Coming onto the scene in 2017, Deceit introduced a very different mood of social deduction. Trapped in a facility with multiple other players, you must not only gather resources to escape, but you must also watch your so-called “allies” closely. One or more among you is infected with a virus that will turn them into a bloodthirsty creature. You might have to figure out who it is if you are to escape alive. Deceit did well and gained itself quite the audience, but now World Makers has ambitions that couldn’t be confined to a simple update, so its making Deceit 2. A new engine, new tools, and plenty of further features are being built for the game and I had a chance to sit down with an early version and see for myself how it plays out.
Something old, something new, something terrifying
Similar to the previous game, Deceit 2 is a dark and brooding social deduction game. For those who haven’t played, the game starts out with a collection of Innocents, a handful of which are infected with a virus that will turn them into a bloodthirsty beast. The Innocents must collect items and do tasks around a facility to gather enough resources to open an escape door, or they must figure out who the Infected are, get a gun to shoot them, and then agree to identify them as Infected with the other players.
Meanwhile, the Infected must hide their affliction while making blood offerings to ritual bowls scattered around the map. By doing so, they can transform into the beast and activate an “In-Betweeen” phase where the world shifts to a surreal and terrifying nature. Innocents are cut off from contact with other Innocents and the Infected can go on the hunt to kill one individual. Killing all Innocents, of course, means victory for the Infected. You can also sabotage tasks and sow discord among the Innocents with the proximity-based in-game chat.
One of the biggest changes to come to the game is a multitude of new items and gear to help the Innocent in their struggle to survive and escape, or help the Infected misdirect the Innocent. Gear like the Flashlight and Trap return to allow the Innocent to stave off the Infected the only way they can when it is transformed: With Light. Meanwhile, Blood Bags return to allow Infected to quietly drop by Innocents and paint them as monsters while Lethal Injection syringes return to allow both sides to do away with a suspected target.
New to this game are a few different gadgets that help both sides. Sanity Serum will allow Innocents to keep their composure in the In-Between and not alert the Infected to their presence while a new kind of trap will set off alarms if sprung, perfect for trapping a ritual bowl and singling out the Infected interacting with them. We were actually able to trick the Infected into messing with one in one of my games, creating a hilarious argument about the alarm and who set it off.
There are also a few other unique new features in Deceit 2 to make things more exciting. For one, in addition to a one-time-use personal scanner that can be used to identify one target as Innocent and Infected to the user, there’s also a Scanning Bed. Working on the same idea as the personal Scanner, players can use the bed to try to single out an Infected player, but the activating player is, again, the only one who can see the results. If you’re infected and running the scanner, you can also just lie about it, of course. All the better to figure out who your fellow Infected are and keep them safe.
On the flipside, in this build, Deceit 2 introduced me to Innocent roles. In my games, I was assigned the role of Healer. Less than actually looking after someone’s health, the Healer can protect one individual from death in every In-Between phase. That means figuring out who you trust and looking after them if you can. You can only choose one player to protect, so trying to figure out who I would want to do that for was stressful in of itself. More importantly, you do not want to tell the other players you’re the healer because then you’re just letting the Infected know who to kill so no one can be protected in the In-Between. It made for a very interesting new dynamic in the game and while it was the only unique Innocent role in this build, World Makers have told me there will likely be more as the game comes along in development.
Live if you can, kill if you must
At the center of my time with Deceit 2, social interaction and debate was still at the center of the experience. I kid you not, I actually had a game where it came down to me and two other players, I had the gun, and I had to decide which of them was the Infected. Cases were anxiously pled and I panicked before thankfully making the right choice. These were the intense experiences made possible in even an early build of the game. Where a lot of social deduction games are mostly cartoonish or comedic in their style, Deceit goes far more gloomy and psychologically scary, taking on a mood that reminds me of what I like about games like Amnesia and Outlast. With so much more for World Makers to show us, I can’t wait to see more of Deceit 2 as it comes along.
These impressions are based on an early PC build of the game played with the developers. Deceit 2 is currently slated to come to PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC sometime in 2023.
TJ Denzer posted a new article, Deceit 2 will offer unique ways to trick your friends & zero in on the monster among you