Deceive Inc. review – The potential here is hiding in plain sight

Deceive Inc. is a stealth multiplayer game unlike anything seen in a while. Read our review of Deceive Inc. today.
Featured Deceive Inc Review Image
Image: Sweet Bandits Studios

It’s hard to recreate the feeling of successfully pulling one over on other players in games, with titles like Among Us championing that feeling in recent years. There’s something uniquely thrilling about knowing you’ve gotten away with something or just snuck out of sight before another player wandered in. These games allow players to strategize in real-time, blending in until the exact moment they want to be seen.

While the social deduction genre has been made most popular by Among Us since 2023, Deceive Inc.’s gameplay has more in common with the old Assassin’s Creed multiplayer, but any comparison doesn’t do it justice as the game is largely unique. The gameplay loop is challenging and players will not be able to win on their own until they become familiar with the characters, their load-outs, and the world.

That being said, the game is riddled with bugs that don’t manage to break the game, but severely risk your chance of being discovered and otherwise ruin the fun. It’s almost worth it the first time you make it out of the level with the treasure, though.

A charming world with a ’70s style

Deceive Inc Purple Room Image
Image: Sweet Bandits Studios

The 1970s were a ripe time for spies in the middle of the Cold War, with spies being discovered from both the American and Soviet Union governments, among others. There was a lot of distrust in the world around this time, with many around the world fearing that the world could devolve into nuclear war at any time, so everyone was watching everyone else. This makes the perfect setting for Sweet Bandits Studios’ Deceive Inc.

Throughout the game, players will explore settings and play as characters that are very reminiscent of the bright colors and retro furniture that was popular during the decade. That’s not all, though, as each of the seven agents in the game right now all seem to resemble different archetypes from that era popularized in different media. Each character has unique abilities and personality that makes gameplay varied.

Players who are just getting into the game will likely find Squire the most approachable, as his core ability sends a ping of the surrounding area and shows all kinds of valuable materials. This is one of the most useful abilities early in the game when you’re still figuring out how to play. It cuts down on the time you’ll spend looking for key cards and intel, which is great when you’re learning the ropes.

Deceive Inc Backwards Seat Image
Image: Sweet Bandits Studios

The gameplay is pretty repetitive in its core elements, but a lot will happen in between these moments that are exciting and clever. For example, getting attacked and escaping, only to hide nearby in a new disguise is such a good feeling. When the opponent runs past you and thinks you’ve gotten away, or you surprise attack them, it’s a great feeling.

That’s when the game runs smoothly though, and it doesn’t always do that. There are a number of glitches that currently exist in the game which can cause your character to be positioned weirdly in seats or other holding positions. A character might do the sitting animation a couple of feet away or sit on the item backward, which doesn’t seem to happen with NPCs. This is a clear giveaway to where you are.

The bugs and this game’s potential are at war

Deceive Inc Squire Character Select Image
Image: Sweet Bandits Studios

Since the discontinuation of the Assassin’s Creed multiplayer in the games, many players have been itching for someone to bring back the experience of seamlessly blending in with crowds while you complete objectives. Deceive Inc. scratches that itch in a big way and has the foundation for something great, but it’s being held back by a myriad of bugs that will likely turn players away until fixed.

An example includes the Team game mode, which isn’t immediately shown to the player unless they have friends join them. This game mode is a lot different than the Solo game mode, requiring coordination and teamwork to achieve the goal. While this mode is tons of fun, there is a current bug where every other match doesn’t pair you up with a team and instead sticks you into a lobby with around three people max.

This is unfortunate because the only win that was had during this review was during a Team match where we were able to fully communicate with one another. Knowing the plan and keeping a strategic amount of distance from each other feels like you’re a member of an elite task force, and succeeding is all the more rewarding when it happens. Adding more than one type of ping would also help the teamwork aspect too.

Deceive Inc Lobby Image
Image: Sweet Bandits Studios

Something else that needs to be addressed is how little the game explains the progression system, whether that be your character or account level. There are mission reports at the end of each mission, but they should either be forced onto the player or be viewable after the fact. The player is just going to search for a new match absent-mindedly until they recognize what the Mission Report and progress bars are.

Deceive Inc. is hoping to be a successful live-service game, and it has all the benchmarks that have been shown in previous versions. There are multiple in-game currencies, with one being purchasable with real money. Players can use these currencies to get cosmetics if they don’t want to unlock them through a classic loot box system. This part of the game feels dated, but it can still work if Sweet Bandits is willing to work it a bit more.

This game is a lot of fun and could be even more enjoyable in the long run if it’s able to hold onto players. While it’s not living up to its full potential yet, Sweet Bandits has been able to create a multiplayer game that feels unique and approachable. If it’s willing to implement some major bug fixes and create a more comprehensible explanation of progression, there is a lot of potential here.

Deceive Inc Victory Screen Image
Image: Sweet Bandits Studios

The Final Word

Deceive Inc. is a great title that allows players to put their stealth and sleuthing abilities to the test in ways that feel really rewarding. While there are a number of bugs in the game right now and it’s still missing some major features, it will be interesting to see if and how this game is able to evolve as we get further out from the release date.


Try Hard Guides was provided with a PC review copy of this game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!

Christian Harrison

Christian Harrison

Christian Harrison is a writer and gamer, the latter he's been doing for the last two decades. When not working, he enjoys streaming the latest show or spending time with his family and friends.

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