Earlier this month, we had the opportunity to sit down with Sweet Bandits Studios and Tripwire Presents to preview their upcoming game DECEIVE INC. The meeting had different members of the industry whether media or influencers gather together to get a peak at DECEIVE INC before the open beta took place.
This past weekend, spy enthusiasts had the chance to go against one another or work as a team. The open beta took place from March 10th to March 13th, 2023. Now that the open beta is done at least for the weekend, we thought we’d share our thoughts with you.
Time with the Sweet Bandit Studios Devs
During our preview with Sweet Bandits Studios, we were divided into teams and given free rein as to which characters and abilities we chose. For the hands-on preview, everything was unlockable but there was still a pretty big learning curve.
Despite previewing the game at PAX West, we were still pretty unfamiliar with the game; this is primarily due to being destroyed during our PAX preview. Sadly, we only got to play one game during that meeting so there was no real chance to grasp the game’s concepts. Thankfully, this preview allowed us to play multiple rounds to get a better concept of the overall game.
Team vs Team
The DECEIVE INC preview started with us being divided into teams. Once teams had been formed, we were given a team leader either a developer from Sweet Bandits Studios or Tripwire Presents.
Our team leader was a member of the development team, yet somehow we ended up taking over the lobby due to being unable to connect to them. This time with a developer able to help us, we were able to last a lot longer. In fact, after the first game, we were able to be the hero for the team.
Upon loading into the game, the player’s spy is disguised as a random citizen within the level. Players can gather intel hidden throughout the level in order to open doors and safes or gain an upgraded ability. The abilities the player can get during the level are predetermined based on the player’s loadout before the game.
These abilities can increase the player’s health, lower cooldowns, and other beneficial things. Players can alter their disguise by interacting with NPCs. Be careful, because enemy spies can see when you change disguises.
Players can choose to open doors using intel points, by using a keycard, or by having the right disguise. If you aren’t careful, the door can close on you. If you enter an area with the wrong disguise, NPCs will become alerted and call for security.
Once your cover is blown, you will need to hide or kill those in your way to become disguised again. If the player is downed, their teammates can revive them. Additionally, players can open stuff for their allies if they do not need it for themselves.
Honestly, playing as a team feels much more satisfying than playing solo. Your teammate can distract enemies while you sneak around behind to attack the enemy. A well-coordinated team can easily take down lone wolves. Team gameplay does require coordination so a mic is rather important.
Playing solo in its own way can be a fun experience, but playing as a team feels much more satisfying. Playing solo makes you feel paranoid because you are uncertain about who you can trust and if there is potentially an enemy hiding in the shadows.
All you can trust is yourself. If you are a tactical player, you can watch specific areas and see if you can spot any other spies. Both game modes remind us of the Assassin’s Creed multiplayer mode. In solo, you can choose to wait at an extraction zone for another spy to bring the briefcase to you.
Thankfully, if you are the spy that has the briefcase, you can choose to move the extraction zone if you feel that the one is too hot. Spies who are hunting the one with the briefcase can steal it from the enemy just by causing them to drop it. You can either kill them or melee them.
DECEIVE INC allows players to play using either a keyboard and mouse or a controller. For the preview, we used a controller to test its layout and responsiveness. Surprisingly, the controllers’ layout was similar to most modern popular shooters but surprisingly smooth. In a way, we preferred using the controller to the button and mouse controls due to cramped fingers.
DECEIVE INC allows players to have a great spy vs spy experience that does not feel like a copy of any other game mode. The game feels like it could be a fun game to squad up with your friends or have a game night to see which spy reigns supreme.
The only issue standing in DECEIVE INC’s way is gamer awareness. Right now, the game is flying under the radar and needs a way to get those unfamiliar with it interested. The game is a lot of fun and a lot of different types of gamers would enjoy playing it if they know about it.
DECEIVE INC releases on March 21st, 2023 on PC (Steam), Epic, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X|S.