Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom review (Quest)

We recently previewed Maze Theory’s Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom, and have since been able to play the full game on a Quest 2, for which the game is now out – here’s our review.

Set in the 1920, you play someone who just walked away from the army to return to Birmingham, where you’re looking to join the Peaky Blinders crew of Tommy Shelby and his brother Arthur – a gang that’s already established when you enter the scene. Having to prove yourself, you get involved with a scheme to steal Winston Churchill’s Red Box – a briefcase said to hold all the identities of Britain’s secret service agents. You’re not the only one after this though, so it’s not going to be an easy journey to secure it and cement your position within the gang.


What’s great about the game is that Cillian Murphy and Paul Anderson reprise their roles from the TV series here, which does a lot to make the experience feel immersive and authentic. They also lend their likeness to the game, but the character models don’t live up to the quality of the voice acting in this case. If you’ve seen the kind of detail that games like Half-Life: Alyx or Lone Echo II can deliver, this will feel like a serious step back when you’re up close with someone – they’re not very lifelike, feel like a game from two console generations ago and don’t feel like they interact well with the environment either. It’s decent during action sequences, but conversations feel a bit immersion-breaking.

This isn’t really the game’s fault either – the Quest 2 certainly can’t deliver what a powerful PC-VR system can deliver, and it’s moments where you have one on one interactions that make this especially clear. Luckily, environments look a lot more authentic, and the soundscape and voice acting do a great job of placing you inside Birmingham as well. There’s a lot of interactivity to some of the locations as well, and while in the pub you can even stop and play a few rounds of darts if you want to.


Of course this wouldn’t work well without decent controls, and Maze Theory has done a solid job at making sure there are plenty of options on that front. You can teleport if you want, you can play seated or standing, and there are nicely implemented motion controls to let you reload your weapons and access and store other useful items without having to go through an immersion-breaking menu.

With a ton of atmosphere and some great voice acting, this is a must-play experience for fans of the show. The game’s biggest issue is that technical limitations make the characters look more like a game from the show’s early days (2013) than a brand new game, but feeling like you’re a genuine part of a Peaky Blinders story does a lot to make up for that.

Score: 7.8/10

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