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Deception IV: Deception IV Review – Admiral Ackbar’s Least Favorite Game

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I will come right out and say it. I had no idea there were three other Deception games before Blood Ties. The series has eluded me for a while so I cannot comment on the comparison between this game, and the previous ones. Deception IV: Blood Ties is described as an action game, but after playing a few chapters, I would classify this game more under strategy than action. With that said, I do have a few gripes about this game.

Laegrinna is the devil’s daughter that was created from a portion of his soul. The devil was defeated by a group of warriors called The Saints 3000 years ago. Laegrinna is now tasked with releasing her father by destroying the 12 items that represent the Holy Verses that sealed the devil so many years ago. Aiding her in the quest are her three demon servants, Caelea, Veruza, and Lilia.

This is a story that I can get behind, although it is told somewhat poorly, I can appreciate the originality of it. You finally play as a bad guy. You cannot swing it any other way. You are a spawn of the devil, trying to free him. It is glorious. The dialogue can get pretty rough and it feels like there is too much story contained for this game. What I mean by that is this. The game follows Laegrinna, but much of the dialogue is between random characters that are trying to stop her. It sort of takes away from the story when you hear everything from other people rather than the main characters. Sure it is different, but the execution feels off.

What makes Deception IV: Blood Ties so unique is the combat. This is no run of the mill “action” game. The entire game revolves traps. As Laegrinna you must lure your pursuers into traps to kill them. To make things more interesting, every enemy has weaknesses and strengths. Some are immune to floor traps, others are immune to piercing traps. You move Laegrinna around the areas to lure the enemies closer to you, thus activating the traps. There is no direct fighting in this game, this is part of the problem that I found with Deception IV. Because the game has a heavy focus on luring people into traps and setting them up to work in extravagant combos, it feels weird to just run around in a circle until the traps arm. Now the game looks great in the top-down view when you set up the traps.

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It is like this game didn’t know how to blend action and strategy very well. It either should have focused on the over the shoulder trap driven action combat and made that work, or make it a different kind of tower defense-esque game. The gameplay just doesn’t feel glued together correctly, and it suffers heavily. If I was to make an analogy it would be this, Deception IV’s combat is like a poorly bound book. You can still read the book, but you keep having to tape pages in to keep it together.

Now I can praise Deception IV’s originality because I have not played a game quite like this. There are three ways to earn points, Elaborate, Sadistic, and Humiliation. Every trap gives you points in one of these three categories, the more you blend together, the better your score and the more currency you get when you complete the level. The amount of traps you can use at once gets bigger as you progress through the game but for a while, it is pretty limited and bare bones. In addition to your traps, you can use the environment to your advantage and deal more damage. Some environmental traps are activated by switched, others you have to launch the enemy into like cannons or cages. The creativity is pretty impressive when you get right down to it. After each chapter you can spend your currency and get more traps so you can keep having some form of progression through the game.

Deception IV: Blood Ties is a very unique game, it is a breath of fresh air to the current market. The game also has a really nice art style to it, the dark ages medieval setting is very well done and the environments are rather varied. Unfortunately, the gameplay does not feel very complete and it is constantly battling with itself on what genre it wants to be. If you have the patience and can be rather forgiving Deception IV can be a great game for you. It may be too unique for it’s own good.

I give Deception IV: Blood Ties a 6/10. You can get it on the PS Vita and the PS3.

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