Sunday, 20 April 2014

Deception IV: Blood Ties

Back in 1996 Tecmo released Deception: Invitation to Darkness, a exclusive PlayStation title that despite causing a bit of controversy and also being a pretty fun game, didn't take off like some of Tecmo's better known titles. That said, it did find itself a loyal fan base, a fan base that ultimately allowed Tecmo to develop two sequels and a spin-off, Trapt. Though slightly different in a number of ways, Trapt remained the most recent entry in the series up until now. But instead of giving fans a sequel to 2005's Trapt, Tecmo have gone back to their roots in the Deception series. The latest title in the series not only aims to bring the action back to the series' roots, but also add some new features for the modern gamer. Is it a good enough game to deserve the Deception name? Read on...


Developed by Tecmo and out now on PS Vita and PlayStation 3 comes Deception IV: Blood Ties, a game that proves that sometimes the most simplistic concepts are the best. The story to Blood Ties is actually pretty damn awesome. To put it simply, your mission is to unleash the Devil upon the world. Epic, right? You play as Laegrinna, daughter of the Devil. Three thousand years ago, The Saints, twelve warriors tasked to put his reign to an end, killed the Devil. Using Holy Verses to seal him away, the Holy Verses were broken up and given to the twelve members of The Saints, and ultimately their descendants. Aiding Laegrinna along the way are various demons who served her father. As Laegrinna you must find the twelve Holy Verses and thus bring about the return of your father, the Antichrist. It's a pretty awesome set up for a game, and this Devil angle was why the original game was frowned upon. I mean, it's not every game in which you try and ultimately bring about the destruction of mankind right?


The aim of Blood Ties is to prevent various enemy forces from reaching you. However, compared to 99.9% of games out there, as Laegrinna the player literally can't attack. Instead the player must solely focus on setting traps and having unsuspecting victims wander into them. These traps can come in a whole bunch of different varieties, under three different types; Brutality, Humiliation and Magnificence. Effectively utilising the different trap types will give the player various rewards throughout. Humiliation traps are hilarious, and are almost akin to the “Babality” moves from Mortal Kombat. Humiliation traps include the likes of slipping on a banana peel, being sucked into a black hole and being smacked over the head with a toy hammer. However, the other trap types aren't as warm and fuzzy, with scissors, circular saw, bear trap, various bombs and an Iron Maiden being a typical day at the deadly Blood Ties office. 

Most enemies won't die after one trap so it's vital to chain traps, and this is where the true skill and fun of Blood ties emerges. It's possible to chain many of traps together, though it does take time to effectively pull this off successfully. The player needs to take in consideration where the enemy will be launched after an attack, as chaining is only effective if the foe is launched directly onto another nearby trap. If done correctly it can be a powerful tool as the endgame approaches and the enemies become stronger.


Though the PS Vita does have the advantage of utilising the touch screen, it doesn't mean that the PS3 version is inferior. They're pretty much the exact same, but Blood Ties comes across as the perfect portable experience, something you can take out at any time and just toy around with. On the surface it's a painfully simple concept, but Blood Ties achieves success on so many levels, and makes it one of the better PS Vita games on offer.

Deception IV: Blood Ties brings the pain and gets a 4/5.

[★★★★☆]

Denis Murphy


Deception IV: Blood Ties at CeX



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