Developer: Sweet Bandits Studios
Publisher: Tripwire Interactive, LLC
Genre(s): Action, Shooter, Adventure
Platform: PS5 (Also available on Xbox Series X/S & PC)
Release Date: 21/03/2023
A code was provided for review purposes
Go undercover as the world’s greatest secret agents in this multiplayer game of social stealth and subterfuge. Disguise yourself as anyone to blend into the crowd, deploy high-tech gadgets to gain the upper hand, and extract the package before the competition takes it for themselves! No trick is too dirty when you work for DECEIVE INC.
Have you ever said to yourself, “I wonder what it would be like to be a spy”? I know I have! When I first discovered Deceive Inc, I instantly opened the Twitch app and scrolled through for some gameplay to watch; I was so hyped to dive into this cartoony multiplayer FPS that I bought it on the PlayStation store that very same day.
If you’re looking for a fun little indie multiplayer game that isn’t too expensive, then look no further. Whether you want to play alone or with friends, the choice is yours, and with full crossplay support for consoles and PC, your friend (y’know, the one who still insists that PC is the master race) will be able to join you with no problem.
I was greeted with the option to play the tutorial which I recommend finishing before moving on to matchmaking against other players. It wasn’t too long, but it managed to convey the point of the game and how to emerge victorious. It also helps explain intel, your starting tools, and field upgrades, along with the importance of disguising yourself in plain sight.
There is also a training mode you can enter where you can try different agents and gadgets without having to be in a match with other players. I spent a little time after unlocking each character in the training mode, practicing their weapons and abilities on target dummies; there’s even a screen that gives you an idea of how much damage each shot does. You get placed into this mode also while it finds other players for your solo or team game.
The True Spy Experience
If you prefer to work alone, then you can go undercover in solo mode. You and up to 11 other players will all have the same objective: extract the package by any means necessary. But be careful, you can’t trust anything or anyone, and with no teammates to rely on, can you blend it well enough to be the world’s greatest agent?
If you’re more of a team player like me, then there is a team mode where you can partner with up to two allies. You can either invite your friends or matchmake to find two random players to help you extract the package. In this team mode, it’s better to match your tools and skillset to your teammates to create unique scenarios. Will you risk facing defeat by depending too much on your teammates, or will they lead you to victory by outsmarting your rivals?
Do you have a certain playstyle? Perhaps you prefer to achieve your goals by means of using dirty tricks, or maybe you prefer to take your time and track your targets; Deceive Inc has a unique and diverse roster of agents to choose from, all with different weapons and abilities to experience and figure out. You can even earn cosmetics for your agents and guns by just playing the game! (Yes, you heard that correctly). You don’t necessarily need to spend actual money to look good, although it is an option to do so for players who don’t mind spending the odd tenner here and there.
Cartoony Art Style FPS
There’s no denying that the cartoony art style and shooters go together well; it’s been done before with the likes of Overwatch and Fortnite. They both have a huge fanbase years after their release, and with time, so could Deceive Inc. There have been many team-based and battle royale type games but nothing on the lines of a stealthy spy-themed FPS, and that’s what makes this game so unique and refreshing. The developers have established something new and fun for players to enjoy, and although many games now pride themselves on how realistic they can make their designs, it’s refreshing to escape that realism for a while and emerge yourself in a cartoon world.
All maps that you play on are crawling with NPCs for you to disguise as and blend into; there’s much to discover, like hidden corridors, which you will find will come in handy if you somehow manage to blow your cover; you can lead your rivals on a wild goose chase trying to find you and in turn you can escape to the nearest health station. Although the maps are cartoony, each one feels alive and full of opportunities with essentially different scenarios that could happen. Playing Deceive Inc makes me wish that more games followed this example of art style. Currently, there are only four 4 maps total for you to familiarize yourself with. Hopefully, more maps will be on the cards in the near future.
Deceive Inc has so much potential. Unfortunately, it hasn’t had enough attention due to a lack of publicity. Luckily, I’ve never had an issue finding lobbies, and it seems to have a small fanbase from what I’ve established watching Twitch streams. I cannot recommend Deceive Inc enough; I thoroughly enjoy everything about this game. My only wish is for more updates, and hopefully, in time, it will start receiving the love it deserves.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4 out of 5
You can buy the game for £15.99 at the PlayStation Store
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.