One of my favourite TV series that has released in a while is Peaky Blinders, and I always felt the gritty-streets of 1920’s Birmingham would make a great setting for a VR game. Then The King’s Ransom was announced and from Maze Theory – the team behind Doctor Who: The Edge of Time, which I really enjoyed. So, I was excited to see what they do with the Peaky Blinders licence and I have now had the chance to play a preview of the first chapter.
Given this, imagine my excitement after the short introduction to your character and learning the controls, descending onto Garrison Lane and walking down this lane as the opening music plays – giving you that feeling of being in the TV series.
This soon results you in you entering The Garrison and coming face to face with Thomas Shelby – who soon explains he has a job for you, as he needs someone with your skill set and not of his brother Arthur. This job is to join the hunt for Winston Churchill’s Red Box, which contains the identities of British Agents around the world.
You will however have to gain the trust of Tommy, which drags you straight into England’s criminal underworld, and dealing with someone who upset the Peaky Blinders. The question is can you kill him as Tommy is demanding?
This then open ups to enter more gameplay elements that will see you exploring the streets of 1928’s Birmingham and visiting settings from the show – with the Shelby’s Betting Shop and Charlie’s Yard joining the aforementioned The Garrison. All of this during the rise of striking and protesting workers, who want to see the end of the Shelby’s reign. This allows the game introduce some more gameplay elements like disarming bombs in the betting shop and shoot-outs with enemy factions who also want the box and to overthrow the Shelby’s – something having this box could help them obtain. From what I have experienced so far the gameplay lends itself to the idea of the TV series and is all is handled well in the opening chapter.
However, as a fan of the TV series it was exploring the settings and meeting key characters Tommy, Polly and Arthur that stood out – and Tommy and Arthur being voiced by the actors from the show just adds that little bit extra. From this preview exploring is rewarding, as it looks like the game is bringing plenty of collectables into it, this gives you reason to explore where you can and make sure all alley-ways, accessible buildings and breakable boxes are checked.
From the preview and the first chapter of Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom I have been impressed with what the team at Maze Theory have done with the licence. With touches to appeal fans of the show like walking down Garrison Lane with the theme song playing, meeting key characters, visiting important locations from the show, exploring 1928’s Birmingham that looks great in the Quest 2 and giving satisfying gameplay elements. This has really made me ready to explore more of England’s gritty crime underworld and seeing how the story unfurls and what its going to throw at you. Having the feeling of being in your own episode of the show from the get-go shows that Maze Theory will bring another great TV show franchise to the VR medium successfully.
Please Note: This was created using a preview build of the game, meaning changes could be made ahead of release.