Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom Preview – Guns and Gangsters

All the details about the upcoming VR gangster simulator set in the world of the Peaky Blinders

Fans of the hit British gangster drama TV show Peaky Blinders can be forgiven for feeling a little empty inside after the series concluded last year with an appropriately explosive finale. While the much anticipated Peaky Blinders movie project is reportedly also in the works, it is still too far away for fans looking to immerse themselves in the criminal underworld of 1920s Birmingham once again. If you have ever dreamed about getting up close and personal with your favorite characters from the popular TV show, the good news is that British developer Maze Theory’s upcoming game Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom is recreating the world of Peaky Blinders in Virtual Reality (VR) for the first time ever. Read on to learn more about the all-new storyline, gameplay, release date, and all the other little details.

Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom – Gameplay

Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom is a narrative action adventure game set within the Peaky Blinders universe, fully realized in immersive VR. According to the developer, the game is “not a shooter”, although it does feature FPS combat with weapons such as pistols, Molotov cocktails, and even your bare hands (so prepare to swing your arms around trying to aim at virtual targets).

However, it seems that the primary focus of the game is on exploration and dynamic interactions in VR. Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom fully recreates iconic environments and settings from the show for the player to explore. The game promises to go the extra mile to enhance immersion by letting you interact with practically anything around you – you can light up and smoke a cigarette, throw darts if you happen to find a dartboard, turn on music on a radio, and even draw on chalkboards found in certain locations in the game. All of these interactions feel very organic and authentic in VR and are made all the better by subtle details such as the ability to tap your cigarette ash by pressing the trigger button on the controller. Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom encourages you to explore every dark corner, crate, box, and bin and rewards you for it with a wide variety of collectibles hidden across the world such as Tarot Cards, Pennies, Bottles, Cigarette Packs, Tokyo Vials, and Newspapers.

Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom will feature three distinct control schemes you can choose from based on your preferences. You can play the game in a standing posture where you can move your character by actually walking yourself. You can also play the game in a sitting posture by either using the analog stick to move your character or by teleporting. If you tend to experience motion sickness in VR, the teleport controls can help alleviate the discomfort.

The King’s Ransom – Story

Peaky Blinders: The King's Ransom - Thomas Shelby

Despite all its promises about the gameplay, the success of Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom will ultimately depend on how good the storyline is, and how faithful it is to the TV show. Therefore, it is probably a good sign that the story for the game was written in collaboration with Peaky Blinders series creator Steven Knight and producer Caryn Mandabach Productions. Set in the gritty industrial environment of Small Heath, Birmingham in the year 1928, you play as a World War 1 deserter being smuggled into Small Heath in the back of a van by your Aunt Rowena. Having been sentenced to the firing squad, you have been on the run for nearly ten years and have now turned to the Shelby family for help. During the course of the narrative, you will meet many beloved characters from the TV show, including the loyal smuggler Rowena Fox, the ruthless matriarch Polly Gray, the hot-headed older brother Arthur Shelby, and even have the opportunity to share a drink with the one and only Thomas Shelby. You will also be able to explore a number of iconic locations from the TV show such as The Garrison pub, Charlie’s Yard, and Shelby’s Betting Shop.

Much like its namesake on TV, the game tells the story of an epic crime drama, as you slowly get dragged deeper and deeper into the high-stakes world of criminal intrigue, simmering tensions, and changing allegiances. At the center of it all is the mysterious theft of Winston Churchill’s ‘Red Box’, a briefcase containing highly sensitive state secrets. If you’re a fan of the TV show, all of this will be right up your alley. However, the story of the game is largely standalone so you can comfortably experience the narrative without feeling lost if you haven’t watched the show yet.

The King’s Ransom – Release Date and Platform

Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom is set to launch on Meta Quest 2 and PICO 4 on March 9, 2023 priced at $29.99. The game is also listed on Steam for an eventual launch on SteamVR, but there is no firm release date for it as of now.

The King’s Ransom – Graphics and Visual Presentation

One of the most important technical challenges in a Peaky Blinders game will always be the in-game appearance and performances of the main cast, in particular the two Shelby brothers – Thomas and Arthur. In order to bring a level of authenticity to the visual presentation and credibility to the narrative of the game, stars of the TV show Cillian Murphy and Paul Anderson reprise their roles as Thomas Shelby and Arthur Shelby respectively. Both their performances are fully motion-captured and voice-acted as well, which should lend a lot of credibility to the world of Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom. This was no easy feat either, and the developer has emphasized the technical difficulties faced while trying to keep the game locked at 72 frames per second to implement the motion capture technology.

The King’s Ransom – Developers

Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom is being developed by London-based game development studio Maze Theory. The studio has previous experience in bringing beloved British TV characters into the world of video games, having also worked on the development of two different Doctor Who video game adaptations – Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins released in 2021, as well as a VR adaptation called Doctor Who: The Edge of Time released in 2019.

The King’s Ransom – Trailer

Check out the latest trailer for Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom titled “Gangs, Rivals, & Heroes”:

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