direction from which they’re coming with ease. This is a crucial element of most FPS games, and, despite adopting a unique concept, Deceive Inc. isn’t an exception.
You can hear players interacting with items (hacking them) if they’re close enough, even if you can’t see them. You can also hear running clearly, and know exactly where players are based on that. NPCs move linearly, and they’ll almost never interact with the environment, run, or anything similar.
Now, the game’s combat is a subject about which the community has very mixed opinions.
Deceive Inc. does have a lot of perks, abilities, etc. to increase combat variety, but with such straightforward shooting mechanics, fighting itself gets repetitive very quickly. It’s a very important element of the game, seeing as it’s still, at its core, a PvP shooter.
Hopefully, over time, they will either improve the gunplay itself or at least add more weapons for gameplay variety. The way things are right now, combat is way too chaotic also because of lag/FPS drops, which is definitely not helping it get a higher score in this review.
Deceive, Inc. Review
An excellent concept that could’ve been executed a bit better. Whether you’re playing alone or with friends, you’re bound to have a fun time. It’s just a matter of how long until it becomes repetitive. Performance issues might bother you, but initially, it’s fun enough to make up for that.
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