Entertainment How Dark Souls 3 birthed the multiplayer stealth shooter Deceive Inc

Entertainment How Dark Souls 3 birthed the multiplayer stealth shooter Deceive Inc

How Dark Souls 3 birthed the multiplayer stealth shooter Deceive Inc

I work the room at a party, looking for all the world – or the sliver of it that’s allowed to see inside this opulent clifftop mansion – like any other guest. Wearing a black dress and disarming cardigan, as if cosplaying a Sim from the period before Maxis hired fashionistas, I stride between tables laden with canapés. “The host is so mysterious,” says a fellow partygoer in a stage whisper. “And clearly not hiding anything.”

In response, I say nothing. Because beneath my flimsy holographic disguise, I’m a beefy spy named Chavez. And while I’m blending with the guests, I’m surreptitiously aiming my high-velocity data transfer goggles over their shoulders, hacking green-screened computers from a safe distance. With enough data, I can break open a security door in another room, bringing me one step closer to the vault buried deep within this private palace.

A view of one of Deceive Inc's sprawling levels

(Image credit: Sweet Bandits)

But I can’t be hasty. Not yet. The truth is, I don’t know whether the nearby industrialist sporting a Stetson and cane is really an AI guest or a rival agent putting on an act as convincing as my own. Or, for that matter, whether the pistol-toting guards on every corner are legit either. There might be suggestions of espionage – Stetson breaking briefly into a skittish jog, perhaps, or hovering near a terminal. But if I open fire, and I’m wrong, every other player in the vicinity will know where I am – my camouflage evaporating in an instant. There are dead giveaways, and then there’s a large man named Chavez materializing in the center of a ballroom, in a tangerine trench coat with a multicolored revolver the length of his leg.

This is the social stealth phase of Deceive Inc – a multiplayer FPS which, for long stretches of a match, plays more like Hitman 3 than Overwatch.

Chavez aims his gun in Deceive Inc

(Image credit: Sweet Bandits)

“The original kick for the idea was actually Dark Souls 3 PvP, where you could turn into objects, and there were rings allowing you to look like NPCs,” says Philippe Pelletier Baribault, co-founder and designer of Quebec studio Sweet Bandits. “Playing that back in 2016 was the fire for the concept.”

Now you NPC me

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