April 14, 2014
The first game in the Deception franchise revolved around someone who sold his soul to the devil, and things with Deception IV, things have progressed quite a bit more. Instead, this time the focus is on a woman named Laegrinna, the devil’s daughter, who was created from an actual fragment of his soul.
To give a bit of extra back story, three thousand years before the start of this game, the devil was defeated and imprisoned by twelve warriors through the use of the Holy Verses. After his capture, the Holy Verses were divided amongst the twelve warriors and were made into twelve different items to ensure that the devil would not be free again. Now three thousand years later, it’s time for Laegrinna to free her father by collecting the verses from the original warriors’ descendants by luring them to her castle and killing them. Nice eh?
She’s not alone in her endeavour either. Laegrinna is joined by three goddesses who all seem to have a taste for killing and share a common hatred for humanity. They each represent the different ways in which Laegrinna can kill her enemies. There’s Lilia, who loves humiliating her prey, Caelea, who enjoys sending them flying, and Veruza, who wishes to inflict as much pain as possible. In order to keep the 3 goddesses happy, Laegrinna must complete certain objectives set by the three goddesses, whether it means sending them further or creating one of the longest most humiliating death sequences of all time.
The game works much like a Rube Goldberg machine. You setup various traps across a grid and attempt to find ways to connect them. This might mean clamping down a foe with a bear trap then releasing a pendulum into their chest. But it doesn’t need to stop there. You can also use traps that are mounted in the different rooms of the castle. There’s a courtyard in the castle that has quite a few cages that you could easily send enemies into and that’s just one example. The more elaborate the combination of traps, the higher the score and the easier it is to kill certain enemies. But you need to remember that not every enemy is built the same. Archers, for example, don’t move as much as regular enemies, so you need to setup traps around them in order to kill them.
Getting the combos to work isn’t all that easy either. Judging how a character will move is difficult at times and should you mess up the first trap of your combo, you’ll need to waste time running around so your trap can reset itself before continuing. The game does offer a great amount of help for those just starting out, however, it can get quite cumbersome if you find yourself using the same combos over and over again. Also, by reading the bios of certain enemies, you can see what type of traps won’t work on them. There are some warriors who can dodge certain traps really easily and their bio will say as much.
The gameplay gives players quite a lot of freedom. Should you grow tired of one room, you are able to run around the castle and find a room with traps that are more to your liking. You can also buy traps using the points that you’ve earned. Your arsenal will steadily grow over time and you’ll be able to unlock abilities that will help you on your way like the ability to dodge roll. Should you want to play this game seriously, you’ll need to focus on learning every type of trap from each of the three goddesses which will take a great deal of time. With that being said, it’s quite repetitive, but this could be easily remedied if you’re playing it with friends.
Once you’ve finished the campaign, the game doesn’t just stop there. You’ll be able to take part in a “free battle” mode which allows you to practice combos and try out any room specific traps that you may have missed out on. There’s also Quest Creation mode which allows you to choose everything from the area to what type of enemies you’d like to appear. This offers a ton of content for you to play with post game. The fact that it’s on the Vita as well makes it quite a nice game to get if your morning commute is rather long. Plugging in and carrying on where you left off makes getting through this game so much more pleasurable.
Purists will be pleased that the game’s original voice track is present meaning no English dub is available. In a way this has let the game keep some of its authenticity and dignity and it also makes sense from a budgetary perspective. The music is quite peppy and silly and matches a lot of the game’s charm and humor, but the quality of the game’s character models does appear quite dated on a bigger screen.
Humour in the Deception series might not suit everyone, but the game as a whole works. The idea of planning how to murdering people in various ways might not be something that appeals to everyone but if it does, there’s a ton of content in this game which makes it a great one for those long journeys. It definitely could use updating in some areas, but this game certainly is a step in the right direction for the franchise.
Deception IV: Blood Ties was reviewed on the PlayStation Vita.