- Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
- Developer: Tecmo Koei
- Publisher: Tecmo Koei
- Genre: Strategy/Action
- Players: 1
- Release Date: March 25, 2014
If you enjoy mashing buttons to get through a game and being able to rush in without any sort of strategy, being the hero and saving a damsel in distress, or maybe even defeating a group of daemons or witches to save the world; you are looking at the wrong game.
But if you don’t want any of that and you WANT to hear your enemies scream and cry in defeat as you obliterate and capture them, I welcome you to read on further and hope you enjoy. At it’s heart, I would call Deception IV: Blood Ties (to be referred to as DBT from here on out) a puzzle game. This does not mean that you will have to spend most of your time looking at the stage and figuring out what you have to do and how you have to do it. No, DBT gives you the freedom to choose what you want to do and how to do it, as long as you defeat all the enemies of course, no matter how slowly or quickly you want to do it.
We play as a character named Laegrinna, who as it turns out, is the devil’s daughter. She along with three daemons named Caelea, The Daemon of Elaborate Death; Veruza, The Daemon of Sadistic Torment; and Lilia, The Daemon of Humiliating Demise. (See why I said if you wanted to be a hero or defeat daemons or witches you were looking at the wrong game?) These four are out to collect 12 artefacts known as the Holy Verses, which were used to defeat Laegrinna’s father 3,000 years ago by 12 Saints who sealed him using the Verses. As you can imagine, that won’t be an easy task.
At the start of the game you are introduced (or reintroduced to if you have played previous entries in the Deception series) to traps and the different kinds. You have traps that come from the floors, from the walls, and from the ceiling. All the traps are divided into three different classes known as Elaborate (a springboard to fling people to other areas), Sadistic (a giant axe swinging from the ceiling), and Humiliating (the old stepping on a rake gag). You also have set stage traps which are activated with a trigger or wandering into or near them. Using different types of traps and making combos will give you what’s called arc, which is pretty much experience/currency used to unlock/purchase more traps and abilities. The other way to earn arc is by fulfilling requests from the daemons, which usually matches their type. It can be something simple such as using a single trap on someone or something complicated like doing a four trap combo (which is a pain if you mess up.)
At the start of the game, it seems simple enough, set up traps, kill everyone and move on. And in the beginning it is simple, however as you progress through the game it gets tougher (not to the point where you are completely overwhelmed, but enough to make you think about how you set things up.) There were times where my girlfriend heard me cursing in the other room because I got set to a certain trap layout and the enemies were resistant or even immune to them. But you can make up for those times when you have a perfect layout and nail a perfect combo to kill or even capture someone. I did more elaborate layouts focused on combos, and trust me when I say I would get extremely giddy when I had the perfect layout and watched everything happen like dominoes.
The only issues I’ve had with DBT was that the camera would act up at times, turning the wrong way or being blocked by something in the stage. The second issue is while getting used to the immunities and redoing my traps or they would just barely miss them, I would die. A lot. My last issue with DBT is that it’s not a game you can play straight through, I would be lying if I didn’t say it wasn’t repetitive, I took a break for a day after a few 20 minute sessions once because it was too repetitive for me. But when I went back to it and used different traps, it felt different. Which is great because there is a great variety of traps at your disposal.
When it’s all said and done, Deception IV is an enjoyable game (in a cruel way) in small doses. I love the fact that for once in a game our goal is to kill the would be heroes in whatever way our minds can come up with, whether it’s brutally sadistic, cunningly elaborate or just plain humiliating. The only real thing that might get to people no matter what is the camera system, but then again it’s not exactly easy to focus on a character while keeping tabs on everyone else. Granted after playing for a good length of time in one sitting it will take its toll on your mind due to the repetitive nature of the game, but the variety of traps and stages helps with that.
FINAL SCORE: 7/10
[Note: Free digital copies of this game were provided for review. The copies represented the final product.]