Multiplayer hasn’t always had a positive relationship with the horror games it was once shoehorned into by anxious publishers eager to get a return on their investment. That’s gradually changed over the years, thanks in large part to the clever way these once-maligned online features have been implemented by AAA titles — Dead Space 3, DOOM, Dying Light — as well as an array of indie games, from Depth to Damned, Contagion and Dead by Daylight, among so many others. It’s not a bad word anymore, and so long as developers continue learning from the successes and failures of the games that bravely paved the way ahead, I don’t see this trend going away anytime soon.
One of the latest stabs at multiplayer horror can be seen in the upcoming first-person shooter Deceit, in which a half dozen people — two of them infected with a mysterious virus — are locked inside an arena with no obvious means of escape. Paranoia seems to be a big focus of Deceit, where a sudden blackout transforms a perfectly normal-looking infected character into a horrifying nightmare creature.
Making the situation worse for the uninfected players is the environment itself, which developer Automaton has designed to “cause conflict amongst the group” as they attempt to work together to complete various objectives on the map without being eaten alive by their comrades.
So it’s The Thing, but set in an abandoned asylum. I think I’m sold.
Deceit is available now on Steam for $13.49 (10% off).