Whether it is in a digital video game format or played on a tabletop, I love hidden role/social deduction games. So when I had a chance to try out the upcoming Deceit 2 with members of the development team at World Makers, I jumped at the chance. After sneaking around an eldritch asylum and struggling to deduce who the traitors were (spoilers – I failed)I am happy to report that Deceit 2 is a pretty damn fun game.
The original Deceit was released exclusively on Steam back in May of 2017 and tasked innocent players with completing objectives while infected player’s goal was to kill those that were uninfected before they could complete them. Deceit 2 adopts a similar format and flow but has added additional mechanics and items that further enrich and deepen the experience while adding in a healthy dose of Lovecraftian vibes.
Matches consist of 6-9 players being dropped into the mysterious Millhaven Asylum, where you will either be an innocent victim trying to escape or a menacing ritual monster, known as a Terror, looking to sacrifice the others to the evil Ritual of Deceit. The asylum map is larger than the maps found in the first game and one of the aspects of this sequel the development team is proud of. Running around the dark and dingy building, I found it full of activities to complete and places to attempt to run and hide in as I worked towards my freedom.
One of the new features that really separates the first game and Deceit 2 is a plethora of interesting and unusual items that you can procure from a mysterious vendor, with each item providing a handy, limited-use ability. These can range from a gun that allows you to take out other players that you suspect are traitors, a camera that can blind the traitors once they transform, and more.
There are a handful of these items available by default that I was able to choose from in my playtest, with more that can be unlocked by spending Deceit 2’s earned currency in the final version of the game. These items will quickly become important, and making sure you have a good one or stick with the folks who do is vital when the game gets more intense.
The game is split between two modes that will swap back and forth as a round progresses: the normal world and the In-Between. In the normal world, players will be rushing around trying to complete tasks, which will fill a bar that, when filled, will free them and earn the good players a win. In the In-Between, the Terrors gain the upper hand as the infected are able to assume a grotesque form that hides their identity but also lets them attack and sacrifice the innocent players, with their end goal being the last remaining players around.
Innocent players are further handicapped while in the In-Between due to some items becoming unusable for a time – i.e., the aforementioned gun being jammed while there. All of this means that innocent players will have to do what they can to survive, hiding out or sticking together to handle the Terrors until the timer runs out and the world returns to normal.
Deceit 2 will also mark the first time that the series will be available for players who prefer consoles over PC, with planned Xbox Series S/X, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and PlayStation 4 with crossplay enabled. Cross-progression, however, will not, meaning any unlocks or packs you buy for one will not carry over, and you would need to buy the DLC again for the subsequent platform.
At launch, only a single level, the asylum, and single Terror will be available to play, with new ones being added every few months, available to players for free. All new maps will be free to all players, but if you want to gain access to new versions of Terrors to play as, complete with unique skills and abilities, it will cost you (the planned price is $4.99 USD with adjusted regional pricing.)
The first of these DLC packs will be a Werewolf-themed test lab known as Project Wurgen and is expected to launch before the end of the year. Before that, though, World Makers has a special Halloween-themed event planned for next month, though their mouths are closed as to what that will entail just yet.
Deceit 2’s betrayal and hidden role motif, while not a new formula for a game, still managed to impress me during my time with it so far. Trying to convince the rest of the team that I wasn’t a monster trying to sacrifice them led to some fun moments. The visuals go hard with the ambiance of the asylum level feeling imposing and stifling, but launching with only a single map deflates some of my excitement. I feel like after a game night or two with my group of friends will be all it takes to tire me of the scenery, learn the safe spots to hide or sacrifice, and start wishing for something new. I would have loved to see one or two additional maps at launch to keep things a bit fresh during the wait for new maps, but at least we know that the team at World Makers is planning to have a consistent flow of maps and expansions coming. The inclusion of holiday-themed events could be pretty exciting as well, depending on what those will entail.
Deceit 2 launches tomorrow on Steam and later this year (the team is hoping by Halloween) on console.