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Deceive Inc.

Deceive Inc. - Intrigue, Subterfuge, and Moustaches

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We once said that Deceive Inc. gives you the experience of being James Bond. Indeed, the upcoming extraction-shooter game of intrigue certainly has those elements of classic spy movies - from the gadgets and gizmos you can equip yourself with to the maps that each feel like they've been pulled straight from a Bond film - but to say it's only emulating Ian Fleming's work would be a disservice to Deceive Inc.

As well as being a homage to traditional spy media, Sweet Bandits have also given Deceive Inc. a tongue-in-cheek flair that parodies as much as it honours spy movies. There's as much Austin Powers as there is James Bond in Deceive Inc. in the best way possible, as you can get into serious shootouts with enemy spies while also wearing a bright purple suit and strong 70s moustache.

Perhaps we're getting ahead of ourselves here. Deceive Inc. is an upcoming multiplayer game of subterfuge, where you have to extract some key cargo from a vault. Either playing or solo or with a team you'll have to shut down the vault's safety measures, before making your way to the briefcase and calling for extraction. All the while, you'll be contending with NPC guards as well as enemy spies that can disguise themselves as anything from a regular civilian to a potted plant.

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You can enter a disguise yourself, though you'll need to keep an eye on who you're pretending to be as only certain people can enter specific parts of a map. You'll need to dress as a guard to not be called out in a guard room, for example.

Deceive Inc. revolves around this core sense of intrigue, as not only are you keeping track of all the moves you have to make so you don't come across as "sussy," but you'll also start to find yourself questioning the behaviour of every NPC around you, checking to see if they're actually a disguised spy waiting to strike.

As well as your own wits, you get a lot of options when it comes to gear and loadouts in Deceive Inc. The first and foremost choice you're likely going to make in the game is your agent. Sweet Bandits have separated the eight spies into four categories, but even though these labels like Vanguard will let you know your spy is good for tanking a bit of damage, each agent on offer here appears to be very unique in their own right. You're going to be instantly drawn to at least one of these stylised characters, as, like everything else in Deceive Inc., they exude personality.

With each agent you also get plenty of customisation options you'll get through player progression, such as new guns, gadgets, and special abilities. There's a grand amount of depth, as while you won't step on any other agents' toes with your build, you can change up certain aspects of how you want to play. Chavez, the agent I proved to be most fond of, can change one of his abilities to provide a shield for his team, but if you want to play a bit more selfishly, you can alter that ability so it grants you invulnerability instead. With three weapon, ability, and passive options for each agent, there's a lot of customisation here, not to mention the cards you can equip yourself with to get different buffs in a match, which again just add another level of the depth to the way you play each game and build your character.

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There's a strong sense of depth as you play Deceive Inc. It is inviting with its colourful, vibrant visuals, likeable characters, and fun gameplay, but it is not a game you'll drop within a few hours due to figuring out everything there is to do. Each map is full of detail, including lovely stylistic features like TVs that flip away to reveal secret corridors. You'll have to spend a good amount of time in Deceive Inc. to learn the ins and outs of each map, as not all of them can be navigated the same way. Some offer much more verticality, for example, while others are a maze of nooks and crannies for you to hide away in. Even when you've learned every map, and mastered every agent, this doesn't mean you're guaranteed a win, as there's so much chaos going on in that final dash of a match in Deceive Inc. even a complete newbie can pull off a surprise win.

From speaking with the developers as I played Deceive Inc. I got the sense that there's a clear passion for everything that's gone into this game. The dedication to spy movies, the inside jokes and references made with each of the characters and maps, and the investigative gameplay have all concocted to make a multiplayer game that is incredibly fun to play, whether you're into extraction shooters, games of intrigue, or anything in between.

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