Social deduction titles are everywhere these days, and some are more enticing than others. One thing that makes playing them enjoyable is a group of friends that are all willing to play as intended, rather than to ignore the rules and ruin the match. The majority of my time with Deceit 2 was fun, if you enjoy cautiously running around while holding your breath and hoping those terrifying creatures aren’t going to rip your throat out. While the community was generally respectful and willing to play properly, there was the odd player that went rogue and cheapened the experience. It’s intended to be played with friends as opposed to a bunch of strangers.
The purpose of Deceit 2 is to work out which two players are infected, then decide as a group who to vote out before the In-Between arrives and turns everything to shit. The more people playing the better, and World Makers has upped the total number from 6-9. Those moments of regret and remorse when you vote out the wrong player or feel guilty for your choices are when it’s at its best, as these types of games are made better by the player base, and while there is time to think about your choices, you’re going to spend more time on edge. When the In-Between arrives, you need to do your best to stay sane and escape the monsters that lurk in the shadows.
There are three roles in Deceit 2, with each one being pre-determined before a match starts. Innocents must work together to complete tasks to earn souls that can be spent at the Peddler’s store, be it a new item to help in the fight against the enemy, or to buy that important key to escape the horrifying Millhaven Asylum. There’re a fair amount of puzzles, such as finding key codes and unlocking safes, which are all relatively easy to solve. You’ll need to do all this as the Infected, another role in the game, work together to destroy Blood Altars and turn the normal into the terrifying.
Two Infected are present in each game, and as these altars are destroyed, their powers come into full effect. Playing as an infected is all about planning your moves carefully in the day, as innocent players can gather together, beat you down, and cast you out. You need to play smart and plan when is best to destroy the altars and avoid detection. When you do bring about the in-between, your powers come alive and you become a lot more dangerous. Players can use lights to put you off their scent or stun you, and at times you can feel too vulnerable, and when they do find the key, it can be tough to stop them from escaping.
While there’s only one map at present, it has plenty of spots to sneak and plot. During the in-between, it feels like a completely new place as your sanity depletes and you run for your life to escape being hunted down and killed. Deceit 2 has a decent balance of collecting souls and buying gear, and as an innocent, you never feel completely helpless. The third role, the Guardian, allows you to choose an innocent to protect while in the In-Between, adding another layer to making the correct decision or making a huge mistake. Getting used to each role, the items on offer, and your way around the map will take a bit of time, but when you jump into a match with players willing to play properly, it’s pretty cool.
Deceit 2 feels stripped back somewhat at present, but there’s still a strong gameplay loop when playing with friends or people willing to respect the mechanics. The infected can become pretty powerful and much quicker, making your time in the In-Between a chaotic and brutal few minutes. Millhaven Asylum has been well-designed to provide every role with key areas to hide in, travel through, and find other players regardless of what your objective is, and the visuals are decent enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. While it takes a bit of time to get used to the mechanics and concepts, there’s a good game that will hopefully grow after release.
Fun gameplay loop
Nice selection of items
Asylum level design is good
Infected are fun to play as
Only one level at present
Tricky to understand at first
Some balancing issues for infected