Peaky Blinders season 6 is here, but its arrival is bittersweet. While fans of the show will be glad to finally see how the series’ many cliffhangers resolve, season 6 marks the end of the Shelbys' adventures on the small screen.
But that doesn’t mean their story is all wrapped up quite yet. While you’ve likely heard that the Peaky Blinders will be getting a film in the near future, the Birmingham gang is also due to feature in a new VR game called The King’s Ransom on the Quest 2 headset.
We had the chance to sit down with Russ Harding, the Studio Director of Maze Theory and Creative Director of the upcoming Peaky Blinders VR game to find out why fans of the show need to check out this game when it launches later in 2022.
- Discover how to watch Peaky Blinders season 6 from anywhere you are
New faces, a familiar moral darkness
Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom will place players in the shoes of a new character on the run from the firing squad. On our mission to evade capture, we must turn to the infamous Tommy Shelby for assistance (with Cillian Murphy reprising his role).
In an attempt to win Shelby and the Peaky Blinders’ favor, we’ll join the hunt to retrieve Churchill’s Red Box - a chest containing important government secrets that could spell disaster if they fall into the wrong hands.
However, in true Peaky fashion, Harding promises that things won’t be as straightforward as retrieving the box and calling it a day.
Because the game is set between seasons 4 and 5 of the show we can be fairly certain that key figures (like Thomas and Arthur Shelby) will escape The King’s Ransom’s events relatively unscathed. But the same isn’t true of the game’s new characters.
As Harding was quick to point out, their fate rests squarely in Maze Theory’s hands and, by the sounds of things, our hands as well.
That’s because this wouldn’t be an authentic Peaky Blinders experience if players weren’t forced to make morally difficult decisions that could have major consequences for the virtual world around us.
Harding explains, “While [The King’s Ransom] isn’t a huge game with a branching story and multiple endings, we wanted to give players control over these heavy, and generally quite dark, moral choices. The sort of thing that, in the show, may have been left up to the Shelbys to decide.”
While the game’s ending is set in stone, each player’s individual experience will differ. In order to be accepted by the Peaky Blinders, players will need to be prepared to leave their moral code at the door.
Even if you want to do the right thing, the moral gray area the Blinders operate within may leave you with no good option when you’re forced to make a decision.
On top of that, while Peaky Blinders isn’t filled with unending gangster shootouts it does boast some incredible moments fuelled by intense violence and action. Harding warned us that players will want to get ready for similar combat experiences in The King’s Ransom.
A chance to explore 1920s Birmingham
Additionally, The King’s Ransom will give players a chance to get a first-person tour of well-known locations from the show that have been meticulously recreated in VR.
“We’re really fortunate that the Peaky team keeps a huge record of its sets and props,” said Harding, “This wealth of data, as well as visits to the Black Country Museum where the show is filmed, has allowed us to create an authenticate recreation of these well-known locations.”
As part of the title's 'semi-open-world experience,' players will have the opportunity to visit sites like The Garrison pub, Charlie’s Yard, and the Shelbys Betting Shop.
Harding hopes that this new perspective of the Peaky Blinders world - which sees players placed into the streets of 1920s Small Heath - will give us a better sense of the ever-looming presence of factories that are cropping up across Birmingham.
“There’s that feeling of suppression in Peaky as the factories are closing in on the houses. Steven Knight captures this excellently in the show, but when you’re actually immersed in the world with VR it feels even more real.”
Even once the roughly four-hour-long story has wrapped up Harding and the team has tried to ensure the immersive world offers players reasons to return; be it a desire to continue to experience the virtual atmosphere the game creates or to search every nook and cranny for hidden nuggets of Peaky Blinders lore.
There may even be a post-release update that could add additional content and support to the game. However, Harding remained tight-lipped on what this means in more practical terms.
He also didn’t give anything away regarding the release date. However, Peaky Blinders: The King’s Ransom is due to launch on the Quest 2 and PC VR sometime this year, so we expect it won’t be long before we’re exploring the Peaky Blinders world for ourselves.
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Hamish is a Senior Staff Writer for TechRadar and you’ll see his name appearing on articles across nearly every topic on the site from smart home deals to speaker reviews to graphics card news and everything in between. He uses his broad range of knowledge to help explain the latest gadgets and if they’re a must-buy or a fad fueled by hype. Though his specialty is writing about everything going on in the world of virtual reality and augmented reality.