By: Uma Smith
About a decade ago when the PlayStation One was prevalent, a game focused on bringing out the evil in players, calledDeception, was spawned. It was pretty unique in the sense that your objective is to essentially torture your enemies. Fast-forward to today and you the fourth installment, Deception IV: Blood Ties, has been released to satiate the taste buds of both PlayStation 3 and Vita owners that are hungry for more sadistic madness. For this review, I will have a look at the console version and see if I, too, have entered the dark side.
Considering how you’ll need to move your character as well as place traps for your enemies, the control scheme behind Deception IV is “deceptively” simple. While the left stick moves your character, the d-pad or shoulder buttons allow you to choose between traps. Then there are the face buttons, which allow you to activate them as well as enter into the trap placement screen.
Timing is very important, especially when you have to set off the traps at the right moment. Otherwise, you’ll end up having to wait a few seconds before being able to use that same one again. While it can be overwhelming at first, the game’s control scheme is easy to get used to with practice and perseverance.
Even though Deception IV appears to be pretty bland and dull at first, the amount of detail for the characters and environments is decent. The effects are also quite neat when the blood splashes over as you see your enemies get caught in the various kinds of traps.
Hearing them scream as they get impaled adds spice to the experience. The voice acting is all executed in Japanese, accompanied by English subtitles. That being said, the audio impression is essentially top-notch as you won’t hear any corny voices or expression as you’d normally get from English dubbing.
Playing as Laegrinna, who is essentially the daughter of the devil, you’ll need to set traps within the various rooms as your enemies invade your territory. Of course, you’ll need to move around yourself and avoid any attacks that your enemies throw at you, be it short or long range. Take note that you cannot actually fight back, so you’ll really need to depend on the traps that you leave behind. Once you manage to deplete your enemies’ life energy, your objective has been completed and you move on.
When you are planning where to place your traps, the action will pause, thus giving you time to find out more of what’s available and their effects. Additionally, the screen is presented in a series of grids, in which case you’ll see where you are able to place these implements of torture and destruction. Whatever you choose, rest assured that each has their own gruesome and somewhat hilarious effects. For instance, you can have spikes that pierce through your enemies within a certain distance, as well as contraptions that can throw your enemies in the air. The latter is useful when you want to have them throw your enemy into a certain spot to activate another trap, thereby pulling off combos.
In time, the gameplay does get a bit repetitive. But where Deception IV really excels is the amount of humor it offers. It can be sickening and sadistic to see the degree of violence taking place while players laugh at the characters’ suffering. There’s also statistics for each trap indicating the rating of damage as well as humiliation it can produce. The real fun lies with how you can have your enemy launch back and forth between traps in a continuous fashion. While it’s disturbing how funny and amusing the experience can turn out, you do get a sense of satisfaction nonetheless.
There are number of additional traps and costumes waiting to be unlocked as you progress further in the game. Hence, plenty of content is available in Deception IV. Not only does the normal campaign take about 10 hours to complete, you also get a number of modes to keep you occupied. You have the free battle mode where you’re supposed to practice and try out the various environmental traps to your heart’s content.
If you’re looking for some additional challenges, however, there are the specific missions to complete, including killing your enemy within a time limit. As well, there’s the Creation mode, where you can design your own level, set your objectives and assign your enemies. Once you tested them out, you can share them online. Conversely, you can try out the creations that others have posted themselves.
For the sick at heart, Deception IV: Blood Ties is here to satisfy. It’s one of those unique PlayStation 3 titles that shouldn’t be ignored by most players, assuming that you’re old enough to witness all that deliciously sadistic violence.