If at first you don’t succeed, disguise yourself as a chair. That’s the lesson to take away from Deceive Inc.
Deceive Inc tasks you with stealing intelligence from a civilian-populated area, unlocking vault terminals and then stealing the blueprints themselves. At least, that’s if you win since – as a multiplayer game – other players are out to do the same. But even if you don’t, disguising yourself as anything, sentient being or furniture, is a real rush.
That’s not a sub-par attempt to gloss over that we’ve not won that many matches. Honest. But Deceive Inc‘s disguise system absolutely makes the game, so much so that fooling even one person will have you grinning like an idiot.
Unless you do something to break your cover, like shooting someone or entering the wrong area, your holographic disguise conceals your identity. To enter specific areas you need the right disguise, e.g. security, staff, VIP etc. Not unlike Hitman, in fact.
But the snag is that here, you’re trying to fool other human players, which makes things so much more interesting. As in Hitman, an NPC won’t really care if you’re running. But another player, when they see a civilian dashing along, is likely to raise an eyebrow.
Time to put the knife in, right? But then you start overthinking things – what if you’re wrong? What if you start a firefight and blow your chance to get away with the intelligence? Maybe they’re running because there’s a dead body in a nearby room?
Meanwhile, you’re also trying not to give yourself away. Wait… were we running too? Did anyone see that? From our experience, a lot of players aren’t that observant but, in the moment, you’re constantly second guessing yourself.
Sure, Deceive Inc has some wonderful gadgets to play with, even though it does lock some of them away until you’ve reached the appropriate experience level. But it’s the human factor at its heart, that helps dial up the tension when you don’t know who’s lurking round the corner.
Even the small victories count. The last match we played ended up with us breaking into the vault and, spotting a suspicious person, getting into a gunfight. It didn’t end well for us but, even as our round-faced avatar was lying on the floor, we felt thoroughly smug.
Why? Because we’d been right – that wasn’t a regular security guard. Maybe next time we’ll bring an auto-turret along and laugh ourselves silly as they’re unexpectedly ventilated. But we were right and in a game where no-one may be who they seem, that counts for an awful lot.
Speaking of counting, our main gripe with Deceive Inc so far has been that there’s a meagre four maps. For a commercial game, one which also factors in cosmetic purchases, that’s a little disappointing. There are some great locations, which actually look lived in, but a few more wouldn’t go amiss.
But it hasn’t been enough to sour us on this multiplayer stealth game and, if it wasn’t for Meet Your Maker, we’d still be turning into water dispensers and bulked-up security guards. So if you’ve been craving a multiplayer experience with a little more subtlety, it’s well worth gearing up for.
Deceive Inc is available on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and PC.